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Safety apps for parents

MobSafey Ranger Browser

Your main concern: Web browsing safety and setting time limits on Internet use. This free app allows you to see your child's browsing history and set some basic filters by "whitelisting" (approving and bookmarking) or "blacklisting" (banning) certain websites. You can also limit Internet access to the times you want to allow it. The app may not be on par with some paid web-filtering software systems, like Net Nanny, but it's a good "lite" option.

Get it on Google Play

Get it on iTunes

DinnerTime

Your main concern: Limiting device use during dinnertime, study time and bedtime. This free app allows you to instantly lock and unlock your child's Android device remotely from your own device so that you can enjoy more quality family time, or help your child focus on schoolwork or sleep. Note: The parent's device can be an Android or an iPhone/iPad/iPod, but the child's device must be an Android. You can choose from three modes: "Dinner Time" pauses any activity for up to two hours; "Take a Break" pauses any activity for up to 24 hours; and "Bed Time" pauses any activity for any given start and end time, while still allowing kids to access their alarm clock. The free version of DinnerTime works on up to two kids' devices, controlled by up to two parents' devices. DinnerTime Plus ($3.99) works on up to five kids' devices, and offers detailed reports on how long your kids have used their devices and which apps they have used the most, so you know exactly what's distracting them.

Get it on iTunes

Canary & TrueMotion - Teen Safety

Your main concern: Your teen's driving safety and phone use while driving. This free app is designed to stop distracted driving by sending you notifications in real-time when your child is engaging in risky behavior. For example, the app lets you know if your child is using her phone while driving, exceeding a speed limit that you set, traveling into areas that are off-limits, staying out past curfews, or traveling near possible bad weather. You'll need your child's cooperation to install the app and use all of its features. Consider using it in combination with a safe driving contract to help build trust in your new driver. 

Get it on iTunes

 

Safely Go is another top-rated app aimed at preventing distracted driving, but it's available for Android devices only.

Ignore No More

Your main concern: Your child is ignoring your calls. Want to send a strong message when your child repeatedly ignores your texts and phone calls? Ignore No More is an app that locks kids out of some of their favorite activities — texting, playing games, surfing the web, and looking at Facebook — until they call Mom or Dad for a four-digit password to unlock their phone. It's a better option than taking your child's phone away because he'll still be able to make emergency phone calls to you or 911 even when his phone is otherwise locked. The app costs $5.99 per phone and is currently only available on Android devices.

Get it on Amazon Appstore