Comparing Family Safety Apps: MamaBear and Net Nanny

Choosing the right family safety app isn’t easy. That’s why we’re taking the time to compare the features of MamaBear with a few other family safety services now on the market.

Let’s take a look at Net Nanny and review it’s similarities and differences compared to MamaBear.

Net Nanny created internet filtering software that allows parents to be in control of web browsing – preventing selected sites to be viewed while allowing others. Initially the software was created for computers and now has extended to mobile web browsing. They clearly state their benefit as families being able to “use the Internet as a resource for homework and fun without fear of accidental exposure to undesirable material, or encounters with dangerous individuals.” Net Nanny has added social media monitoring and mobile device monitoring.

The Net Nanny service allows parents to:

  • Set filtering for nearly twenty categories of online content to either block the site, send a warning or allow the child to view;
  • Send a warning message or completely block access to adult content like pornography;
  • Limit the total number of hours spent on the internet in a 24-hour period OR set specific times of the day when a child is allowed to be online;
  • View a web page without being bombarded by vulgar language;
  • Monitor social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Tumblr, Google+)  in order to protect kids from online threats and monitor activities related to your child’s “friends,” cyberbullying, sexual predators, privacy concerns and reputation-damaging pictures or videos;
  • Send parents reports and mail alerts about a child’s online activity;
  • Check usage reports, change a child’s profile settings and much more remotely from any computer with an Internet connection;
  • Use preset user profiles or customize settings for each family member; each computer can have unlimited user profiles.

Mobile device monitoring on iOS and Android replaces the mobile browser being used with Net Nanny’s browser for secured browsing.   Net Nanny can also set time controls and monitor apps used on Android devices.

See Also: Protecting Kids from Internet Stranger Danger

MamaBear’s main similarity to Net Nanny is social media monitoring.  Both allow parents to monitor a child’s social media accounts to protect them from cyberbullying, predators and other threats. Both apps send parents alerts based on a child’s online activity.

There are some key differences between the services as well. Net Nanny is primarily a web browsing monitoring service for desktops and mobile devices with added service for social. MamaBear is taking a mobile first strategy focusing on the child’s location, social media activity and driving speed delivering all communication through the parent’s mobile device reducing the amount of emailed reports to thumb through and figure out.

Location monitoring and driving speed awareness are services offered through MamaBear.  These features are not a part of Net Nanny’s service. With MamaBear parents receive an alert when their child drives or rides over a preset speed limit that tells them how fast they were going and where they were when they exceeded the preset limit. You can also view the child’s location history and pattern for the day.

See Also: Monitor Teen Driving with the MamaBear Driving Monitor App

There are many wonderful apps and protection services that offer a variety of useful features to fill different needs for families. Some apps, like Net Nanny, are designed to focus on web browsing behavior on both desktop computers and mobile devices; others, like MamaBear, track children’s behavior both on social media and in real life situations. It’s helpful to know what the options are so parents can choose a service to help them keep their families safe while allowing freedom without worry.

The Best Apps for Parents in 2014

Apps for Parents

The new year is a great time to explore apps designed to entertain and organize our lives. With so many Android and iOS apps to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are best for you and your family.

Here are  some of the best apps for parents. Enjoy!

1. iReward Chart: iRewardChart includes a customizable, interactive interface that helps parents keep track of their child’s good behavior and reward them appropriately.  The child can install and follow along!

2. Evite:  Evite makes it easy to send and manage invitations on the go. With the Evite app, you can create and send invitations, manage your guest lists and RSVP to events.

3. Cozi Family Organizer: Cozi, an Appy Award Winner for Best Family App and the number one “must-have app for a better life” by the TODAY Show, includes a shared calendar, shopping lists, to do lists and more. Cozi Family Organizer is shared, so you only need one account for the whole family.

4. OpenTable: Open Table helps you make reservations at over 20,000 restaurants in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Explore great restaurants, find available tables, and earn reward points for every reservation.

5. Fandango: With Fandango you can access the latest movies, show times and movie trailers as well as exclusive Fandango content. Fandango is the number one movie ticketing app featured in Apple commercials and winner of three Webby Awards.

6. Great Clips: Use the Great Clips app to check in before you get there.  So great when you’re with the kids. Just open the app and the salons nearest your current location will appear. Touch the salon that has the estimated wait time that fits you best, then tell them your name, number and how many are in your group.

7. Splice: Splice together HD photos and videos very simply with this app. Add music tracks from your library, sound effects, transitions, borders and effects, trim video and audio, narrate with your own voice and much more.

8. All Recipes Dinner Spinner: Dinner Spinner is a free app from Allrecipes.com, the #1 food site with recipes tested and reviewed by home cooks. With this app you can access your Allrecipes.com shopping lists, search by dish, cooking time, and ingredient, find recipes that match gluten-free, vegetarian, or other diet and share recipes on Pinterest, Twitter, or by email.

9. FavToday: Jot down the best thing that happened to you today.  As time goes, you’ll have an amazing collection with moments of gratitude and memories with the family.  It doesn’t take but a minute to reflect on your favorite thing today.

10. MamaBear App:  Of course, when it comes to family safety there are many apps, but none offer all that MamaBear does in one convenient app. MamaBear is your all-in-one family safety app providing parents information to worry less and encourage larger boundaries for kids to explore more. The app provides you information about your child’s location, when they’ve exceeded a preset driving speed, insight to their social media behavior and more.

Let MamaBear and these other apps help you organize and enrich your life in the new year!

 

Parental Control iPhone – Using iPhone’s Parental Restrictions

  iphone restrictions

One of the hottest mobile devices on the market – especially with tweens and teens — is the iPhone. Kids everywhere are clamoring for it. If your child has an iPhone or you plan to give them one soon, you’ll be reassured to know the popular mobile device offers a number of parental control features limiting access to potential dangers when the world is at their fingertips.

The release of  iOS 7 comes with improved parental control features that will be of interest to responsible parents taking action to appropriately monitor their child’s iPhone. Let’s explore some of the new parental control options and how to complement suggested restrictions with a family safety app like MamaBear.

Related: Using MamaBear with Apple’s new iOS 7

What Parental Controls are Available on iPhone?

Apple’s support page shows details on how to access the parental control features enabling parents to set restrictions to:

  •  Prevent access to selected device standard apps such as Safari, FaceTime, the iTunes Store and Siri.
  • Prevent access to content including music, podcasts, movies, TV shows, books, apps and more that aren’t age appropriate.
  •  Adjust the time before a password is required to purchase content or always ask for a password.
  •  Prevent changes to privacy settings, including location services, contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, and outside app access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, etc.
  •  Prevent changes to settings and accounts including Find My Friends, cellular data use, background app refresh and volume limit.
  •  Restrict features within Game Center, including use of multiplayer games, adding new friends and more.

Using iPhone Parental Restrictions to Complement Family Safety Apps

Parental restrictions on Apple devices are extremely helpful to responsible  parents providing their children with arguably today’s most powerful and accessible device to content and people. But don’t rely just on these restrictions.  Monitoring is still very important.

An added worry-free layer is a family safety app like MamaBear to proactively receive news about your child’s daily activities. Mamabear uses alerts to notify you about location, social media activity and driving speed. Parents use their MamaBear news to start relevant, daily conversations with their family about safety.

Apple’s mobile devices come with some very useful parental control features that should be used to their greatest potential. When put in use they offer the perfect complement to the safety features offered by family safety apps like MamaBear.

 Image Credit: Apple

 

Six Best Parental Control Apps for Android

Parental Control Apps for AndroidWhen you give your child a smartphone, you give them the world –  access to a wide world of information, people and possibilities, anyway. That world can come with a lot of fun and education. But it also comes with a lot of risk. The possibilities are endless, but so are the dangers to your children when they immerse themselves.

At the same time, when you send your child out into the world today you no longer have to worry about not knowing where they are. Technology allows parents to monitor their children’s locations with smartphone apps and GPS technology.

Today, there are many free and premium apps on the market designed to help parents monitor their children’s online behavior and physical locations. How do you choose the right app for your child’s android phone? How do you prevent them from downloading the wrong apps or media? Which apps will let you know where your child is at any given moment of the day? Which apps help you know when your child is being cyberbullied on social media? In this blog post we’ll break down six of the more popular parental control apps for Android so you can choose the one that is right for your family.

Related: Cyber Safety Tips for Kids – Preventing Cyberbullying and Inappropriate “Friends”

Top Six Apps for Android Parental Control

MamaBear App: MamaBear is your all-in-one family safety app providing parents information to worry less and encourage larger boundaries for kids to explore more. This app is especially good for kids that are first time smartphone users and new to social media. The app allows kids to keep parents updated with simple check in buttons with added emoticons, “Come Get Me” or “Emergency” notifications. MamaBear allows parents to know their child’s current and recent locations, setup arrival and departure alerts for places like school, home and practice or know when they exceed a preset driving speed. Our favorite feature is a time saver from trolling our kid’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Parents can set up alerts to monitor only the important stuff like new friends/follows, words on your programmed restricted words list, uploaded photos and tags.

The Kids Place: Kids Place is an app launcher with parental controls and child lock especially nice for shared devices. It protects your personal data and restricts kids to apps you have approved for them. Kids Place also prevents children from downloading new apps, making phone calls, texting or performing other actions that can cost you money. It includes convenient features for parents such as auto app restart and is useful for small kids who accidentally exit launched apps.

Kid Mode: Kid Mode puts all your child’s favorite Android apps in one place also good for shared devices. With the app’s child lock feature, kids stay safely in Kid Mode – the app prevents accidental in-app purchases, deleted texts, or confusing ad clicks. Kid Mode comes with fun games and videos customized for every child’s age, an art studio where kids can paint, color and draw, illustrated storybooks that family members can read and record, a video mail feature that lets kids exchange short messages with family, weekly activity emails on what your kids have been playing and learning and more.

Norton Family: Norton Family with parental controls helps you protect your child from online threats while you’re on the go. Protect your kids from inappropriate web content, unsafe texting and unsuitable mobile apps. The app allows users to track the websites kids visit or attempt to visit, block access to inappropriate websites, setup custom email alerts to notify you when your kids attempt to do something they shouldn’t. A premium version of the app with additional features is available for a fee.

MMGuardian Parental Control: MMGuardian Parental Control enables parents to lock your child’s phone via a simple text message, set time restrictions to limit use, eg: during school hours, prevent your child texting and driving, block incoming calls and texts, monitor alarming text messages, control which applications can be used and when, then receive a daily report on your child’s phone usage.

Screen Time: Screen Time is a parental control app that allows you to monitor and manage the time spent on your family’s tablets and phones. Screen Time is not as invasive as many of the parental control apps available, so it is well suited to families with older children and teenagers, as well as younger children. The app’s features include daily time limits on selected apps, bedtime curfew on selected apps, lights out curfew on all apps, school time curfew on selected apps and more.

There are many great tools on the Google Play app market that can help parents make the most of smartphones and keep their families safe at the same time. Arm yourself with knowledge so you can make the most educated app choices for your Android devices.

 Image Credit: Techradar