Comparing Family Safety Apps: MamaBear and Find My Friends

Choosing the right family safety app isn’t easy. We’d like to help you by comparing the features of the MamaBear app with a few other apps out there for Android and iPhone.

In our last comparison, we looked at Life 360. Now let’s check out the similarities and differences of MamaBear to Apple’s iPhone app Find My Friends.

Related: Comparing Family Safety Apps: MamaBear and Life360

Find My Friends is primarily a tracking app. With Find My Friends, users request connection to people they want to view location. Once a friend accepts the request and installs the app, a user can see their friend’s location and vice versa with the option to turn off location sharing.

MamaBear and Find My Friends share a few similarities.  

Users can:  

  • View current location of people
  • Proactively send location. Find My Friends calls it “Notify Friend” and MamaBear calls it “check in.”
  • Set arrival/departure alerts

There are also a few key differences.

Here’s a the breakdown:

  • Who it’s targeting. MamaBear’s emphasis is on family safety, whereas Find My Friends is marketed in part as a social app for use by adults and their friends and companions.
  • Location history.  MamaBear offers a view of historical location points up to 7 days.
  • Message feed.  MamaBear presents all alerts and messages received for up to 7 days.
  • Social media monitoring. MamaBear notifies parents when their child makes a new friend on Facebook, follows someone new on Instagram or uploads a photo, gets tagged or @mentioned, receives a message that includes inappropriate words, bullying language or any other restricted words the parent sets.
  • Driving speed monitoring. MamaBear offers alerts when kids drive or ride over a preset speed limit including how fast and where.
  • Optional location sharing. Find My Friends allows all user to turn off location sharing. Families using MamaBear can’t turn of child logged in location sharing from the app, though the parent’s location sharing is optional.
  • Temporary sharing.  Find my friends offers a group of invited friends to share location for a pre-set timeframe.

There are many great apps that offer a variety of fun and useful features! MamaBear strives to offer parents concerned about their children’s safety peace of mind and comfort.

Is Vine Safe for Kids?

When Twitter released the Vine app, it was greeted with a lot of controversy pertaining to its safety and usability among kids. Just like any social media tool, parents became aware that this app could lead to online security problems such as identity theft and cyberbullying. But, what can a parent do? | MamaBear App

The following post is a guest blog from Allie Cooper, a tech enthusiast who’s very passionate with her volunteer work; educating kids about responsible mobile device usage both locally and internationally. She also loves to cook and to travel. Despite her busy schedule, she updates herself with the recent parental control technologies.

When Twitter released the Vine app, it was greeted with a lot of controversy pertaining to its safety and usability among kids. Just like any social media tool, parents became aware that this app could lead to online security problems such as identity theft and cyberbullying. But, what can a parent do?

Similar to Instagram, the video-hosting tool exposes kids to a number of multimedia content. While it can be used for educational purposes and certainly some laughs and entertainment, some users tend to abuse the tool to spread malicious content.

Related: Is the Introduction of Video from the Instagram App Dangerous for Children?

Here are  tips  to ensure children’s Vine usage is safe and secure.

Parental Controls

Preventing kids to land on spiteful content, parental monitoring software is ideal to limit only the appropriate app and websites that the child can view. There’s no need to keep it a secret. Rather explain to them the benefits and reasons for employing it, to retain a certain trust.

Smartphones

Before providing a device, ensure that it has a mounted security feature. The good thing is that mobile service providers are spearheading this move. In 2011, O2 has installed an 18+ filter on mobile web browsing, preventing minors to land on adult and malicious content.

Knowing a Kid’s Network

With the absence of concrete privacy settings, users can easily browse all available profiles of their network. It’s advisable to be well-versed with how the app works as well as  the type of people the child interacts (friends, followers, and the people they follow). As a parent, it’s also best to make sure that the people and content you post are accepted online. Always show a good example.

Social Media Monitoring App

From a modern parent perspective, many are now utilizing social media monitoring tools to keep an eye on their young ones. Ideally, these allow you to receive an email alerts or push notification, which details how the child behaves online. Moreover, some tools are able to predict and give reports when a restricted word has been uttered online, and even when a questionable person mentions your kid. One of the most favorable tools is the Mamabear app. For example, Mamabear’s Instagram notifications allow parents to be updated when the child has been tagged in a photo or video, including recent followers and newly-followed profiles.

Watch Out for Signs

Due to peer pressure, kids easily share videos that may incur a negative effect on a kid’s emotional and psychological upbringing. Parenting expert Michele Borba suggests to watch out for signs to prevent the future attacks of cyber predators.

Social withdrawal

Social withdrawal happens when kids have deactivated all of their social networking accounts. According to Social Wellness, this type of social isolation may lead to a severe case of depression.

Fear of Social Networks

The fear of social media normally happens when a kid encounters a cyber predator. This fear leads to occasional anxiety attacks, especially when social media alerts pop up on their mobile device.

Is Vine Safe for Kids?

Vine, despite its flaws, can be a safe haven for kids. All it takes is a smart and educated parent, especially instilling good values to their children. Aside from relying on your wisdom and experiences, use technology to  remedy the blunders of social media.

Will you allow your kid to join this video-hosting tool?

 

Image courtesy of: Aulia. M.

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 

Comparing Family Safety Apps: MamaBear and Life360

Mamabear Family Safety AppChoosing the right family safety app isn’t easy. There are a number of  great options on the market today providing parents some peace of mind. MamaBear App and Life360 are two top choices many families consider.  While both apps have similar features when it comes to monitoring a child’s location using a smartphone or other mobile device, there are some key differences between the apps. Let’s discuss what makes MamaBear and Life360 similar and different.

Similarly, the MamaBear and Life360 app offers parents the ability see their children’s current and recent locations. Both apps also allow kids to check in with parents using the app. They also allow parents to set automatic alerts to track when their kids come and go from places they frequently visit (school, soccer practice, friends’ houses, etc.).

Both apps have some key differences as well.

Here’s a breakdown of the ways in which these two Family Safety Apps differ:

– Mamabear offers social media monitoring.  For example, with MamaBear a parent can receive alerts when a child makes a new friend on Facebook, follows someone new or uploads a photo on Instagram, gets tagged or @mentioned in a photo, message or at a location on Facebook or Instagram.  The restricted words list allows parents to be notified to words or phrases that are posted on their child’s Facebook or Instagram page. The list can include inappropriate language or words that may indicate bullying.

Related: Protecting Kids from Internet Stranger Danger

– MamaBear offers driving speed monitoring for teens. 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 speeding history.

– MamaBear offers a custom child view. Kids can check in with parents with emoticons or send a quick “come get me” or “emergency” notification from a different view with a child profile log in.  Kids can also customize their view of the app with wallpaper selections.

– Life360 offers a premium version along with their free app. The premium version of Life360 comes with access to a 24/7 advisor connecting you to a real person who can direct emergency responders to your location, give you personalized crisis care, access your emergency profile, etc. The premium version of the app also includes stolen phone protection.

– Life360 has the same map view regardless of the family role as a child or parent allowing parents to share their location if they choose. The app also adds crime updates and sex offenders plotted on the map.

More recently, the app added “Circles,”  a feature to create custom groups of people to share location and messages.

Two great family safety apps with many different features filling different needs for families. Choose the right one for your family and let us know how it goes!