If you do a quick search for apps that help keep your tweens safe online, there are dozens that pop up. But how do you know which one is right for your family? It all depends on how much your children use their devices but, as a general rule of thumb, you’ll want an app that can keep an eye on a wide variety of activities from chat platforms to internet searches and everything in between.

As we move further into the digital age, there seems to be danger lurking around every corner, so there’s definitely a lot of ground to cover when it comes to safety. These six apps will give you the peace of mind you need to allow your tween to chat, surf and play safely.  

6 parent-friendly safety apps for kids

1. Bark Technologies

Bark is a comprehensive app for families that monitors across 30 plus of the most popular apps and social media platforms including email and text messaging. Screen time management and web filtering tools allow you to manage how your teen interacts digitally. If Bark catches something, you get an alert along with helpful articles from licensed psychologists on how to tackle tough topics. After a 30 day free trial, pricing plans start at just $5 a month. Download Bark for iOS and Android here

2. Norton Family

It makes sense that the tried and true company that keeps computers safe from viruses, also does a great job of keeping kids safe online. Each week, the app generates a report of what your teen has been up to: internet searches, websites visited, videos downloaded, emails sent and more. The Alert Me feature helps parents stay informed about their child’s location. And, the Instant Lock feature gives parents the option to lock devices, which comes in handy while forming healthy screen time habits. The cost is $49 for a year subscription and it can be used for multiple family members. Download Norton Family for iOS and Android here

3. MSpy

The more you know, the less you worry. And if that’s the case, MSpy will have you sleeping like a baby. With this program, there will be no doubt as to what your tweens are doing online. With MSpy, parents can view shared photos, read chats in full (including deleted messages), and find out where they are through a GPS tracking system. Find out who they call and chat the most plus their most frequented websites. Unlike other parental safety apps for teens, you can watch over your teen’s activity in steal mode. Pricing starts at $25 a month. Download MSpy for iOS and Android here

4. Teensafe

Teensafe is all about fostering a healthy balance between life and devices. Weekly and daily time limits can be set remotely for screen time, video calls and more. There’s also a handy pause button that parents can use when teens should put their focus into other things like homework or family time. Teensafe is especially good for monitoring video sharing apps, like TikTok and SnapChat, allowing parents to view sent media files and chats. Pricing starts at $9.99 a month. Download Teensafe for iOS and Android here

5. Kaspersky

If you have different age groups in the house, Kaspersky is great. You can set individual time limits and searching restrictions per device as well as customize lists of apps and websites that can only be used with your permission. Like other programs, Kaspersky can track your child’s whereabouts, but it also allows parents to set up boundaries for your children which is also known as geo-fencing. If they venture outside of a given radius, you will be notified via text.  At just $14.99 a year, it is one of the best values around. Download Kaspersky for iOS and Android here

6. FamilyTime

With FamilyTime, you can get a limited amount of safety features for free including call tracking, app usage history, alerts for apps installed, and an SOS panic button that allows parents to shut down devices with just one swipe. The premium version allows for a deep dive into your teens screen time with safe search features, access to messages and chats, and more. Pricing starts at $27 a year. Download FamilyTime for iOS and Android here

A version of this post was published March 3, 2022. It has been updated.