(Pocket-lint) - These days it seems like our children spend just as much time online as we do, maybe even more. That’s where Qustodio comes in.
It’s a parental control app that is versatile, sophisticated and easy to use that helps you control and monitor how your children use their smartphones.
What is Qustodio?
Qustodio is the leading digital safety and well-being platform for families. It provides powerful monitoring tools and parental controls for things like screen time, as well as how much time they spend in certain apps like games.
What devices does it work on?
"It works on a wide range of different devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones whether they run Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon's Fire OS and Chromebook"
Build a safe and productive digital environment
Qustodio makes it easy to supervise your kids time on each device, enabling you to do things like allowing you to block inappropriate content with filters – even if they use a private browsing mode - and balance screen time by limiting your child's access to devices.
You can also set time limits for games and apps, as well as blocking apps you don't want from running altogether. You’re also able to monitor and manage the time they can spend on social networks like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and more.
Qustodio is quick and easy to set up. Simply set up a free account via the Qustodio website and then download the app to your children’s device. You’ll then be able to manage all the devices your kids are using via a family portal.
It's accessible on the web or Qustodio App used by parents on their devices. You can see reports and manage all the devices your child or children have access to.
The online dashboard is intuitive and easy to use and provides in-depth reporting on online activity such as the time spent on each app and browser history. If they have an Android phone, you can also view sent and received text messages. You can also use Qustodio’s Family Locator feature, which enables you to use GPS tracking to see exactly where your children are and where they’ve been.
Through the dashboard, you can easily set usage limits and manage a child’s online access by blocking troublesome sites to ensure they enjoy a safe browsing experience.
Ensuring their digital wellbeing
Qustodio also helps you to manage your family’s tech-life balance or digital wellbeing as it's become known as. With more and more concerns being raised in the media about how much time kids spend on their devices, making sure they are doing their homework rather than chatting on WhatsApp can be a constant battle in some households.
Qustodio allows you to control individual app blocking, game blocking and set screen time limits so you can control for how long your child uses their device without having to monitor it while you're busy elsewhere.
Smart filters and premium subscriptions
The success of the system comes from Qustodio's simplicity and its advanced features. For instance, filters can block inappropriate content even if the user has private browsing mode turned on.
In addition to the free service, Qustodio also offers Premium subscriptions delivering more advanced features, such as a 30-day breakdown of all device activity, monitoring of social network activity and a new system for monitoring what your child looks for and watches on YouTube.
Rather than having to remember when to tell your children to come off their devices or stop using a specific app, Qustodio can manage that for you. The screen says “Time's Up” to tell them they need to come back tomorrow - easing you from having to be the nagging parent. You can set time limits for individual games and apps, or block them altogether.
Qustodio recently launched a brand new feature called Your Places, which helps to make sure that you know where your children are, using geofencing to check whether they've reached the place you're expecting them to get to, like school or nursery.
Your Places is part of Qustodio's Family Locator system, a great package to help you keep track of your family members, for that extra peace of mind that's so valuable. To use the system, all you have to do is update to the latest version of Qustodio and select Family Locator in your main menu.
Special features for Android
When using Qustodio on Android, you can access your child's texts, and see who's calling them and who they're calling. You can also block specific contacts to stop them from contacting - or being contacted by - certain people so they don't get to phone-specific people if that becomes an issue.
Android users also have a very sensible option of being able to send a panic alert if they are in trouble or an emergency situation with the app's Panic Button. Using the button instantly sends a notification to the parent's app showing time and location of the alert allowing you to come to the rescue.
Pricing starts at £35.95 a year for up to 5 devices for the premium subscription and you can add more devices with bigger plans if you need.
Qustodio offers maximum parental involvement at either a low cost or none at all. Not to mention real peace of mind with the easy to manage dashboard.
Used correctly and in collaboration with your kids, it can be a game-changer for ensuring they aren't spending hours glued to a screen.