Make the Internet a safer place for your kids and protect them from dangerous online content with these family safety devices, apps, and e-books. Keep reading to find out more.
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Fostering Family Safety With Gadgets, Books, and Apps
Best Family Safety Gadgets
1. Circle with Disney
Wondering how to keep your child safe at home, particularly online? Internet safety should be a priority for every parent since there are as many dangers lurking online as there are outside the home. For this purpose, you can get Circle, a home content filter that pairs with Wi-Fi routers and filters incoming and outgoing Internet traffic.
Among its functions include:
- Restrict who has Internet access and how long users have it
- Control what apps and content are allowed
- Dimensions: 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.
- Batteries: 2 Lithium ion batteries required (included)
Ratings: 3.5/5 stars
2. KoalaSafe Family Friendly Wireless Router
The KoalasSafe Family Friendly Wireless Router combines an access point and an Internet content filter. It’s perfect for parents who want to save space and minimize the amount of hardware in the house. This router removes the headache of managing your kid’s online activities and router access controls through the use of an app.
- Dimensions: 2.28 x 2.28 x 0.87 in.
- Wireless Compatibility: 802.11bgn
3. Router Limits Cloud-Based Parental Controls
Router Limits Cloud-Based Parental Controls offers parents a way to monitor their children’s’ online activities. What’s appealing about it is content filtering is free upon purchase of the device. No need to subscribe to a monthly service.
- Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.7 x 1.3 in.
- Connectivity Technology: Ethernet
4. Marco – Kids Safe Internet Router
The Marco Kids Safe Internet Router lets parents protect their kids from unsafe content. Aside from screentime control, Marco offers a lot of filtering options that cover images, Google searches, and YouTube videos, as well as website blocking.
- Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.1 x 5.5 in.
- Connectivity Technology: Wireless
Best Family Safety Apps
Life360 allows a family to invite each member to a “Circle” where they’ll be able to chat, share locations, monitor battery life, and check crime reports in the vicinity. Users can expand the service to include driver safety features, such as crash detection, emergency response, and roadside assistance.
- Location Tracking — Offers real-time location data for all members.
- Check-in — Allows members to inform others of their whereabouts.
- Help Alert — Lets a user instantly connect with their emergency contact and sends their exact location if they feel unsafe.
Price: Free Version, Plus ($2.99/month), Driver Protect ($7.99/month)
6. Family Organizer by Picniic
Family Organizer combines family safety features with task and schedule management. Aside from the ability to locate family members, users can also organize schedules, create and manage to-do and shopping lists, store photos and information, and update members with family news.
- Shared Calendar — Keep track of appointments and whereabouts with the shared family calendar that can be accessed anywhere and synced with other calendar apps.
- Family Locator — Real-time family locator and lets members “check in” when they arrive at their location.
- Encrypted Family Info Locker — Safely store essential info, such as medical history.
Price: Free Version, Family (starting $14.99/month or $49.99/year) Premium (starting $64.99)
Ratings: 4/5 (Android), 4.4 (iOS)
RELATED: An Overview Of Family Watchdog
Children and teens can maintain several accounts on different apps, services, and platforms online. This freedom can present parents with a logistical nightmare in ensuring family safety online.
Bark solves this problem by spreading its content monitoring controls to 32 major Internet platforms, including text messages. Also, since it remotely monitors the online activities of kids, it spares parents from having to physically check their kids’ devices. The app uses content algorithms to seek out and detect potential safety risks to kids.
- Apps, Services, and Platforms Monitored — Ask.fm, AOL Email, Comcast Email, Chrome, Dropbox, Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, GroupMe, Houseparty, Instagram, iCloud Email, Kik, Kidzworld, Messenger Kids, Musical.ly, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Pinterest, Reddit, Safari, Silk, Slack, SnapChat, Text Messages, Tumblr, Twitter, WhatsApp, Yahoo! Mail, YouTube, Phone/Tablet (photos/videos)
- Email, Text, and Social Media Monitoring
- Monitor emails from Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Comcast, and AOL for harmful content.
- Bark works with iOS and Android to search texts, photos, and videos for any potentially harmful content or exchanges.
- Tracks conversations and content on Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GroupMe, and more.
- 24/7 Detection — Searches for potentially harmful activities that may indicate online predators, adult content, sexting, and drug use.
- Automatic Alerts — Parents are automatically notified when Bark detects potential issues. It also provides recommendations from child psychologists on how to handle them.
Available for Android
Price: Free (7-Day Trial), Paid Version ($9/month or $99/year)
Ratings: 3.2/5 (Android)
8. FBI Child ID
When a child goes missing, FBI Child ID can provide important information to the authorities, such as physical identifiers like height and weight. Parents and guardians can also provide pictures of the missing child.
The app also provides important advice for the critical first hours after the child goes missing. If you’re anxious about the FBI keeping the information, the bureau guarantees all information is safely stored on the users’ phones until they need to send the data to law enforcement.
- Child Profiles — Create as many child profiles as you need, and add or update info as needed. This can be shown to authorities to help them with their operation.
- Camera and Photo Library Compatibility — Use your phone camera and photo library to take and upload photos of each child.
- Safety Tips — Get safety tips on keeping your child out of harm’s way.
- Resource Database — Visit additional links with resources for families and victims.
- Contact Authorities Easier — Quickly call 911 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
- Email Feature — Easily e-mail your child’s pictures and information to authorities using a dedicated function on the app.
Ratings: 3.7/5 (Android), 3.4/5 (iOS)
Best Family Safety Digital Books
9. Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World by Kathy Koch, PhD
In Screens and Teens, Dr. Koch blends practical psychological advice with spiritual wisdom to help youth workers and parents reach out and reconnect with screen-glued teens. It aims to empower parents to counter the adverse effects of the online world and gives points on how to get their kids to participate in the real world more.
Price: $9.99 (Kindle), $11.21 (Paperback)
10. Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly by Nancy E. Willard
Nancy Willard helps parents foster online family safety habits in their young children up to the time they become teenagers in Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens. The knowledge in this book can guide parents on how to teach their children to make good choices online using real-world principles.
Price: $16.04 (Kindle), $12.34 (Paperback)
11. Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age by Richard Freed, PhD
In Wired Child, Dr. Freed offers parents sound strategies on how to teach their children about the productive use of technology. It aims to help parents draw their kids out of destructive tech habits and steer them towards using it to excel in school.
Price: Kindle ($9.08), Paperback ($11.47)
12. Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner
In Screenwise, media expert Devorah Heitner acknowledges the importance technology plays in our children’s’ lives and its advantages and challenges. The book provides parenting hacks to help parents teach their kids about technology while also empowering them to recognize how their own life experiences can be used for education.
Price: Kindle ($13.52), Paperback ($7.93)
13. The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch
Andy Crouch makes his readers answer the difficult questions involving family safety and identity versus technology in The Tech-Wise Family. It’s based on in-depth research from evangelical Christian polling organization Barna Group, and invites readers to connect with time-honored values like courage, wisdom, and character to deal with technology’s allure.
Price: Kindle ($5.55), Hardcover ($10.58)
Learn family safety by keeping your kids safe in this video from McAfee For Consumers:
We hope this list has provided you with family safety tips, as well as apps, gadgets, and e-books to help you ensure your family’s safety.
These products and services can help any parent or guardian navigate the many tech-related issues they’ll encounter which may put their family’s safety and their child’s development at risk. They can also provide users with tips on how to use technology to draw their families closer rather than having it rip them apart.
Do you have other family safety resources you’d like to recommend? Give us your recommendations in the comments section below.
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Pricing Disclaimer: Prices on this list are subject to change without further notice based on price fluctuations on Amazon. Please refer to the links for actual prices. All prices on this list are accurate as of May 12, 2019.