The Family Home Blog

4 Apps to Help Secure Your Teen’s Smartphone

Sep 09, 2016
Melissa Hincha-Ownby

teen on cell phone 

Smartphones can be a useful tool for teens; communicating with friends, checking school grades, finding the results of sports matches and even accessing online textbooks and learning tools. Smartphones can also be dangerous. No, I’m not exaggerating. A teen may lack the foresight and maturity to make the best decisions when it comes to the always-on world of smartphones and the Internet. The following four apps will help you secure your teen’s smartphone while still giving him or her enough freedom to learn from their inevitable mistakes

Net Nanny
Unfortunately the name ‘Net Nanny’ doesn’t sit well with most teens. Why would a teen need any sort of nanny? The good news is that Net Nanny has been in business since 2001 and is an industry leader in Internet protection. The mobile app allows parents to filter out adult or inappropriate websites, mask profanity, control access to mobile apps and set time limits all in an easy-to-use web interface.

Netsanity is another parental controls app for smartphones. But unlike Net Nanny, this app is iOS specific. Users can block individual apps based on the Netsanity database suggestions, and if there is an app that a parent would like to see added to the database, they can do so. It is both a user-supported and company-supported parental control app that goes beyond the all-or-nothing choices offered in the basic iOS parental control settings. In addition to app blocking, Netsanity also offers other customizable options, including time blocks and content blocking.

Family Tracker
This app takes the built-in friend-finding capability of popular smartphones to a new level and allows parents to not only see where their teen is, but also send messages from within the app. The messaging system lets the parent know when the message has been read, so no more “oh I didn’t see it” excuses from your teen.

Unlike the other apps on this list, Safetrek helps ensure your teen’s physical safety. If your teen is in a situation where he or she does not feel safe, he or she can open the SafeTrek app and press and release the button. If he or she does not enter his or her four-digit pin, the local police will be notified that there is an emergency at the mobile phone’s location.

If your teen has a smartphone, do you use any security or parental control apps?

Image used under license from

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