If you are an Android mobile user and looking for a way to protect yourself on-the-go, you’re in the right place. Simply click the banners below for more information in each category. You may download a PDF copy of these instructions, watch a tutorial video and check out other online resources below.
Unfortunately, many out-of-box Android users do not get parental control settings. If you happen to have one of the few devices where there is an option, you would find it listed under Settings. Even still, these controls rarely block web content, restrict apps or lock down purchases. Fortunately, there are several apps available in the Play Store by simply searching “Parental Control.” Here, you can find an app that suits your needs (e.g., Android Parental Control or Kids Place).
Sexting can be defined as an act of sending sexually explicit materials through mobile phones. Messages may be text, photo or video. A number of studies have been done on this issue; comparing the various studies, it is safe to say 7-9 percent of older teens send sexts. Older age groups tend to be involved in sexting at higher percentages, perhaps 20 percent or even more (“Sexting Statistics: What Do The Surveys Say?” by Luke Gilkerson). Unfortunately, many of these studies are already several years old (2010) and the issue has been growing in an alarming fashion. This has become a very serious issue lately as its popularity and difficulty to curb increase. As a parent, what are you to do when you suspect your child of sending and/or receiving sexts?
Children rarely consider the ramifications of sexting. Authorities are investigating numerous cases and teens across the nation for sending nude images of themselves, with consequences ranging from suspension to felony charges for the creation and distribution of child pornography. The permanence of such photographs is rarely considered. Exporting the images or screenshots make the images easily shareable. Even deleted images are recoverable with certain software. When an image is sent, it cannot be retrieved. There are several types of software that allow for monitoring of text messages and phone usage as well. We will discuss the most effective of these below.
Mobiflock: While there is a free protection service provided, we will be discussing the premium parental control features of Mobiflock. With Mobiflock Premium, you are able to create geofences (know when the device is entering or leaving a location), provide a safe browser, block apps, receive email notifications on transgressions, timetables (limit device usage to specific hours), block camera usage, disable texting whilst driving, block calls and texts, view calls and texts, show current location on a map, monitor browser activity, send a trigger to lock device if stolen or lost, sound a siren to locate missing device, wipe device if stolen or lost and lock the device if the SIM card changes.
The app is installed on the mobile device and the account is accessible from your computer. There is a 7-day free trial, and the premium version costs $3.95/month or $38.95/year.
TeenSafe: If Mobiflock isn’t to your preferences, TeenSafe might be the app for you. With TeenSafe, you are able to view text messages and deleted text messages, monitor the phone’s location, review web browsing, bookmarks and search history and monitor contacts and call logs.
Additionally, there are set up guides for both Facebook and Instagram that allow you to view messages, photos and connections easily. While there is a 6-day free trial, the account costs $14.95/month. Additional teens may be added to the account for no additional charge.
The items discussed in this section are designed more specifically for home networks and computers. If you are looking for Internet accountability apart from the options discussed on the other sections, please visit the PORTAL homepage and select a different device.
The goal of accountability software is different than parental controls or filtering. Rather than restricting access or creating blacklists of keywords and websites, accountability software gives freedom to the user. Typically, all websites are accessible and available. Instead, a digest of Internet activity is emailed to preselected accountability partners. These reports are then used to create open and honest discussion and may lead to filtering if necessary. Please note, some accountability software also features filtering capability.
X3Watch works on all your devices with an individual report, separate admin panel and device specific accountability management.
The premium software costs $6.99 per month or $64.99 per year (a 20 percent discount). It likewise works on all your devices with one account, one report and one admin panel. It allows for email reports and accountability and also allows for blocking, user-managed blacklists, user-managed whitelists, user-managed filtering strength, toggle blocking on/off, single report for all devices, choose reporting day, maintain two months of history reports, unlimited mobile devices, unlimited desktop installs, notification of installs and tech support.
On the Android platform, X3Watch is a complimentary program that does not require you to disable your default browser. Simply download the application by searching for X3Watch in the Play Store and installing it. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete set up.
CovenantEyes offers something very similar to X3Watch. CovenantEyes does not offer a free plan; only premium members will be able to enjoy its benefits.
The premium software starts at $8.99 per month for accountability reports only and for one user only. You can add additional users to the plan for an extra $2.00 per month. You can also do a web filtering only option. This costs $4.99 per month for one user and an additional $1.50 per month for additional users. Or, you can include both accountability and filtering for $10.49 per month and an extra $3.50 per month per additional user. The premium version allows for customizable monthly reports (you can view all websites visited or only highly mature websites visited), age-based content ratings, unlimited accountability partners, individual reports for the whole family (unique usernames and passwords), panic button that cuts off online access for a period of time, optional filtering, unlimited mobile devices, unlimited desktop installs, single report for all devices and tech support.
On the Android platform, CovenantEyes is a complimentary program that does not require you to disable your default browser. Simply download the application searching for CovenantEyes in the Play Store and installing it. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete set up.
More and more malware and viruses seem to appear for the Android platform. For this reason, it may be important to run antivirus software on an Android mobile device. Avast comes out on top here. It is a free download from the Play Store. Tests show that Avast has some of the best detection rates of any antivirus software. If you prefer to try something else, use Lookout. Like Avast, this app locates your lost or stolen device from anywhere, automatically saves our devices location before running out of battery, backs up your contacts and notifies you if you have out-of-date or insecure versions of your operating system. Both of these apps can be found in the Play Store with a simple search.