If you’re working on a budget then it could make more sense to opt for a specialist tool, and Kaspersky Safe Kids Free gives you a lot for no cost at all.
One immediate highlight is that the product works on all your kids’ devices: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone or iPad.
It’s also centrally controlled from a single web account, which means there’s no need to have repeated access to the device, and you can see and manage what’s happening from anywhere in the world.
Initial setup is easy. Provide a name for each of your children, an age, associate it with a user account (on PCs) and you’re ready to go.
By default Kaspersky Safe Kids will block access to unsuitable websites, and provide simple reports on what your kids are doing: their device usage time, their most frequently visited websites (with highlights for anything that’s been blocked) and favourite apps.
You’re able to set up limits on usage time by total hours per day (not a schedule in the free version), and either display a warning or block usage entirely if they’re online too long.
Safe Kids automatically blocks apps according to their age restrictions, but you can also restrict them by category (though not on the iPhone or iPad).
There’s also a range of web tools, including the enabling of Safe Search to block unsuitable websites, and configurable restrictions on websites by category.
Kaspersky Safe Kids Premium is a $14.95/ year commercial version which provides even finer control over your settings, more monitoring tools (location, Facebook activity, Android calls and SMS messages), and gives you real-time alerts and notifications.
Kaspersky Safe Kids Free offers more than enough functionality to be useful, though, and on balance it’s a great place to start. Take a look.