As a parent, you want your kids to be both happy and safe. A new phone or tablet is certainly one way to make them happy, but it also means they’ll be able to access the internet. And we all know there’s a lot of content on the internet that is unsuitable for kids.
So what can you do? Unless you want to look over your kids’ shoulders all day, you should consider a parental control solution like Wondershare Famisafe. It lets you block certain websites and apps, help manage your kids’ screen time, and track their live location, so you can protect their online safty and reduce potential distractions.
In this guide, we’ll look at how you can use Famisafe to block websites/ Apps on mobile devices.
Setting up Famisafe
You can firstly get Famisafe from App Store or Google Play. After setting up an account with Famisafe, you can manage it through the mobile app or Famisafe web portal. From there, select Connect A New Device. Famisafe will issue a new pairing code, which you will have to enter to the Famisafe Jr app on your child’s device.
After you enter the code, your child’s device will automatically appear in the Famisafe parent’s app and the web portal. You’ll need to set up permissions on your child’s phone, to let Famisafe do its work, but from there, blocking apps and websites is straightforward.
How to block websites with Famisafe
As well as adult content, the internet is also filled with distracting content. If you need your kids to manage their screen time, they can focus on their homework, you can limit their online activity with Famisafe.
In the Famisafe portal, click on Features in the sidebar, then select Web Filter. Here, you’ll see a list of categories, such as Adult, Violence, Gambling, and so on. It also includes more innocuous categories like Shopping, Health & Fitness, and Art & Entertainment. Using the toggles on the right, you can choose to allow or restrict access to these types of content. This gives you the ability to block many different websites at the same time, without having to know the exact details of the sites.
These web filters work fairly well, but if you do find sites that can get through the filter, you can add them manually to Famisafe to block or allow them. Under Features > Web Filter, select Exceptions. Hit the Add Exception button. Now type in a website address, select Allow or Block, then click Save.
When a site is blocked, your child can request access, and you’ll be notified so you can make a decision. You’ll also be able to see if they search for restricted terms in search engines. A record of all this activity can be found in the Famisafe portal or parent app.
How to block apps with Famisafe
There are a few options in Famisafe to block apps on Android and iPhone. For a start, you can go to Features > Content Manage and then toggle Do not allow installation of new apps. This will stop your child from opening Google Play or the iOS App Store.
You can also block access to SMS messaging and the camera. But for total control over all apps, you need to head into Features > Screen Time. From there, click View next to App Usage & Blocker. Then you can allow or block apps, or you can set screen time limits. You can also set times of day when certain apps can be used. This can be done for the entire week or differently for each day.
If you just want to quickly block all apps, Famisafe has an Instant Block toggle. This will stop all apps from opening, except those you add to the Allowed Apps list.
All in all, Famisafe offers an effective way to block mobile apps or to limit their use. Being able to set schedules rather than just time limits per app is particularly useful, and it’s a feature that’s missing in other parental control solutions.
What else does Famisafe do?
As well as blocking websites and apps, you can use Famisafe to see the real-time location and battery level of your child’s device. You can also see their location history. Famisafe will periodically record your kid’s whereabouts, so you can roughly see where they’ve been throughout the day. The Geofencing option, meanwhile, lets you set a predefined geographic area, and you’ll be alerted if your child’s device goes outside of that area.
Famisafe also has a Drive Safety feature, Inappropriate Pictures detection, and Explicit Content Detection. You can also edit the Suspicious Text Library, so you’ll be notified if your child searches for anything you’ve set up as a trigger word.
Pricing and plans
Famisafe is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, and ChromeOS. You can download it from all the relevant app stores or the Famisafe website. It’s available for $10.99 for a monthly plan, which covers five devices. The annual plan ($60.99) and the quarterly plan ($20.99) both cover 10 devices. You’ll also find these prices are regularly discounted, so it’s worth looking out for deals.
Is Famisafe right for you?
As parental control apps go, Famisafe is a strong contender. It’s easy to use, and it’s packed with features. It’s not the cheapest solution, but it’s not the most expensive either. And to be fair to its developer, Wondershare, Famisafe has more features than cheaper services.
The blocking features work well. If there’s anything we’d like to see improved, it’s the navigation in the Famisafe portal and parent app. The Features section doesn’t appear to be in any particular order, and it could benefit from being categorized because it’s not always clear where certain features might be.
That aside, Famisafe is a good parental control solution, and it’s certainly worth signing up for the free trial so you can check it out yourself.