5 Best Apps for paranoid (*cautious*) parents. You know who you are.
Just as there are apps to help your children avoid being bullied, there are apps that can calm even the most paranoid parent. Many of these use GPS to track a child’s location, so parents should read the license agreements more carefully than usual before downloading. There is a chance your kids may complain that you are “spying” on them — just make sure to have a clear conversation about protecting them while respecting their privacy. Here are 5 apps that will help parents feel better about letting their children be more independent.
FBI Child ID
Created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this app lets parents store their children’s photos plus other identification (height, weight, hair and eye color, age) for quick access if a child ever goes missing. The information is stored on the iPhone only until parents need to send it to authorities. Notable features include safety tips, checklists for what to do if something happens to your child, and shortcuts to dial 911 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Parents also have the ability to email info immediately to law enforcement agencies if the unthinkable occurs. (Free; iPhone, iPad) Download FBI Child ID on iTunes
Find My Kids — Footprints
Ever wish you could know where your child is, all the time? Using GPS in real time,, this app helps you keep track of and automatically locate where your child goes with his phone. If he’s traveling alone, you can confirm that he arrived at a specific destination, or if he’s meeting up with friends, they can confirm each other’s locations. Location info is never shared with anyone else beyond those who have permission to see it, and data is saved for later review. Even though the app is free, parents will need to purchase a subscription for the tracking feature. (Free to download, service requires a monthly fee; iPhone, iPad) Download Find My Kids — Footprints on iTunes
Sex Offenders Search
If you just moved to a new neighborhood, or are planning to, you can research any neighborhood with this app. Simply activate your smartphone’s GPS and connect to the National Sex Offender Registry to locate registered sex offenders and predators in the area. You can search by name, address, and zip code, and results will be displayed on an interactive map. Click on a location for more details, such as pictures, names, addresses, and a list of offenses. ($1.99; iPhone, iPad, Android)
Download Sex Offenders Search on iTunes
Download Sex Offenders Search on Android Market
Baby Monitor HD
Touted as the “next generation baby monitor” from Engadget, this camera/video app allows you to keep tabs on your baby’s crib. Other features include password-protected audio and video, audio alerts, and infrared night mode, but only specific cameras (mostly Y-Cam and WiFi Baby) are compatible with this app. Check WiFiBaby.com and SunshineApps.com before purchasing Baby Monitor HD to make sure you have the correct combination of hardware and software. After purchase, Engadget.com has detailed setup instructions. ($9.99; iPhone, iPad; works only with specific cameras) Download Baby Monitor HD on iTunes
Mobicip (Mobile App)
In 2010 Mobicip was awarded the 2010 Parents’ Choice Silver Honors Award for top mobile app for kids. It includes a wide array of parental controls, including category blocking, time limits, Internet activity reports, blocked phrases, and YouTube filtering. There are three restriction levels: The elementary school level blocks social networking, gaming, shopping, entertainment, clothing, and news content. The middle school level blocks online shopping, gambling, dating, liquor, and chat sites. The high school level blocks adult, sexual, weapons, violence, proxy, virus, and hacking sites. ($4.99; iPhone, iPad) Mobicip
Information in this article is compliments of Parents.com.