Archive for August, 2013

Best Parental Control Software For Android & iPhone

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

With all of the various options available for parental control software it can be confusing for parents looking to find a good option for controlling their mobile devices. The best parental control software for Android and iPhone includes all of the standard features needed for parental control such as web filtering, chat monitoring, real time content blocking, social media monitoring and more.

NetNanny is available for both Android and iPhone and offers a wide range of features for parental control. NetNanny is one of the best parental control software for Android and iPhone because it offers a profanity filter, blocks pornography, filters adult websites, offers social media monitoring, user profiles, reporting and alerts, and many other features. The internet filter blocks content that is adult in nature and can be adjusted to block specific types of content such as alcohol and tobacco, gambling, hate speech, and adult content. Gaming sites and video games can be blocked as well as chat rooms or forums that may have adult content.

girl with mobile phone

NetNanny can be used on any browser and offers unlimited users on any device. Settings can be adjusted for each user as needed; for instance younger children require more filtering and control over their content. NetNanny also reviews pages in real time and blocks them based on its mature content filter. It can warn parents when children visit adult websites. NetNanny also blocks images and blocks pornography with its advanced filter. The amount of time that children spend on their mobile device can also be monitored, and access can be limited to a specific amount of time.

K9 is another choice among the best parental control software for android & iPhone, and offers some features similar to NetNanny and a few unique features. K9 blocks websites in over 70 categories on various topics including gambling, hate, malware, and others. SafeSearch is implemented on all search engines blocking adult results. K9 offers real time malware protection with the Blue Coat WebFilter that helps to block potential malware or harmful downloads. Caching is used to offer faster filtering and reduce load times, and internet browsing is faster as a result.

K9 logs every website visited as well as blocked websites and offers a unique rating system for websites. It is a great option to block web sites and filter them, but it lacks some features such as a chat blocker and social media monitoring. The best part of K9 Web Protection is that it is free, however the lack of features may require the purchase of a more powerful program.

Protecting children extends beyond desktop and laptop computers; mobile devices must also be restricted from accessing adult content. There are many other parental control programs available for both Android and iPhone devices outside of NetNanny and K9, but they are two of the best. Although there are free apps available like K9, it is worth the cost to purchase a paid application like NetNanny. The best parental control software for Android & iPhone depends on the type of content you want to block. For web content filtering only a free solution like K9 may work, but for more advanced filtering, blocking and monitoring options a solution like NetNanny may be worth checking out.

5 Must Have Android Apps for Parents

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

With shopping apps, baby monitors, fitness apps and a host of other useful apps available, parents can turn their Android phone or tablet into a useful tool for their daily routine. These are five of the best apps available to help make parents’ lives a bit easier:

Out of Milk  

Out of Milk has a number of features and helps to make shopping more stress free. Ingredients can be added on multiple lists which is useful for parents shopping at multiple stores. The pantry list lets parents keep track of what they have in their pantry. Lists can be shared with other people in real-time, and the shopping list history remembers items that were previously purchased. Local grocery deals can also be easily searched for. There are many other features available with Out of Milk and it is a very popular shopping app.

out of milk

BabyPhone 

For parents with toddlers, BabyPhone is a must have app. BabyPhone is a baby monitor app that lets parents use one of their Android devices as a baby monitor. You only need one Android phone to use as the monitor, as BabyPhone will call any landline or mobile device once triggered. While standard baby monitors have a limited range, BabyPhone has an unlimited range and is easy for parents to use. The trigger to call is based on a pre-set level of noise. There is a noise sensitivity feature that allows the monitor to pick up quieter noises or louder noise, and it can be calibrated.

babyphone

 

MyFitnessPal 

It’s easy for parents to fall behind in fitness with all of their responsibilities, and that’s why apps like MyFitnessPal exist. This app is a useful calorie counter and is the top selling fitness app for Android devices. It has the largest food database of any Android app and lets parents accurately count the calories of each of their meals. Diets can tracked among multiple people and it also comes with a barcode scanner to scan food barcodes to look them up. There are also 350 exercises included, weight tracking tools, customizable goals, and many other features available.

myfitnesspal

 

Catalogue 

Catalogue lets parents flip through the same catalogues they would get from a store. Catalogue is available for Android tablets and offers an easy way to browse the catalogues of hundreds of different stores. The search feature can search through millions of products and thousands of merchants. The app is presented in a clean and simple interface and is another app that helps reduce paper waste. Favorite finds can be shared on Facebook, and there is also a price comparison feature that compares prices from local and online merchants.

catalogue

 

Cozi Family Organizer 

Cozi Family Organizer lets parents track all of the chaos of family life in once place. It offers a color coded calendar, appointment reminders and more. Appointments can be synced with the Cozi account so that all family members can see them. Due dates can be set for tasks, and grocery lists can be shared with the whole family. Reminders can be set for family members so that important meetings and appointments are not missed. Weekly agendas can also be shared with family members. The family journal feature allows families to keep track of special moments and family photos and share them. There are many other features available, and it is one of the highest rated organization apps available to Android users.

cozi

Win Free Copies Of Gecko Monitor & Gecko Filter

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

It’s competition time! Here at Gecko Parents we’re giving away 10 free copies of Gecko Monitor and Gecko Filter. We’re running this competition in conjunction with Mommy Masters, and all you have to do to enter is click the link below and share our Facebook status. At the end of the competition we’ll select 10 lucky winners and contact you to send you your full versions of the software.

Mommy masters logo

In the mean time, if you’d like to download free trials of Gecko Monitor (our computer monitoring software) and Gecko Filter (our parental control software), head over to the main Gecko Parents site here.

If you have any questions about the competition please let us know using the comments below.

Good luck!

Click here to head over to Facebook and enter the competition

 

 

The best websites for kids learning to read

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

When your kids are learning how to read and developing their comprehension skills, you will want to provide them with as many quality resources as possible. Using home based learning tools like interactive reading websites can be a great way to accelerate their reading education. Some of the best websites for kids learning to read have been released in just the past few years and are at the forefront of child education technology.

Interactive reading websites are a popular and fun way to supplement classroom reading education and other forms of at-home instruction. With a wide variety of reading programs and websites available you will want to use the most effective and engaging options available for your children.

Kids Reading

Here are a few of the best options available:

Starfall (http://www.starfall.com) is a free online reading instruction program that is one of the most popular online options for teaching children how to read. The website uses a variety of games and interactive entertainment as teaching tools for reading and as an educational alternative to other forms of entertainment. Starfall can be used to teach kindergarten through second grade, homeschooled children, and for special education. Starfall also released a reading curriculum in 2009 that is designed with motivational techniques and active involvement.

Book Adventure (http://www.bookadventure.com) is another free online reading program sponsored by Sylvan Learning that is designed for children in grades K-8th. Book Adventure uses a motivational approach by allowing children to earn prizes for what they have read, and it also uses a number of interactive tools. Children can take quizzes on the books they have read, and there is also information for teachers and parents on best practices for reading instruction. Teachers can also use the website to track their students’ progress and issue prizes.

Studydog (http://www.studydog.com) is an effective online learning tool that is not free but offers a wide range of features and benefits compared to other tools. It allows parents and teachers to follow their kids’ progress, and the program adapts to an individual child’s progress and speed. Online access allows children to start and stop the program as they wish. Real-time progress reports are available at any time. Best practices for reading training are used at every reading level. Since the program is adaptive to a child’s abilities, it makes the games and interactive teaching tools easy for them to use while challenging them enough to aid their development.

ABC Ya (http://www.abcya.com) is another free reading education website that offers a variety of games for elementary school aged children. The games are developed by experienced teachers and are based on standard reading lessons. Games are available for each grade from K-5th and games incorporate multiple disciplines such as math and computer skills. The games are designed to be as intriguing and fun as possible for each grade level. There are also a variety of educational apps available on the website. The site is supported by child safe ads however which may be a downside for parents who prefer to use website without ads.

FunBrain.com also has a variety of games for free including math, reading, arcade and other games for K-8th grade children. Free books are available including best sellers and games are designed to be intriguing and interactive, and over 100 games are available. The site has offered kids games since 1997 and has expanded its offerings into comic books, free educational games and books, and more.

If you’re worried about your kids accidentally seeing web pages they shouldn’t when online, take a look at our very own Gecko Filter here.