If you have children, the question of having your smartphone or using an existing smartphone will come up at some point. This is fine in moderation, but only in cooperation with the parents. Google offers the Family Link for monitoring children’s smartphones. Furthermore, there are apps like Kidoz, which create a child-safe environment, or you can check out FamiSafe from Wondershare. With FamiSafe, you can track your child’s location, have an app blocker, a web filter, and many more great features. We took a look at FamiSafe.
FamiSafe by Wondershare is a monitoring software for your child’s phone. It provides you with information about your child’s location (live location and location history) and gives you the option to block apps and even websites. It can also detect inappropriate content within the apps. FamiSafe covers more than seven popular social media apps. There are real-time alerts on signs of cyberbullying, adult content, suicide, and depression.
Furthermore, you can monitor current screen time and see how much time your child spends in an app, for example. Geofencing is also on board. With this feature, it is possible to set various areas as safe areas. As soon as the child leaves a safe place, you will receive a notification. The screen time setting ensures that your child can only use the smartphone for a certain amount of time. When the time is up, the smartphone turns off.
FamiSafe – Installation
To use FamiSafe, download the app FamiSafe from the Play Store to your smartphone and the child’s smartphone. A short tutorial explains how the app works.
Then click on the start button to register on your device using your email address and password. Now you can choose a subscription or a 3-day free trial. It is also possible to register and select the subscription via the website.
After registering, you select whether this is the parent or the child’s device. You also specify whether the children’s device is located directly next to yours. You can now download FamiSafe manually via the Play Store or a link to the child’s device.
You have now also installed the app on the child’s device and logged in with the same credentials as on the parent device. However, you specify that it is the child’s device and assign a pet name and the child’s age. Next, you give FamiSafe the access rights to the child’s smartphone (accessibility, overlay over other apps, enable app monitoring, usage data access, notification access, device administrator permissions, location permissions, access to contacts, photos, media, and files). Now the installation is finished, and you click the Done button.
In the parent app/on the parent device, set a FamiSafe PIN for the child’s security if needed. On the parent device, the exact location of the child’s device, its battery level, and the child’s pet name will appear at the top of the screen.
On the homepage of FamiSafe, in the Home tab, you will find the location and the current screen time, and the possibility to set rules for the screen time. Also, by dragging it upwards, you can find a chronological report of all the activities of the child’s device.
The screen time option allows you to sort the current screen time, the last seven days, the previous 15 days, or the last 30 days. You can also lock the screen completely via a slider or either allow various apps without restrictions or block and restrict them.
If you restrict an app, you can set a time limit. The time limit can only be repeated on certain days or every day. Once all settings have been made, click on Save in the upper right corner.
With the option Screen time rules, you can set a period for the screen time. After the screen time expires, the smartphone will be locked.
All functions of FamiSafe are listed in the Functions tab:
- Control: activity report, browsing history, screen time, web filter, YouTube app control (lock content on YouTube), wise schedule.
- Location: location history, live location, geofencing
- Detection: detect explicit content, suspicious photos.
By clicking on each of the features, you will get detailed reports and information. You can also add the geofencing feature for safe areas where the child can be.
With the YouTube app control, you have the option to block all YouTube channels or playlists and content on your child’s device. So if the BrawlStars or EpicStun and his shrill voice with “so nice” and his Minecraft videos evoke deep aggression in you, it’s now an easy matter to shut down the channels 😉
The Explicit Content Detection option connects multiple social media accounts to FamiSafe, which then scans the texts for harmful keywords and can block the use of the app. Use the three dots at the top of the screen to activate suspicious words from the list displayed. The index consists of English and German questionable words. It is also possible to add your pessimistic comments to the list via the three dots.
The Message tab at the bottom of the screen provides an overview of all messages, for example, the addition of a new device or the violation of a safe area that you have marked. Use the settings in the Messages tab to specify which messages you want to receive.
You can find your login details in the Account tab, your subscriptions, access your child’s device, the FAQ, give feedback, and get info about FamiSafe or log out. In the account settings on the top right, you can manage your PIN or deactivate the account. You can also edit your password and email address here.
Via the option Device of your child, you can add another device or remove the already connected child device.
To use the FamiSafe app on the child’s device in the same way as on your device, click on the restricted mode. You activate this by entering the PIN previously set on the parent device. You can then define all the settings on the child’s device as well.
All functions of the app can be viewed via the website and the dashboard there after logging in.
FamiSafe – Uninstalling
Uninstalling FamiSafe is easy. You can deactivate your account and then delete the app. However, on the children’s device, the app can only be uninstalled by entering the previously set password. This prevents your child from simply uninstalling the app without your knowledge. However, it is a prerequisite that the child does not know your password.
FamiSafe – Prices
FamiSafe, unlike Google’s Family Link, is chargeable. The first three days, FamiSafe can be tried for free. After that, a subscription must be taken out.
It is possible to take out a monthly, annual, or quarterly subscription. With a monthly subscription, you pay 9.99 euros per month, with a yearly subscription 4.99 euros per month (59.99 euros per year). With a quarterly subscription, 6.66 euros per month are payable (19.99 euros quarterly).
With FamiSafe from Wondershare, you get easy-to-install monitoring software for your child and maybe a little more peace of mind when the child is away without you. The monitored child can still see that monitoring is taking place using FamiSafe and thus decide for themselves whether or not to break any rules that have been set up. Another plus point of the software is that no smartphone’s root is necessary, and the download is also done via legal sources.
My highlight of FamiSafe is the YouTube app control to block content on YouTube. This can be individual videos, channels, or playlists. This is a function that is not available in this form in Google Family Link. Only the translation into German needs a little work. After blocking a YouTube video or channel, the child receives an English message “Your parents don’t allow you to watch this video” and an image with a YouTube icon and an exclamation mark when trying to access it. A complete translation would be desirable because not every (more minor) child is proficient in English.