Options For Family Tracking
Family tracking apps are safety tools to keep tabs on your family members. Learn about choosing a family tracking app and top options for 2022.
Family tracking apps, sometimes called family finders, are useful tools you can use to keep track of your family members. The main purpose of the apps is for parents to know where their children are. Family tracking apps use the GPS technology built into modern smartphones. The app tracks the location of the phone, showing you on a map display where your other family members are. Family tracking apps are highly customizable, so you can set alerts if one of your family members goes to a specific area, or if they are not home at a designated time. Many family tracking apps not only track the location of your family members, but also display information on recent messages they have received, or what apps or websites they are viewing on their phone.
Family tracking apps are easy to set up. The majority of apps only require you to install the app on the selected devices and make sure GPS is enabled. From the master account, you can control various settings, such as what information users are able to access through the app.
Pros of Family Tracking Apps
Before signing up for a family tracking app, it is important to consider the pros and cons. For most parents, the primary benefit of using a family tracking app is knowing where their children are at all times. This is especially important in households where both parents are working. During your work day, you can quickly check your app to make sure your children got home safely without having to call or text daily to get an update on their location. Family tracking is not only helpful for children. If an adult is ever in an accident, such as a car breaking down, the GPS locator in the app makes it convenient to send for help.
Another useful feature of the app is internet and message monitoring. One of the challenges of being a parent in the age of smartphones is tracking data. There are many apps and websites that are inappropriate for children. While smartphones have parental locks, these are not foolproof methods, and many tech savvy children know how to use loopholes to get around any limitations their parents set up.
Cons of Family Tracking Apps
While there are many safety benefits for using family tracking apps, there are some downsides to consider as well. Some children are uncomfortable with family tracking apps because they feel invasive. If you decide to use a family tracking app, it is important to tell your family why you want the app. Make it clear that it is not a trust issue, but a safety concern. Do not try and secretly install the app without telling your family what it does. This will only create issues when they ultimately discover the app. There is also the possibility they remove the app because they think it is malware, which makes the device impossible to track.
Choosing an App
There are many family tracking apps to choose from. Which one you want largely depends on your personal preference. One consideration is whether you only want the GPS tracking features, or if you want additional monitoring. Some family tracking apps also include options to install security blocks to limit what apps or websites the other devices can access.
When selecting an app, make sure you pick one that you are comfortable using. The last thing you want is to get locked out of your app. Cost is also an important consideration. More expensive apps often have additional features, but this does not necessarily mean they are the best option for your family. Another consideration is compatibility. There are some apps available for both Android and Apple devices, but others only work for one type of device.
Qustodio is a popular app among larger families because it allows you to connect up to 15 devices under a single account. It also allows you to customize each account, so you can set different alerts for each device. A popular use is the SOS alert, which automatically contacts the master account when a device goes to a certain area. This is a good way to make sure your children are not sneaking off to a location they are not allowed to visit.
Qustodio also stores user information for 30 days. If you need to confirm whether a family member was actually at a location, you can go through your history and see where the user traveled. You can also schedule geofence options, which records where your family members are supposed to be at set times, notifying you if they stray from the area. For example, you can set the location to a school during the week, and if your child leaves the school before the end of the day your account will receive a notification.
Qustodio has three subscription plans available, starting at $4.58 each month. They also provide a free 30-day trial. It is compatible with Android, Apple, Windows and Kindle devices.
Life360 Family Locator
Life360 is a family tracking app for Android devices. Like Qustodio, it allows you to store location history. In addition to tracking your family, there are convenient messaging features which allow you to exchange map directions using the GPS tracking services. In the event of an emergency, you can contact a dispatch officer for immediate assistance. It also allows you to set notifications when a family member enters or exits a set location. A basic account starts at $4.99 each month.
Net Nanny is another family tracking app available for both Android and Apple devices. One convenient feature is easy installation. Once the app is installed, it will automatically connect to GPS services and route to your master account. With the family feed, you can set up permissions on what users are able to see. This way, you can also allow your children to track your location, without also letting them access other apps or data on your phone. Data is stored up for 60 days on the app.
Net Nanny also has a number of security options for limiting website and app access, as well as letting you monitor messages. A free 14-day trial is available for new users. A basic account costs $54.99 each year and supports up to five accounts.
FamiSafe is largely designed for younger children. In addition to the standard tracking options, you also have more control over the connected devices. A common feature is screen time management, which allows you to control how often your family members use their phones. You can also limit what times the phones are available. This is especially helpful to keep younger children from spending all night on their phone. A 14-day free trial is available, with a basic account starting $10.99 each month and supporting up to five devices. It is compatible with both Apple and Android devices.