- Great customer service
- Reasonably priced
- On-hand expert advice
- Supports 500 devices
- Outdated dashboard
- Limited browser support
- Easy to circumvent
When you’re looking for parental control software it’s reassuring to know that the software is made by experts in the field with vast experience in online security, which is exactly what you’ll get with Kaspersky’s Safe Kids. Kaspersky was founded in Russia back in 1997 and has been in the internet security business ever since, famous for products such as its antivirus software and VPN service. The company gained notoriety in 2017 after allegations of ties to the Russian government, and since then has distanced itself from that and permitted independent reviews of its products – which is reassuring, because they produce some excellent software. Safe Kids is packed with tools to help moderate your child’s internet usage. With each step of setting up your parental controls, you are given expert advice by a professional child psychologist. There’s a free version of Kaspersky Safe Kids available, but it’s limited in its features and scope so it’s better to try the free seven-day trial of the full product to make the most of it.
Kaspersky has some great methods of blocking unwanted websites that might disrupt your children’s online experience. Besides blocking individual sites, you can also select an entire category. Every category has a page that gives you more information on its purpose, why you should restrict access, and even includes a pros and cons list. For example, the ‘software, audio, video’ category tells us that it would prevent a child from downloading restricted games but it also blocks valuable resources that contain audio and video. It’s nice to see an app like this go into a more detail with parents about what life is actually like for children online rather than just focus on restricting access.
What Kaspersky could improve on is how diligent it is with its online restrictions. Frustratingly, Kaspersky’s web blocks don’t work for every browser, so children are able to get around the restrictions if they decide to use something more unconventional. For example, we used Safe Kids on macOS, and found ourselves blocked from certain sites using Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, but Kaspersky did nothing to prevent us from using Tor browser and so we were free to go on any website we wanted to. Of course, parents could, if they wanted to, block these individual browsers completely but it can be time consuming to do that on multiple devices. However, one secure we feature we do like is the protection against uninstalling Kaspersky that sends parents a notification should kids even attempt to.
Safe Kids lets you manage your children’s screen time in two ways: either by restricting usage time or by setting up a schedule. The usage limit means that, for example, you’re able to restrict weekdays and give children free reign on the weekends and the scheduling means you can then pick specific times of day you want to choose to allow screen time.
Kaspersky should also think about redesigning its web browser dashboard; it’s sluggish and not very intuitive. Several times when testing out features we had to check the very helpful online guides to know where exactly to look to access certain features.
Kaspersky has dedicated Facebook support – you’ll need to log in to Facebook on desktop first so it will accept Kaspersky’s settings and from that point you’re able to monitor your child’s posts, Facebook wall, and see any new friends added. You won’t see everything from their Facebook though (for example the Facebook chat feature can’t be monitored). Being a Russian-based company, it’s no surprise that Russia’s VK social media network is also fully supported.
Although Kaspersky Safe Kids doesn’t have any further social media monitoring, users can block specific apps, so parents could use this to prevent children from using Snapchat or Instagram if necessary.
Using Android, we found Safe Kids GPS location tracking was incredibly accurate, immediately finding our exact address. The mobile apps also include a geofencing tool, although it’s not the easiest thing to set up, giving you the ability to have a radius of a chosen location with the size of your choice. Geofencing can also be set up by time, so kids won’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Safe Kids also shows the last time the GPS tracker was activated so you know not only where your child was but also at what time. Another vital feature is that Kaspersky shows you the battery level of your child’s device as well as if Wi-Fi or cellular networks are active.
Thanks to Apple’s App Store meddling, the iOS app isn’t quite as strong as the Android one. It’s still packed with features but lacks the ability to restrict access to games, block apps, and prevent the installation of new apps – which could prove problematic.
Kaspersky Safe Kids is compatible with Windows 7 and higher, macOS, Android, and iOS. Like many parental control software at the moment, the Android version far outweighs the iOS one due to Apple’s infamous restrictions that have affected so many parental control software recently. Set up for desktop and mobile is incredibly easy so users will be able to keep their kids safe with no hassle. Incredibly, Kaspersky Safe Kids allows you to connect up to 500 devices with profiles for 100 children, which sounds excessive but at least you’ll never have to worry about installing it on too many devices.
A unique thing about Kaspersky is that it has a really simple pricing plan – just one choice! Kaspersky Safe Kids costs just $14.95 per year regardless of how long you want it for.
There are free and premium versions of Kaspersky Safe Kids available, but we’d highly recommend paying the extra for the full version. The free version lacks GPS tracking, battery usage, social network monitoring, and the real-time alerts. You can test the full version out and see if it’s right for your needs by using the seven-day free trial online. If you enjoy the trial and want to give it a go, then Kaspersky accepts all major credit cards as well as PayPal and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Of all the parental control software we’ve tried, Kaspersky has some of the best customer service we’ve encountered. You can get quick support from Kaspersky’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. The website also hosts a live chat, technical support requests, and a large online community.
Going beyond customer interaction, the Kaspersky website hosts a blog with informative articles about internet security, including some about parenting. The software guides are well written and clear, and if you still have any problems then Kaspersky’s helpful YouTube tutorials are also on hand to give you all the help you need.
There’s a lot to like about Kaspersky Safe Kids. It has some outstanding customer service, offers a vast number of different configurations, and it all comes at a very reasonable price. There’s certainly still room for improvement – we’d like to see increased browser support, a modern cosmetic makeover, and for Kaspersky to reduce the number of loopholes that can be exploited.
Regardless, what really makes Kaspersky Safe Kids stand out is that by giving you parental advice from child psychologists it feels more like a parental guide than a restrictive tool since it helps you every step of the way, working alongside you and making you think about what’s right for your children first. It’s a simple thing, but it’s something many other software companies forget.
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