Child and youth media protectionHow reliable are parental control programs for smartphones?

Many parents want an app that makes their child's smartphone safe and limits the time it can be used. This type of parental control program also exists. The offerings range from safety settings that are integrated into the operating systems to apps from private manufacturers. klicksafe took a closer look at the free offerings for the two major operating systems Android and iOS. And we tried out a paid program that was named the test winner by Stiftung Warentest. In our topic area on youth protection programs, you will also find lots of information on how technical youth media protection can be meaningfully integrated into media education.

Most parental control programs on the market offer the option of making protected surfing areas accessible to children and blocking developmentally harmful content. They also allow parents to keep an eye on their children's usage times. Purchase functions for children can also be restricted and the location of children's mobile devices can be monitored. In our topic area, you will get an overview of the basic functions of parental control programs. You will also learn why technical solutions cannot replace child-oriented and dialog-based media education.

In addition to the general information on parental control programs, we have taken a closer look at three offers on the market. These are the parental control options for mobile devices in the Android and iOS operating systems. We also tried out the parental control program Salfeld Kindersicherung because it was named the test winner in the Stiftung Warentest review.

Please note that our experience reports are not based on systematic tests and we do not make any recommendations for or against any of the programs. We would like to give interested parents an initial orientation when looking for a suitable parental control program. The experience reports were written in the first half of 2024 and describe our impressions of the programs at that time. Changes to the programs that were made after the texts were published are therefore not taken into account.

Further information and materials on the subject of media education