New apps allow parents to monitor teens’ internet, phones

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DENVER -- Programs give parents the power to monitor what’s happening on their kid’s phone. There are several options and each program offers unique features.

Circle is a 3-inch box that connects to a Wi-Fi network. It gives parents the ability to closely watch what kids are up to on their devices.

It allows parents to block mature content such as gambling and dating sites, and limit the amount of time spent on each app.

Circle can block specific apps all together. The device runs for $99 and the service costs $9.99 for the first 10 devices.

Net Nanny gives parents wide control over what kids see on the internet. Parents pick settings based on several categories such as blocking all content related drugs and alcohol.

Parents can also ask New Nanny to email parents a warning every time their kid has internet activity that relates to weapons or suicide, for example.

Net Nanny also give parents the power to block apps. Net Nanny offers its service for five computers and up starting at $59.99 a year.

Teen Safe gives parents the power to track their son's or daughter’s search words, texts and exact locations.

The locations feature is popular because it can help prevent texting and driving.

If a parent tracks their child’s location and if they know they are behind the wheel, they have the ability to pause all access to messaging apps and the internet.

TeenSafe divides its service up by the control and monitor function. The monitoring costs $14.95 a month. TeenSafe control costs $9.99.

With so many options, experts said it’s best for each family to do their research and find the program that suits their family’s’ needs best.