MMGuardian Review - Parental Control App

MMGuardian Review – Parental Control App Features

“Protection for Kids. Peace of Mind for Parents.”™


Updated: May 6, 2021


MMGuardian allows parents to have as much or as little control over their child’s phone as necessary. Due to the expansive list of features, most reviews of MMGuardian do not provide the full details about the functions of the app. This review will run through all of the features to help you fully understand MMGuardian’s capabilities.


In addition to being able to read all of your child’s SMS text messages, MMGuardian provides numerous other AI-powered features such as Priority Alerts which will alert you about concerning topics found in your child’s texts such as bullying, suicide, or drugs and Inappropriate Picture Detection, allowing you peace of mind knowing you will be alerted if inappropriate pictures are on your child’s device. Below we list all of the other features available to help you control and monitor your child’s phone.


MMGuardian is available for both Android devices and iPhones, and parents don’t have to have the same type of phone as their child to use MMGuardian.  However, as is the case with all parental control applications, the features available when the child uses an Android phone are different than when the child has an iPhone as detailed below.  If you have the choice, we highly recommend getting your child an Android phone to maximize the benefits of using parental controls and provide more protection for your child.

 

MMGuardian Android Child App Features


For best results, it is highly recommended to get the Direct Download version of MMGuardian instead of the version of MMGuardian on the Play Store. The Play Store version has a few restricted features (as explained below) to comply with Google’s rules for apps on the Play Store.


The Direct Download version gives you access to all features, and parents who want maximum anti-tampering capabilities can download the Device Owner version which is even capable of blocking safe mode- the most common method children use to bypass parental control apps. For more details, click here.

Detailed Usage Reports



MMGuardian provides detailed reports of your child’s SMS text messages, chat messages from social media and messaging apps, app usage, calls, and web browsing, all of which you can view either in the Device Usage screen in the MMGuardian Parent App on your own phone or at the Parent Web Portal.


In order to reduce battery and data usage, reports are only automatically sent once per day.  However, reports from the child’s phone with current usage can be requested at any time of the day.  To view usage from previous days in the Parent App, you can swipe to the right on the Device Usage screen.


Messages

  • View all SMS text messages sent to and from the child phone in addition to messages sent in select social media apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Discord, and TikTok.  Tap on the contact name to view conversations.
  • The MMGuardian Messaging app must be the default messaging app on the child phone to view the texts, due to rules by Google for all apps in the Play Store.
  • If you don’t want to view your child’s texts, you can disable that option in the top, right corner of the Device Usage screen.


App Usage

  • See what apps were used, for how long, and at what point in the day.
  • Helpful for knowing if your child is using particular apps for too long or at inappropriate times. If necessary, you can restrict app usage in App Control (see below for details).


Call History

  • Know who your child is having phone conversations with, who initiated the calls, what time the calls occurred, and how long the calls lasted.
  • If you don’t want to view your child’s call history, you can disable that option in the top, right corner of the Device Usage screen.
  • If desired, you can restrict calls in the Contact Block section (see below for details).
  • If your child’s device is running Android 9+ and you wish to view the call history, you will need to contact support@test2.mmguardian.com for a version of the app that is compatible with Android 9+.


Web Browsing

  • View all of your child’s browsing history, how long they were browsing, and at what point in the day. Compatible with most browsers.
  • In order to block websites, the web filter needs to be enabled in the Web Filter section, where you can also set limits on the types of website your child can visit (see below for details).

Text Monitor & Priority Alerts



In case you don’t feel like reading every single one of your child’s text messages, MMGuardian provides alerts that will let you know if there is something concerning you need to check, either based on your own custom keywords or on categories such as bullying, drugs, and suicide.  Your child will need to be using the MMGuardian Messaging app or have the MMGuardian child app directly downloaded from us for these functions to work for SMS messages (social media messages work automatically), and Priority Alerts also require the Web Filter to be enabled if you wish for your child’s browsing to be monitored for alerts.


See how MMGuardian’s alerts have helped parents protect their kids (and even saved lives) by clicking here.


Text Monitor

  • The Text Monitor section in the left menu of the Parent App allows you to enter your own keywords separated by commas.  These are not case-sensitive.  If any of the keywords are detected in your child’s monitored messages, an alert will be sent to you in your Parent App immediately so that you can view the relevant message.


Safety Alerts

  • The settings for priority Safety Alerts can be found in the Alert Settings section of the Parent App where you can enable or disable the Safety Alert categories such as Bullying, Suicide, and Drugs (and you can find many other types of alerts to enable/disable).  All SMS texts will be scanned and if MMGuardian’s AI detects a potential issue related to one of the enabled categories, you will be sent an alert and able to see the text that generated the alert.
  • MMGuardian has teamed up with CyberTipline in order to help catch predators. If receiving a Predator Alert, parents will have the opportunity to report that alert. The MMGuardian team forwards the information to CyberTipline who will contact the relevant authorities (including internationally) to catch the predator.


Combined, these two features allow parents to have peace of mind knowing MMGuardian is looking out for their child without the parent having to spend their limited amount of free time constantly surveilling their child.

 

Inappropriate Picture Detection



With the increasing popularity of sending, receiving, and requesting nude pictures, MMGuardian’s Inappropriate Picture Detection is one of the best tools available for parents to help ensure their children are being safe.  If any pictures or selfies are sent via MMS messages or saved on the child phone and are deemed to be potentially inappropriate by MMGuardian’s AI, a copy of the picture will be stored in the MMGuardian app on the child’s phone and parents will be immediately alerted in their Parent App.


To view the pictures, you can log into the MMGuardian child app on their child’s phone, and you will be directed to the saved pictures.  By using an on-device AI engine and saving the pictures on the child’s phone and not online in any databases (which would be required for the pictures to be viewable in the Parent App), MMGuardian offers maximum privacy and security for children.


Like the other text-monitoring features, the child will need to be using the MMGuardian Messaging app or the directly downloaded MMGuardian child app for the pictures to be detected.

App Control



The App Control function offers parents the ability to completely control their child’s app use.  When first entering App Control in your Parent app, you will see a list of the apps that are currently installed on the child’s phone.  By tapping the green check by the app’s name, you can block the app (causing a red circle with a line through it to appear), preventing the child from accessing the app without the admin password.  This is ideal if you want to restrict your child from using popular and potentially harmful apps like Snapchat or TikTok.


At the bottom of the list of apps, you will find the option to automatically block all newly-installed apps on the child’s phone.  While this won’t block the child from installing apps, it will prevent the child from using any apps they do install until the parent manually unblocks them. Since apps can be downloaded from many different sources, this is much more secure than simply blocking the Play Store as other parental control apps tend to do.


If you wish to set limits or schedules for app use, go to the Groups tab at the top of the list of apps where you will be able to create groups of apps.  You can assign the groups:

  • Daily Limits – Once the daily limit has been reached through cumulative usage of the apps in the group, all of the apps will then be blocked.

  • App Block Schedules – Blocks the apps in the group at specific days and times. This is useful if you want to block your child from being unproductive without completely locking the phone, such as when they’re doing homework. To learn about locking the phone completely, please see the Time Limits section below.


Time Limits & Lock Unlock



In the Time Limits and Lock Unlock section of your parent app, you can lock the phone completely, preventing your child from using it for anything other than emergencies or to contact parents/admins.


The Lock Unlock screen allows you manually lock or unlock the child phone on demand for set periods of time such as 2 hours.


The Time Limits screen allows you to set schedules with specific times and days for when you want the phone to be locked such as overnight on weekdays.

Web Filter



Enable the Web Filter if you want to block your child from accessing inappropriate websites in web browsers.  Once enabled, the MMGuardian Browser will appear on your child’s phone, but you can apply the web filter to other browsers on your child’s phone by tapping the “CHANGE” button in the Web Filter screen.


How does the Web Filter decide which sites should and should not be blocked?  All websites are automatically categorized into at least one category.  In the Web Filter section, you can select a child age range which will block suggested website categories, but if you would like to customize what specific categories are blocked or allowed, you can do so.


There is also a URL Override option which will allow you to enter a specific URL to always be blocked or allowed regardless of other category settings.  This feature is useful if you want to block a particular website like youtube.com as a punishment or allow only one website out of a category (for example, allowing Facebook but blocking all other social media sites).

Location & Track Location



MMGuardian allows you to locate your child either on demand or according to schedules, so you never have to worry about not knowing where they are.  In the Location section of the Parent App, you can instantly get your child’s current location on demand and also view their location history in the top, right corner of the map.


There is also a option called Track Location.  This screen will allow you to create a schedule with set days and times for the location of the child’s phone to be automatically retrieved.  For example, if you wanted to make sure your child’s phone was being tracked whenever they were traveling to and from school, you could set a schedule that would track their location every 15 minutes from 7am – 9am and from 3pm – 5pm on weekdays.

Contact Block



Contact Block allows you to prevent your child from being in contact with anyone that you do not approve of such as bullies, predators, and strangers by blocking calls and SMS messages.


Contact Block can be enabled in two modes:

  • Allow – This will block contact from any users NOT on the list of allowed contacts.
  • Block – This will block contact from any users on the list of blocked contacts.


It is worth noting that in general, only incoming calls will be blocked with the exception of some Samsung phone models due to rules from Google for apps in the Play Store.  The MMGuardian Messaging app also needs to be used by the child to block SMS texts.  If you would like to block all outgoing calls as well and/or block texts while your child uses their phone’s native texting app, please email support@test2.mmguardian.com and ask for instructions for directly downloading MMGuardian from us.

MMGuardian iPhone Child App Features


As mentioned above, the features available when a child has an iPhone are much different than when a child has an Android phone due to how restrictive Apple is with developers.  However, the MMGuardian app for iPhones does pair very well with the native parental controls on iPhones called Screen Time which we highly recommend using in combination with MMGuardian. For more information about how to combine the two for best results, please see this article.


In order to view SMS and iMessages on their child’s iPhone, parents will need to install the MMGuardian Sync App on their computers. After a simple set up process, messages will then be automatically synced on the child’s phone and then shown in the parent’s app. For more information and instructions, click here.

Detailed Usage Reports



MMGuardian provides detailed reports of your child’s SMS and iMessage text messages, chat messages from social media and messaging apps, phone calls, and web browsing, all of which you can view either in the Device Usage screen in the MMGuardian Parent App on your own phone or at the Parent Web Portal.


In order to reduce battery and data usage, reports are only automatically sent once per day. However, reports from the child’s phone with current usage can be requested at any time of the day. To view usage from previous days in the Parent App, you can swipe to the right on the Device Usage screen.


Messages

  • View all SMS and iMessage text messages, along with messages from select social media apps, sent to and from the child phone. Tap on the contact name to view conversations.
  • If you don’t want to view your child’s texts, you can disable that option in the top, right corner of the Device Usage screen.

Web Browsing

  • View all of your child’s browsing history, how long they were browsing, and at what point in the day.
  • In order to block websites, the web filter needs to be enabled in the Web Filter section, where you can also set limits on the types of website your child can visit (see below for details).


Text Monitor & Priority Alerts



In case you don’t feel like reading every single one of your child’s text messages, MMGuardian provides alerts that will let you know if there is something concerning you need to check. The alerts are based on categories such as bullying, drugs, and suicide. If enabled, alerts will be sent for any SMS or iMessage text that is detected as being concerning by MMGuardian’s AI. Priority Alerts also require the Web Filter to be enabled if you wish for your child’s browsing to be monitored for alerts.


Priority Alerts

  • The settings for Priority Alerts can be found in the Alert Settings section of the Parent App where you can enable or disable the Priority Alert categories such as Bullying, Suicide, and Drugs (and you can find many other types of alerts to enable/disable). All SMS and iMessage texts and web browsing will be scanned and if MMGuardian’s AI detects a potential issue related to one of the enabled categories, you will be sent an alert and able to see the text that generated the alert.
  • MMGuardian has teamed up with CyberTipline in order to help catch predators. If receiving a Predator Priority Alert, parents will have the opportunity to report that alert. The MMGuardian team forwards the information to CyberTipline who will contact the relevant authorities (including internationally) to catch the predator.


This feature allow parents to have peace of mind knowing MMGuardian is looking out for their child without the parent having to spend their limited amount of free time constantly surveilling their child.

 

See how MMGuardian’s alerts have helped parents protect their kids (and even saved lives) by clicking here.


Web Filter



Enable the Web Filter if you want to block your child from accessing inappropriate websites.  Once enabled, your child will need to use the MMGuardian child app on their phone as a browser.


How does the Web Filter decide which sites should and should not be blocked?  All websites are automatically categorized into at least one category.  In the Web Filter section, you can select a child age range which will block suggested website categories, but if you would like to customize what specific categories are blocked or allowed, you can do so.


There is also a URL Override option which will allow you to enter a specific URL to always be blocked or allowed regardless of other category settings.  This feature is useful if you want to block a particular website such as youtube.com as a punishment or allow only one website out of a category (for example, allowing Facebook but blocking all other social media sites).

 

Inappropriate Picture Alerts



With the increasing popularity of sending, receiving, and requesting nude pictures, MMGuardian’s inappropriate picture detection is one of the best tools available for parents to help ensure their children are being safe.  If any pictures or selfies saved on the child phone are deemed as potentially inappropriate by MMGuardian’s AI, a copy of the picture will be stored in the MMGuardian app on the child’s phone and parents will be immediately alerted in their Parent App.


To view the pictures, you can log into the MMGuardian child app on their child’s phone by tapping the (i) icon in the lower right corner, and you will then be able to view the saved pictures.  By using an on-device AI engine and saving the pictures on the child’s phone and not online in any databases (which would be required for the pictures to be viewable in the Parent App), MMGuardian offers maximum privacy and security for children.

Location



MMGuardian allows you to locate your child on demand, so you never have to worry about not knowing where they are.  In the Location section of the Parent App, you can instantly get your child’s current location by sending a command and also view their location history in the top, right corner of the map.


Consider joining our Facebook group Tech-Savvy Parenting to discuss raising kids in the 21st century with other parents.

SIGN UP FOR 14 DAY FREE TRIAL

SM-A146_Galaxy A14 5G_Black_Front&Back-450

The MMGuardian Phone

The Best Safe Phone For Kids

Samsung phones with MMGuardian built-in, starting from $119

The 7 Most Dangerous Smartphone Digital Threats

This free e-book explains the dangers that parents should be aware of, and how to safeguard their children.

(Please note that this e-book is currently only available in English)

Get Your Copy