How To See What Websites Your Child Has Been On
The internet has never been more unsafe for children than it is now. Given this, you should know how to monitor your child’s activity online and see whether they visit safe websites. But what are the best ways to see what websites your child has been on?
You can see what websites your child has been on by checking their browser history, using Google My Activity, checking Google Family Link, adding screen monitoring software, or contacting your ISP (Internet service provider).
If you want to keep an eye on the kind of content your child sees on the internet, you need the right software and know how to do it. Read on, and I’ll tell you how you can track your child’s online activity.
1. Simply Check Your Child's Browser History
The best way to keep track of the websites your child has visited is by checking their browser’s search history. All browsers (except those built for privacy) record users‘ internet search history so that you can access it in the future if you need to. So, the easiest way to check your child’s search activity is by simply opening up the search history tab on their browser.
How do you do this? If your child uses chrome, the exact steps for checking your child’s search history will be as follows:
- Open Google Chrome on your child’s device.
- Make sure your child’s google account is open in chrome.
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen. A drop-down menu should pop up.
- Now, find „history“ in the list of options in the menu and click on it.
- This prompt will take you to your child’s search browser search history, where you’ll be able to see all of the websites your child has visited using their account.
The steps will more or less be the same for Safari, as well:
- Start by opening Safari on your child’s Apple device.
- Now click the book icon on the menu bar.
- This action will give you access to the following three tabs: the bookmarks folder, the reading list folder, and the browser’s search history.
- Click on the search „history option,“ (It should have a clock icon.)
- You will find your child’s searches on Safari here.
If you have the password of your child’s Google or Apple account, you don’t need to gain access to their device(s) to check their browser history. Instead, simply open their Google or Safari account on your device and check their browser history following the same steps above.
While it’s the easiest way to track your child’s activity over the internet, this method has a lot of loopholes. For instance, if your child uses some other account to browse the internet, you won’t be able to see what websites they’ve visited using this method. This rule also holds if they delete their search history or use incognito mode while surfing the internet.
2. Check Google My Activity
One problem with the method described above is that you won’t be able to see your child’s search history if they’ve deleted it. If your child deletes their search history, their search data isn’t completely erased from their Google Account. Instead, it’s tracked by their account’s My Activity settings.
To access this, you will either need access to your child’s device or the password of their Google account. Once you have the password, follow these steps to access their search history using Google My Activity:
- Open their Google Account on a browser.
- Find „Data & Privacy.“
- Now find „My Activity“ under „My History“ settings.
- This process will get you access to your child’s search history, even the searches deleted from chrome.
- You can use the search bar or the time filters to check for specific inquiries.
If you get access to their device instead, simply open their Google Account on the browser and follow the same steps described above.
Here’s a helpful video on YouTube that will walk you through these steps and view deleted history from Google My Activity.
A significant limitation of this method is that if your child deletes their searches from My Activity, you won’t be able to recover their search history. Additionally, if they use a different account to browse the internet (that you don’t know about), you won’t be able to track their activity using this method.
Lastly, searches made using incognito mode aren’t recorded in Google My Activity. So, your child can easily work around this method by activating incognito mode before browsing the internet.
3. Use Google Family Link
Another great way to remotely keep track of your child’s search activity is through Google Family Links. Family Links is a service that Google provides to allow parents to supervise and control their child’s activity online.
How does it work? You have to either link your child’s existing Google Account through the service or, if they don’t have a Google Account, you have to make one for them and then link it to yours using the Family Link.
Once linked, you can remotely supervise and control your child’s browser settings. The Google Family Link offers several ways of doing so, but the most relevant feature is that you’ll be able to keep track of (and delete) your child’s search history.
If you want to learn how you can set up Google Family Link, watch this informative video I found on YouTube that will walk you through the entire process:
A major limitation of using this method is that if your child secretly creates a separate google account and uses that to surf the internet, you will have no way of knowing what they’re doing online.
Additionally, suppose your child uses incognito mode while browsing the internet. In that case, Google won’t record that activity, meaning you won’t see it using Google Family Link. However, you can disable incognito mode for your child’s google account using the Family Link.
Lastly, if your child goes to their Google Account and deletes their activity from the My Activity settings, you won’t see their history.
4. Use a Screen Monitoring Software
Screen monitoring software was originally developed for businesses, especially those based on remote working- that were interested in monitoring their employees‘ activity on work devices to ensure they weren’t using office time or resources for personal use. Nowadays, though, similar software has been developed for parents to monitor activity on their kids‘ devices.
What’s great about screen monitoring software like is that it can be downloaded on your kids‘ computer remotely (as long as you have administrative rights to the device), meaning you can install the software without your child ever finding out.
As an additional cover, most screen monitoring software doesn’t show app icons when after downloading. They don’t show up because your child doesn’t find out about the app and deletes it from the device.
Screen monitoring software is your best option for online supervising your child’s activity. The reason it’s the most effective because it doesn’t have the loopholes of many other options we’ve considered in this discussion.
Screen monitoring software can inform you of your child’s activities even if your child isn’t using your home Wi-Fi network. Additionally, even if your child uses incognito mode or a separate account for internet browsing, the screen monitoring software will inform you about it.
These apps can avoid these loopholes because they don’t track your browser’s activity through a specific account. Instead, they record whatever’s happening on your target device’s screen (which is basically everything). So, no matter what privacy features your child activates, the screen monitoring software will catch it as long as it appears on the screen.
While some parents may not want to spend extra money on software, it’s crucial to do so for a lot of tracking and, frequently, the only option.
Wolfeye for Desktop Monitoring
Wolfeye is a feature-packed screen monitoring software optimized for monitoring PCs. We focus on catering to small businesses that want to keep track of their employees‘ use of work computers and parents who want to ensure that their children are using the internet safely.
The fact that Wolfeye caters to families makes it perfect for parents who want to see what websites their children are visiting on the internet. There are two major reasons Wolfe is a great option for parents:
- Our software has features explicitly designed for parental monitoring.
- Wolfeye is cheaper than other screen monitoring software (usually expensive because they target businesses that need additional high-end monitoring features that parents don’t need.)
So, how can Wolfeye help you monitor your child’s activity on their device? Well, several monitoring features allow you to do this, but the two most effective ones are:
- Live screen mirroring.
- Screenshot visited sites.
Live screen mirroring allows you to see (in live time) what your child is searching for on the internet (and the results that are showing). And using screenshots to track visited sites automatically snaps and stores screenshots of the websites your child visits.
The best part is that both of these are saved automatically by Wolfeye, so you can access them whenever you have time.
mSpy for Phone Monitoring (Andriod & iOS)
What makes mSpy a popular option for monitoring your children’s phone screen is that it is designed specifically as a parental monitoring app afor Android and iOS smartphones. The app lets parents track their children’s location, control their apps remotely, see their on-screen activity, and more.
Another feature that makes this app a popular choice for smartphone monitoring is its social media monitoring features. Besides browsing the internet, children mostly use social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat on their smartphones. So, parents must monitor their young children’s activity on these apps (until their child is mature enough).
As far as tracking websites goes, though, mSpy keeps a record of all websites visited using the target device. Additionally, it allows parents to remotely (and discretely) record their child’s screen- allowing them to see all activity on the device.
One drawback of mSpy, however, is there isn’t an option for desktops. So while it’s effective for tracking mobile devices, you won’t be able to protect your children when they use their desktop devices.
5. Contact Your ISP
All internet search requests from your home network must pass through your ISP’s gateway servers. Because of this, ISPs (or internet service providers) can track your searches on the internet.
The tracking is nothing to worry about for your own privacy, though. As long as the visited websites have an SSL certificate (they start with HTTPS), your information will be encrypted, and your ISP won’t be able to see any of the activities you perform on the site.
However, if you engage with an unsecured site (HTTP), your ISP will also be able to track your activity since it is unencrypted.
Regarding tracking your children’s search history, you can request your ISP to give you data about your search history. Usually, ISPs don’t keep records of such things dating more than three to six months, meaning that you’ll only be able to see the searches made in the past several months.
It is important to note, though, that whether or not your ISP will agree to send you back, this data will depend on the data privacy laws of your country as well as the policy of the ISP that you use.
To summarize, with information becoming increasingly accessible, the internet is progressively more dangerous for children to use without supervision. Without proper care, your child risks exposure to harmful content, getting targeted by predators and cyberbullies, and having their sensitive data leaked.
For this reason, you need to ensure that they’re not exposing themselves to harmful content online. Luckily, there are many methods available out there (both free and paid) that can help you keep your children safe online. Just remember to strike a good balance between supervising your child and respecting their privacy!