One of the more useful Parental Control features is the ability to alert you if certain words or phrases are used in text messages or emails. From the online control panel you can set which words or phrases you'd like to monitor for, and the service will notify you via email if your chosen words or phrases are detected. Perfect for making sure your kids (or employees) aren't saying things that they shouldn't.
I didn't encounter any major issues while testing the Parental Controls, but I do wish there was a way to view a separate log of emails like you can with the SMS and MMS messages.
On the Basic Backup screen you can enable or disable the backup of your contacts and calendars. You can manually backup within the app or via the web-based control panel, but there's no auto backup feature. There's also no restore option within the app, but you can initiate restorations via the web-based control panel as well. When I performed a backup of both my contacts and calendar it took about 12 seconds--pretty quick.
BullGuard's antitheft functionality can only be activated from the online control panel. You can locate your device on a map via GPS, remotely lock it so others can't use it or change its settings, and make it scream so you can find it when you're in the general area. You'll also find settings to enable automatic device locking and or wiping if someone changes your SIM card.
When testing the remote antitheft features I didn't find any major issues. The map wasn't able to get my exact location, but it was only off by a slight amount. The remote lock did work as advertised, and the scream function worked even when the phone was on silent.
Overall, BullGuard Mobile Security 10 and the web-based interface were easy to use. Though there's a yearly subscription required, it includes some neat features free and even other paid apps usually don't include--like the remote monitoring, parental controls, and support for a wide variety of mobile platforms if you or your family aren't all on Android. However, I think the app lacks some key functionality--such as the ability to initiate and schedule backups within the app--that would really help in selling people on BullGuard's hefty price tag.
Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer. He's also the founder of NoWiresSecurity, which provides a cloud-based Wi-Fi security service for businesses, and On Spot Techs, which provides on-site computer services.