Parental Control Software
What does Parental Control Software mean?
Parental controls are features which may be included in digital television services, computer and video games, mobile devices and software that allow parents to restrict the access of content to their children
Parental control software refers to a wide spectrum of software programs and resources for a wide variety of different devices and technologies. What all of these have in common is that they facilitate the control of one user, typically a parent, over the use and access of another user, typically a child.
One way to distinguish different types of parental control software is by recognizing which kinds of technologies they work with. One basic and early type of parental control software included channel blockers, content filters and other tools for cable television. Other types of parental controls offer control over a child’s activity on the Internet, where it’s possible for children to view a lot of material many parents find objectionable.
Another way to think about parental control software is in terms of the methodology these programs use. Some parental controls work through content filtering, where specific kinds of content are blocked. Others allow for better monitoring, while still other forms of parental control software may act not as filters, but as directors that guide a child’s activity toward specific educational or other goals. All of these kinds of tools help make a child’s use of technology productive and safe.
Parenting in the Digital Age
Modern kids have never known a time when they couldn’t connect to the entire world via the internet. In fact, they probably spend more time online than anyone else—certainly more than their parents. If you are a parent, this presents a problem, as there are explicit, disturbing, and illegal websites and apps that you don’t want your kids to encounter. Parental control services can help you manage the ever-increasing number of devices that your kids use.
These software and hardware solutions let you block unwanted web content, limit screen time, restrict the use of risky applications, and more. Basically, they are a way to help keep your kids safer on their computers and mobile devices. Communicate with your kids before implementing any of these options, as it is important that they feel that you respect their privacy. Otherwise, they’ll make sure to find a way around any protections, even if you had your kids’ best interests at mind. Also, as tech addiction increasingly becomes a problem, it’s important that children learn the value of good device habits for themselves.
Best Parental Control Software for Windows in 2020
- First Choice: Windows 10 Family.
- Great for Social Media: Qustodio.
- Good All-Rounder: Norton Family Premier.
- Mobile focus: Kaspersky Safe Kids.
- Best for Time Management: Content Watch Net Nanny 7.
BENEFITS OF PARENTAL CONTROL SOFTWARES
Reasons for parental control Softwares
There are dozens of reasons to buy and set up parental controls on all your child’s devices. Here are 10.
1. Parental controls help monitor your kids’ devices
While your kids are learning to be good online citizens and make friends online, you can do your part by keeping tabs on their iPads, iPhones and other devices. Check your app store for options. Parental controls apps can help you monitor emails, social media profiles, texts, and other mobile functions.
These help when you’re especially concerned about problematic conversations or activities. For example, some apps notify you when it detects certain words such as “drugs.” It’s best if you let your kids know when you’re monitoring their devices, especially since you’ll need your kid’s account information, including passwords, for some of the features.
2. Parental controls allow you to manage what your kids find on search engines
Search engines can help you find anything these days. The problem? Access to infinite content may be inappropriate for some kids, depending on their age and stage of development. Parental controls such as Google’s SafeSearch help you block adult content and explicit images, videos, and websites from search results.
Depending on the program, you may need to use the most up-to-date operating system and log in under customized user profiles. Let your kids know when you use these filters and talk to them about inappropriate and age-appropriate content. They should know to come talk to you or a trusted adult whenever they need to.
3. Parental controls can block certain features of games your kids can access
Many gaming consoles come with internet access that allow your kids to surf the web, make in-app purchases, and talk with other players. While these features can make the games more fun, you might not want your kid using credit cards connected to the account or talking with strangers.
Parental controls let you to set up user profiles where your kids can only access certain features or allow you to monitor what they’re doing while using the game.
4. Parental controls may allow you to track your kids’ location
GPS apps can help your whole family track each other’s locations. These help indicate your kids are safe — and where they’re supposed to be — and help you find them in emergencies.
Typically, your phones will need to be turned on for the GPS tracking or location feature to work. However, it’s still a good idea to talk with your children about safety measures. Ask them to avoid tagging or posting their location on social networks — in case strangers can access the information — and help them set up privacy settings.
5. Parental controls help establish good cyber safety habits
Cybercrime is a multibillion-dollar industry, and cybercriminals often prey on people’s poor cyber habits.
A child’s brain is constantly developing and learning new things. In their quest to know more, they may inadvertently engage in risky online behavior, like disclosing too much information, such as their school name or date of birth. This could mean compromising their own safety, as well as the safety of others.
6. Parental controls can set screen time limits
Screen time can be addictive. It can mesmerize an adult into spending hours glued to a device while they are mentally detached from their physical surroundings. Compared to an adult, a child may have a tougher time breaking free from their favorite show or game.
Excessive screen time for kids can result in bad posture, poor eyesight, inadequate sleep, and lack of physical activity. Parents might consider trying to enforce a healthy lifestyle by limiting screen time for their children and themselves.
Parental control features can help set boundaries by setting time limits on the types of media children engage with and for how long. Designate media-free time and initiate activities like taking a walk, driving around, or playing a game.
7. Parental controls can help defend online reputation
Kids flood the internet with social media posts and pictures from weekends and vacations. Many of these innocent posts go unnoticed. But a Google search is often all it takes to make a quick assessment of a person based on what they’ve shared online.
Many colleges and companies perform searches on public social media pages to find information about potential candidates online. These organizations may decide whether to accept or hire a person partially based on what is found there.
Consider monitoring social media by checking the security and privacy settings on each of your child’s accounts. Most sites will allow you to control who sees your posts, and if not, they usually have the option for you to make an account private.
8. Parental controls can help back up data
Children sometimes use the internet to complete school projects and homework. It’s very important to back up their data in a safe and reliable place.
Teach children the importance of saving and storing data. Many free software programs are available online that offer storage services. But some of them could possibly be infected with malware and viruses.
Kids also have a collection of memories in the form of photos, texts, and emails that they want to save for the future. Backup is important. Phones fall in water, they break, they get lost or stolen, or they simply die a natural death. Make sure you protect their digital memories with a secure backup.
9. Parental controls can teach cyber etiquette
Proper decision-making is a cognitive skill that develops alongside positive parenting techniques. Help your child navigate the digital landscape with the same etiquette you would expect from them in the real world. Instill in them the value of good behavior, both offline and online.
Explain to young people the consequences of cyberbullying, owning and distributing pornographic material, and unethical hacking. Let them know that there are laws that protect victims of such crimes.
10. Parental controls should be customizable
Blocking content, tracking whereabouts and setting screen time limits can be great for the whole family. But not every family member needs this level of control, or at least not all of the time.
Many parental control functions allow you to set up different profiles so each family member can access online content that is a level appropriate to them.
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