Modern kids are probably more online than you are and would never know the time when you couldn’t connect to the entire world using the internet. The only problem, with specific pages, is the unwanted, easily-available content that you would rather your kids don’t come across. Websites promoting violence, hatred or skewed notions of human sexuality have the potency to heavily impact a child’s young mind.
As a parent, no matter how involved you are with your children, you can’t supervise every moment that they spend surfing the Web on a computer and it gets even more complicated with a tablet or smartphone. That is where the parental software comes in, allowing parents the ability to filter out objectionable forums, limit screen time and, in some cases, monitor social media interactions.
The Basics Of Parental Control
The most basic parental control tools include the ability to block access to websites matching unwanted categories such as violence or porn. Since full coverage requires secure HTTPS traffic, this type of filtering can only work if it’s browser-independent. Without HTTPS filtering, your child can easily access the system using secure anonymizing proxy websites like Hide My Ass or MegaProxy.
Scheduling access is another common feature that lets parents set a weekly schedule for internet use. Some restrict the PC-habit in general while others offer both as choices. A daily or weekly cap on internet usage can also be effective.
The Best Software Of Today
Back in the days, parental software used to be something you could simply install on the family computer. In present times, however, things are a lot more convoluted with phones and tablets. Mentioned ahead is a clustered list of the best parental control software that will allow you to protect your kids as well as monitor their time online.
You don’t need a degree in network administration to know how Qustodio works. This fantastic blend of control and flexibility allows you to install it in one device and create one user profile which is a good way to experiment with the service.
Qustodio’s clean interface helps you understand everything easily and remotely control the web portal that displays the sites your child is visiting and the time they spend there.
Social monitoring is another special feature and, on Android, the application can monitor or block who your child can call. It also shows where those devices are on a map. If you think the system is useful, you can upgrade it to a yearlong premium package for just over £30, including five users and five devices. Apps are easily available for iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, macOS and Windows.
Family Shield is a free family service from OpenDNS. The software’s well-aware parental control tools automatically block domains that OpenDNS has flagged under the headings ‘sexuality, tasteless or pornography’. One of the biggest advantages here is that while Family Shield usually runs on PCs and mobile devices, you can also apply it to your network router to monitor the traffic that passes through it. It is only a matter of changing your DNS key in the desktop control panel.
DNS filters can benefit almost all devices on your network. By filtering everything at the router level, the system can significantly improve DNS lookup speeds on some ISPs.
3. Home Halo
Instead of getting you to install an app on each phone or tablet, this UK-based service gets you a second router to connect to your main home network; becoming a hardware-software stationed solution to parental control.
The system can do all the filtering and time limiting, once each child’s tablet gets connected to the Home Halo router’s Wi-Fi. After downloading the app on each gadget, you can then assign each connected phone to a particular child, setting up profiles distinctively. Younger kids won’t be able to access websites as much as the older lot. Since you have your personal devices connected directly to the main router, your internet access, therefore, will remain unrestricted.
The app also grants parents a ‘homework mode’ that prevents the children from accessing YouTube, Facebook and other entertainment platforms while working, and allow time extensions if the child needs extra hours to research for some assignment.
The free parental control software, Kidlogger, not only tracks what your children type and which websites they visit but it also keeps a close check on the programmes they use and screenshots they take, if any. If you’re one of the concerned lot, always worried who their kids might be conversing with online, there is also a voice-activated sound recorder for keeping a talk-memorandum.
Since it’s free, the software only covers a single device and lacks some of the better features of the premium versions such as the silent ability to listen to phone calls. Nevertheless, it is still a well-rounded tool if you’re genuinely worried for your child’s safety on the internet.
While filtering unpleasant, adult content is obviously a good thing, there is plenty of stuff on the internet that can scare children who are much younger. Zoodles aims to combine filtered browsing and a dedicated web browser to create a walled garden similar to many crafty magnum opuses, making everything safe for kids with no risk of anything objectionable popping up.
In addition to Mac and Android, Zoodles is also available for iOS and Windows. Another brand new extension is also currently in the pipeline.
Getting Around Parental Control
There are few important things that you should know before you get a false sense of confidence about the very affordable, easy to use parental control software. Since many teenagers are computer smart, your child might know how to get around the control tools, even if they don’t know your password.
If you block a website, occasionally check it to make sure it is still blocked. As responsible and mature your child is, there are still some who are willing to go through great lengths to be able to socialize online with other networkers.
Keep A Note…
No matter how applicable and effective the software is, it cannot substitute for good, in-person communication with your child. Take time out to explain your concerns to your kids and if they are older, convince them that you’ll respect their privacy while monitoring their actions online. Otherwise, you can be sure they will find ways to breakthrough the most sophisticated of systems.