It seems that children are becoming smarter and more tech savvy than we realised. Parental Controls are more important now than ever.
With our children surfing the Internet for games, music, videos and more, should we be wary of what our children may stumble upon?
What we’re going to look at here are various parental controls for the Internet. There are plenty of solutions out there so we’ll be putting them to the test right here.
There are various toolbars out there that offer a great deal of help for little or no money. These toolbars are plugins for your Internet browser that enable you to lock down websites that display certain content such as sexual material or gambling. Parental Control Toolbars can also lock down specific websites if you know their address. Most of these toolbars are free but you get what you pay for so take a look at the paid options to see if they meet more of your requirements.
The only downside to this solution is that these are plugins that are installed into your internet browser. There’s not a great deal in place to stop your young ones from downloading an alternative internet browser and using that to surf the net. Of course you COULD stay one step ahead and download all of the well known browsers and install the toolbar on all of them. But who wants to do that? Next…
Windows Live Family Safety
This free programme allows you to control what websites, games, and software your children can use. Family Safety also enables you to allocate time periods when your children can use the computer.
All that’s needed to set up Family Safety is a Microsoft Account. If you have a Live or Hotmail account, your ID is the email address prior to @live.co.uk or @hotmail.co.uk.
Family Safety also includes remote management that you can use to amend what your child can and cannot do online, without having to use your child’s computer. You can also view session and internet usage directly from the Family Safety website.
This software guards your entire PC system and blocks unwanted content with ease and flexibility. Net Nanny comes with time management features and reporting functionality so you can check up on all activity.
If you have more than one PC that needs monitoring or if you have multiple user logins you’ll need extra licenses.
Whatever choice you make to keep your children safe online, no one will be able to offer any solid guarantees that what they provide will work. Your best bet is to keep an eye on what your children are browsing by checking their Internet history and telling them to tell you about anything they are concerned about.
As great as these all of these tools are, they’re never going to be as powerful as your own monitoring and management. The Internet isn’t necessarily a dangerous place, but giving impressionable young people free rein can be. Inform your children of the potential dangers of the Internet and put in place “rules of the road”, letting them know of any punishments of not keeping to these rules.
One of the biggest dangers posed to young people online is through social media. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are very difficult to police but can be made safe with regular monitoring.