Parental Control Apps
Every day it becomes more difficult to be disconnected from the Internet. Between free Wi-Fi hotspots, affordable family data plans, and fast home connections, it seems like you have to make a calculated effort to stay offline. This is a real challenge for parents because it also becomes more difficult every day to control and monitor what our children do on the Internet and social networks. But there are too many points to block. Let me explain.
The not-so-ancient advice was, make friends with your kids on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and know what they’re up to on Instagram. This may still work in some cases, but the reality is that we need a paradigm shift. We have to admit that we have no idea what they are doing or where they are doing it. The recent wave of suicides on Facebook shows us that monitoring our children’s activity on one or two social networks is not enough. We have to stop monitoring only the applications they are using and we have to monitor the device. What do I mean by that?
To definitely know what’s happening, you should consider monitoring:
- The web content your kids visit
- The programs your kids use
- How they’re being used
- Which social media or app they prefer
- The pics they share
- What kind of messages your kids receive or send
- Don’t forget to make sure you understand the language and short forms they use
- Where they go in real life
When monitoring the devices your kid is using, you have the possibility to check out what’s going in in their social life. You shouldn’t miss out a device, as they could use their pc for different apps than their phone, for instance. As a parent you should be able to check what’s happening in your baby’s life, if he or she gets the victim of a bully or if some stranger is chasing your kid online for dubious or criminal reasons. You should also know if your kids are interested in web sites which are rather or for sure not age-appropriate.
The thing is, when kids are in a certain age, they might want to hide certain things from you, but they don’t have the maturity yet to assess what they’re up against. So they can get in trouble with strangers or they might be suffering from certain social media activities, which wouldn’t be necessary but they just wouldn’t share their problems with you. This could be out of shame, out of loving secrets or because somebody told them not to tell their parents.. you never know.
So today it makes sense to provide an extra layer of protection to your kid, simply because of the complexity of the world we live in. It is not a shame to keep a watch on your kids out of love, in a certain period of time in their live. After all, as a parent, you’re the one who is responsible for your kid.
And of course you might not be going on monitoring your children’s online activities as soon as you see that they are adults and they have the maturity to protect themselves.
The most important point is preparation:
The devices you give to your kids should always be prepared beforehand. If you take a device that is already in use and then try to install your monitoring software you might get arguments with your kids that wouldn’t have been necessary..
So install your monitoring app in advance so he or she won’t be aware of it. So you set all the security measures such as blocking sites etc before your kid starts using the device. Then it won’t be a surprise if things suddenly disappear or can’t be accessed anymore.
Here is a tested selection of parental control applications you can use, try them to see which one works best for you:
Completely free, works on computer and mobile phones. It shows you the amount of time they are using the computer or mobile phone and the list of applications used. The phone also shows the most used contacts, calls, text messages and chats.
Free, with fairly advanced monitoring functions for computers and mobiles and includes a control portal, it can categorize and trap visited web pages and alert parents immediately and can even block sites that are used to surf anonymously online.
Also, consider using only specialized browsers for minors. K9 is a children’s browser that uses advanced filtering systems to block inappropriate sites and searches, and if children are young, they can use an internet browser like Kidrex that already has the appropriate filters set up.
Do you monitor your children on the internet? What applications have you used to monitor your children?