The Dangers of the Internet for Children
The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, providing vast amounts of information and entertainment at our fingertips. However, with the vast opportunities that the web offers come inherent dangers, especially for children. These dangers include exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, predators, and identity theft, making online safety a top priority for parents. Effective parental control tools can help protect your children from these dangers, and in this article, we delve into everything you need to know about these valuable technologies.
Types of Dangers Children Face Online
Before we dive into parental control tools, it’s vital to understand the types of online dangers your children face.
Inappropriate Content: The internet is full of adult material, violence, and other inappropriate content that can harm your children. This material can be accessed through websites, downloads, and social media platforms.
Cyberbullying: Children can be victims of online harassment, where bullies use technology to damage a child’s reputation or relationships by spreading rumors or sending cruel messages.
Predators: Online predators try to lure children into sexual conversations or meetings, and may even try to gain access to their personal information.
Identity Theft: Identity theft is a growing concern for parents, as children’s information is valuable to hackers that use it to take out loans or open up credit cards in their name.
How Parental Control Tools Work
Parental control tools are software that can be downloaded onto the computer, laptop or mobile device. These tools aim to protect children from online dangers by controlling what they can access or see while online.
These tools generally work in two primary ways:
Access Control: This method blocks inappropriate content or suspicious websites entirely, limiting the child’s access to specific websites or online content.
Monitoring: This method allows parents to view their child’s online activity, including the websites they visit, apps they use, or social media activity.
Top Parental Control Tools
Now that we understand the danger children can face online and how parental control tools function let’s dive into the top parental control tools and their features:
Norton Family Premier: The Norton Family Premier is a complete solution to parental control that offers many features to keep children safe. Norton allows parents to block specific websites, categories, and apps as well as set usage limits. It also provides detailed reports of a child’s online activity, including search terms and visited websites. Additionally, Norton offers geo-fencing, which alerts parents when their child leaves the designated safe zones such as school or a playground.
Kaspersky Safe Kids: Kaspersky Safe Kids offers one of the most comprehensive platforms for parental control. This software allows parents to set up different profiles for each child, control access to specific apps, websites and games, and monitor text messages and calls. Additionally, Kaspersky Safe Kids provides extensive supervision over social media, including the ability to monitor conversations and posts, and use GPS tracking to locate children.
Qustodio: Qustodio is a powerful and effective parental control tool that offers advanced web and app filtering, time control, and location tracking. Parents can view their child’s online activity through Qustodio’s reporting feature, including search terms used, videos watched, and the websites they visited. Additionally, Qustodio enables parents to set up panic buttons, which sends an alert to the parent’s phone if the child feels unsafe while online.
FamilyTime: FamilyTime provides a wide range of parental controls, including app management, web filtering, and time management. Additionally, it allows parents to monitor text messages and calls, view social media activity, and track the child’s location. FamilyTime has a unique “Fun Timer” feature, which allows the child to use their device for a predetermined time, after which access to the device is restricted.
Best Practices for Parental Control Tools
Parental control tools are only effective if proper steps are taken to use them safely and effectively. Here are some tips to ensure that your parental control tools are working optimally:
Configure your parental controls: Configure your parental control software to meet your specific needs, such as monitoring your child’s online activity or blocking access to specific content.
Discuss the rules with your child: Talk to your children about the rules and expectations you have for their online behavior.
Set the time limits: Limit the amount of time your children spend on their devices, and make sure they have time for other activities.
Keep up with technology: Keep yourself up-to-date on the latest trends in technology and adjust your parental control tools accordingly.
Parental control tools provide a way to protect your children from the dangers of the internet, but they should be used in combination with open communication and education about online safety. By taking appropriate measures to ensure your child’s safety online, parents can ensure that their children can enjoy the many benefits of the internet without the risks associated with it. Protecting your child’s safety is crucial, so invest in a high-quality parental control tool and stay informed about your child’s online activity.