Choosing a gadget for a child? What to pay attention to?
As a rule, price guides the parents: expensive is reliable, many believe. For the child, it is not just a means of communication. It opens up access to the global network with its huge possibilities.
Teachers and specialists, knowing the psychology of children and the specifics of the Internet, immediately warn moms and dads about the dangerous impact of the WAN on the child. Therefore, adults have the task to protect their children from serious problems.
Children quickly learn from each other tips for downloading games and entertainment programs to their phones or computers. In order to avoid such phenomena, it is necessary to have a program “Parental Control”.
You can read more about Parental Control apps on Apppearl.
Such utilities, depending on the installed functionality, are able to impose restrictions on the content on the Web.
To download certain pages, control and block downloaded applications. These programs also determine the location of the child and control communication in social networks and through SMS messages and messengers.
Requirements for parental control programs
Research has been conducted to identify the most effective services and applications for parents to monitor their children’s online activities.
First of all, the following parameters and options were evaluated:
- filtering of websites based on the principles “allowed” or “prohibited everything but”
- prohibition to install or uninstall applications on their own
- setting limits on mobile data usage
- monitoring the location of the child
- monitoring children’s calls and SMS messages
- setting a password for parental control settings
The sources of individual parental control programs are almost all manufacturers, including anti-virus developers. Moreover, you can use these programs individually or as a package.
Best universal parental control programs
Norton Family Premier
This is a versatile and functional control. Experts confidently call this application the most complete in terms of functionality to date.
Among the features of Norton Family Premier:
Web Content Filtering: Your child is free to use the Internet and there is no risk of downloading inappropriate or potentially dangerous content.
As part of this feature, parents can receive reports containing an overview of the sites visited by their children, as well as a list of downloads and frequently used applications.
Limiting the time spent by the child on the Internet: Manual time management of Internet usage will allow preventing uncontrolled time spent on the network. Parents set the duration manually.
You can set just a day limit or program a schedule, i.e. access to the Internet at certain hours.
It is possible to track the activity of children online.
Tracking children’s behavior online: The reporting and information system allows a parent to discuss with the child what he or she is interested in online, and to talk about the dangers of the Internet.
The program allows you to track the history of video clips you have watched, sent, and received SMS messages.
Monitoring the child’s location: Built-in GPS allows you not to lose sight of your child. The application is designed for iOS and Android smartphones and can also be used on a PC.
- wide range of security features
- connection of various control functions and additional applications is made separately after subscription. This allows you to connect only the necessary functionality
- there is a free trial version of the program for a month
- tracking of videos is done only on YouTube.com, a similar video posted on another blog or site will not be monitored
- there are certain system requirements, not only for the OS version but also for hardware
Qustodio Parental Control Program
This program is free and works as an Internet filter. It is convenient that the control panel of the program is on the Internet.
This means that by installing the program on any PC, the manufacturer does not limit the number of them, can be controlled or can be used with a single common panel.
Monitoring: The panel receives a summary of activity for the selected device, which will reflect the information about:
- last access to the Network
- the length of time you stay online during the day
- analysis of stay (duration and traffic) in the network for two weeks
- monitoring of activity on sites, search engines, social networks, etc
- the list of devices from which the network was logged in
Lock and Restrictions: In addition to the passive monitoring described above, it is possible to block certain websites. For instance, parents can select sites based on their category, i.e. restrict page views, such as pornographic content.
It is possible to block sites by which it is impossible to accurately determine the content, i.e. pages without categories. It is possible to completely exclude the selected site. Here you will need to choose not the category, but the full name of the forbidden page.
The Safe Search feature will immediately exclude inappropriate sites from the search results.
Time control: You can apply a simple time limit for staying on the network per day, or set a schedule. The functionality may differ depending on which device and operating system the app is installed on.
On Android smartphones, the child will have additional functionality – Panic Button Alerts, a kind of SOS button that will signal danger to the parent’s smartphone. The free download makes this service popular.
- wide functionality
- available for all OS
- the ability to monitor multiple devices
- availability of additional services (SOS button)
- there is paid content
Minor users of the global network spend most of their time communicating on forums, and chats, looking for all kinds of information. Often, parents do not delve into the interests of the child, what he finds online, or who becomes his interlocutor, friend, or ill-wisher.
Therefore, Internet psychologists and program developers advise spending more time with children, communicating with them, and learning about their interests. And then you do not have to resort to extreme measures and install special programs.
All these programs have a decent customer experience.