What is the Best Parental Control Software in the market?
The internet is one of the best things that ever happened to mankind, after the lollipop of course. For some people, this is a necessary tool that helps them do their work, for some, it provides entertainment and so on and on, each person and the way they use it. Unfortunately, with all the good comes also bad, and without proper supervision and control, the internet can be a dangerous place especially to children that have grown into an internet dominated world.
As a parent you might prohibit your children from using the internet but how practical is that? If they have mobile phones, they are probably internet enabled which means they can use the internet whenever you are not around, in addition sometimes it is needed for class assignment which requires online research? Like with many other issues, prohibition creates the contrary effect and makes children hide their usage.
We are here to suggest another approach which did work for my kids. The use of Parental control software.
As a parent, you must know when your children are prone to cyber identity theft, target of cyberbullying, exposure to adult content, and engaged in improper communication. There are many apps and software out there but before we can make a decision on which software options provide the best protection against such risks, here are some of the key features of parental control software parents should look into when choosing one for their own usage.
Remote reporting allows parents to see the activities on their children’s devices even when they are not in the house. A case scenario would be when you just stepped out of the house and your kid tries to log into a prohibited site. A common report that might come is when your child needs to use the internet beyond set timeframes and you need to approve. Some apps that are capable of this level of control are Qustodio, Net Nanny and Norton.
This is a great feature that allows parents to set the time limits during the day on when their children are allowed to be online. It is especially useful for parents who work long hours, have problems with kids that do not go to bed or cannot stop playing in the morning before school. Time management enables parents to allow their child privacy but controls the amount of time they spend on the internet.
Blocking & Filtering
Most people expect that all parental control software will have filtering and blocking capabilities. After all, the reason anyone would want to use software as part of effective parenting is to enforce control over the content their kids watch on the internet. Most software and especially the new releases will filter content based on topics you have selected. While the focus a while back was on preventing kids from watching online pornography, current topics include violence and hatred. You can always check the browser history to know what your children have been up to but trust me that kids now days are very smart and know how to clean their traces (incognito for example) and of course can use apps that are not tracked in the browser. Social media and text messages
While monitoring internet usage and blocking some sites is a good place to start, most children are spending the major bulk of their time on social media chatting with strangers, many stories have described a situation that kids have been chatting with adults disguised as young kids. Even if you see that they logged in to a social media account, you have no way of telling what they were doing just by using logs. Some parental control software allows parents to see who their child is speaking to online, what they are saying and the language they use.
Some parental control software has a free to download version but you will need to upgrade for advanced features or additional devices. You may use the free version for a start, but it is probably worth the little extra for the added features and your piece of mind. Better still consider using software that can be used on multiple devices simultaneously. On an average, prepare to spend between $10 and $30 for a single license. Options like Kaspersky Safe Kids and Norton Family do not have price restrictions on number of devices.
The best parental control software options:
Based on the features covered, the following score highly as the best parental control software in the market. They will help keep the internet safe for kids and parents less worried about the number of risks their children are exposed to.
- Norton Family
- Kaspersky Safe Kids
- McAfee Safe Family
- Net Nanny
We do recommend talking with your kids about the dangers and why control is needed. The Parental control software will not do everything and cannot be a substitute for direct parental influence. However, when your kids are a little bit older and crave for more independence and privacy, you as a parent will have better sleep at night knowing that all their activities on the internet are accessible. This control is the best tool for safety and guidance.