Electronic device connectivity it is always a matter of debate. Like many other issues, it has advantages and disadvantages at the same time. In turn, children begin to use technology earlier and earlier. As we said, this facilitates many tasks and serves as entertainment, but at the same time represents a risk for our children.
One of the solutions proposed is parental control systems. With them we avoid depriving minors of computers, tablets and phones. And at the same time maintain some control over its use.
In this post we will break down this tool, and thus be able to decide what is the best option to take care of our children from the risks coming from the Internet.
What is a parental control and what is it used for in computing today?
Can be interpreted as attention What parents put about their children’s activities. Some time ago or in your own childhood, this referred to the permits and vigilance exercised by our tutors in daily activities. However, nowadays, it is more common for this phrase to be associated with software.
These programs allow the restriction of content and applications by the elderly on their children’s devices. In this way it filters the sites that we do not want children to access (pornography, violent websites, etc.). Similarly, some companies use this tool to prevent employees from spending leisure time on the computer during working hours.
This type of software allows among other things, in addition, avoid the risk that they send or receive messages from strangers and people who may damage them. This problem is defined as grooming, cyber bullying I sexting.
Control and limit the time they spend in front of the screen. Among the possibilities there is the one to cut access times and establish a maximum in use. Some programs they also offer the option of a history of visited sites and applications. This is available to parents.
Types of parental controls What are all there?
From the Internet provider to the screen in front of the children, the information passes through different types of devices and software. With this in mind, we will classify the applications depending on where you are staying:
- At home entry. We refer to router. It is the first device we have control of. Some models such as Belkin and Linksys incorporate the ability to block sites. Also, most CP software allows you to add filters to the router. It is important to say that these addresses will not be available to any device connected to this network.
- On the device. It is the usual place where these surveillance helpers are installed. Within this category we can find free and paid programs for different operating systems. They are the most versatile and the ones that offer the greatest configuration options.
- On mobile. Children want a phone earlier and earlier. As we said before, it can be a great help to be connected with them when they are not around us. Not to mention teenagers. However, it is important that there are limits to its use. Therefore, there are applications that will help us to do so. They perform the same functions as computer software and are just as powerful. With the addition of being able to control calls and messages.
- The software within the software. We talk about specific options within some programs, mainly antivirus. Many of these incorporate (some in paid versions) a real-time control service of social networks, navigation and time of use.
- In the browser. As the internet is the main source of dangers and inappropriate content, the browser is the main defense barrier. Many of them contain settings that allow you to block sites and keywords. Besides this, there are plug-ins that help link these filters to other parental control programs.
List of the best desktop and mobile parental control programs and apps
Now that we know What are the types of parental control systems that exist? It is necessary to know which are the most efficient:
One of the most popular softwares. It has a free version and a paid version. Among other functions, it offers to see in real time what children are doing on their mobile. Further, provides the location of the device at any time.
Protects from sites not suitable for smartphones. Also can limit your usage time by the children. The application sends reports of the search and browsing history of all linked devices.
This software is highly recommended as it is compatible for many operating systems. iOS, Windows and Android. Like the previous options, it offers a more complete version by paying for the premium upgrade. A particular feature is that it has an option for educational institutions. Which allows control multiple PCs simultaneously.
Designed for phones and tablets. It has location via GPS, website filter, unknown call blocking and access control to pages defined by the person in charge.
Microsoft Family Group
A completely free option offered by Microsoft to Windows users. To access this service you must access account.microsoft.com/family/ and create a family group.
This application configures the type of access to all linked devices. Among other options establishes permanence limits in front of the screen, it blocks inappropriate sites and it is possible to match a mobile with Android.
Tips to make technology safer for your young children
The well-being of children is truly every parent’s number one priority. Only in the 21st century this field has shifted to technology and communications. That is why we have developed a list of tips to keep your children away from technological dangers:
Block adult websites
It is the first action you must take. Use any of the alternatives that we present previously and use it on the devices that children use. When we refer to adult sites, we are not just talking about pornography. There are violence, gore, potentially dangerous chat channels, and others that you can accidentally enter.
Restrict the use of inappropriate apps
Along with Internet sites, applications are an open door to the outside world. This is why app stores offer age category labels. In the case of Europe, the acronym PEGI appears next to the minimum recommended age. Except for the label “PEGI OK” which means suitable for all audiences.
It is of great relevance that do not allow the installation of games and applications that are not labeled or that do not correspond to age. You can find the same in the description of each app.
Control consumption time
A large number of hours in front of the monitor can be harmful to the health of children and adults. In the case of minors, also will deprive you of other more enriching activities. The use of technology must be managed within a reasonable time limit, also bearing in mind that children are practically born with a phone in hand.
Monitor them while they use the devices
Who said that being in front of the screen should be an individual practice? Encourage your children to watch the content with you. Together you can share thoughts and experiences that refer to that moment. A good practice is play video games together, you can instill in him the right sports values. By doing this, the child will make him more involved in his activities.
Do not allow them to have a PC in their rooms
Unlike adolescents, younger children do not need such a marked personal space. Neither is a computer in the room, especially considering that it is a device connected to the electrical network.
Acquire specialized devices
In case you have decided to buy a device for him, there are tablets for the little ones on the market. They contain shock protectors and most importantly, parental control software.
Create zero technology spaces
One of them can be the dining room, where family gatherings are shared every day. Use it to start conversations and bond. These activities will foster bonds with and between your children.
A Smartphone is not a pacifier
Today’s phones are designed to be so intuitive that even the little ones can use it. For this reason, it is normal for children to want them all the time. Referring to the title, do not use mobile phones or tablets as the only means to calm your child. There are methods and activities that can help reduce anxiety or boredom.
Talk to them
The most important of the tips, talk with your children and explain the hidden dangers on the Internet, as well as the reasons why you should protect them and watch their actions. Let them know they can count with you if they have any questions or suspect an online activity.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉