Parental control essentially refers to a raft of programs and resources used to secure devices used by children. Best parental control mechanisms have the common objective of ensuring children navigate the web safely. Parental Control for mobile, computer, router and browsers are integrated with the kid’s or guardian’s account. It can limit the activity of kids with gadgets and internet by setting screen time, website access, application usage and game contents according to their age and maturity level.
In this age of technology and cyber crimes, being negligent about your kids can push them into a bottomless pit. On the other hand, always hovering around your kids while they are using gadgets might place you in an awkward situation as the kids would start losing faith in you. In order to create a balance in your parenting, the Parental Controls are there with which you can safeguard your children from going off track.
What Are Some Of These Threats?
1. Online predator- This perhaps the gravest threat out there. Not only does it pose a physical and emotional threat to the child’s well-being but also has the potential to leave lifelong scars. It is undoubtedly the prerogative of any parent to secure their child. As such, parental control can be deployed to ensure children don’t navigate sites that could see them hooked to the wrong elements.
2. Cyber bullying- How many times have you heard teens bullied online to the point of depression or even suicide? Well, you can do a lot to try preventing your child becoming part of the statistics.
Mental health is an emerging concern especially in the developed world among young adults and teens. This is because the incessant trolling on some social media sites and the need to keep appearances can push one to the brink.
Interestingly, the easiest way to go about this is personally giving your child validation to help them stand to bullies. That said, parent control can be utilized too to regulate the platforms your child engages in and time spent there.
3. Cyber criminals- There are tons of criminals online who need just half a chance to swindle you. Children are perhaps most vulnerable because they are not experts in discerning the intentions of everyone online.
Importance of Parental Controls
Children are more tech-savvy than you were in their age and with the array of alluring features on internet and gadgets, Parental Control is important to keep them in the right track.
* You can learn why your kid is being distracted of lately, whether there is any abusive behavior faced by him/her online or whether they have seen something that has shaken them.
* Monitoring usage of internet can help you keep track of whom kids are interacting with and which sites they are navigating often.
* For every in-app purchase now the kids have to take your permission, thereby, accidental abuse of money is zeroed.
* Virus from harmful websites cannot affect your system with parental controls and it also deters kids from downloading software from untrustworthy sources.
* You can safeguard kids from watching vulgar or gore contents which their age does not permit them to see.
* With limited time provided for computer or internet usage, you can be assured that kids will not get addicted.
The Case for Parental Control
When anything bad happens to a child, the most likely first person to be blamed is the parent. Sometimes this is rightfully so, like the cases of kids locked up in cars on a hot day. However, a lot of times, it is in no uncertain terms the parent’s fault-here is why.
In most two parent, or even single parent homes nowadays, it is commonplace for both parents having full time jobs. This is purely economics because there has been wages stagnation in most of the developed world in recent decades. On the other hand, the cost of living is continually on the way up. As a result, having one parent to always monitor kids is a luxury many cannot afford.
Besides, technology is moving so fast. Nowadays, kids are getting exposed to the internet and it’s good or bad at very young ages. There is simply no way to shut your kid completely from the internet.
This is why parental control comes in handy. It makes it easier for a parent to effectively regulate their child’s online activities and exposure. These warning and prevention mechanisms are a lifeline to many parents who are caught in the trapping of the modern economy. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Let’s look at some of these mechanisms.
Phone and Tablet Parental Control
It may come as no surprise that tablets are increasingly prominent in children’s lives. This is because the offer a decent gaming experience and also portability. Phones are huge as well. Therefore, knowing that these are the primary devices kids use is a step in determining what to tap into.
There are parental control options like Google’s Family Link. This is a great tool as it gives your control over a kid’s Android operation. The measures include tracking screen time, daily limits, and device “bedtimes.” These can help you track a child’s activities from your own device.
Besides, device tracking of the device itself can be a helpful flag when checking for suspicious movement. This is because; if your kid is not in a neighborhood they are typically in they could very well be in trouble.
The downside is that this tool is not very effective for kids beyond thirteen. This is because teens are more sophisticated and will likely be incensed by too much monitoring. Therefore it is vital to deploy them early.
How Parental Controls Can Help In Good Parenting
Parenting is a challenge and Parental Controls help in giving a peace of mind while you go to sleep every night as you know that your kids are safe from the harmful claws of technology.
- Monitoring Internet Access Is Easier
With parental control system and software, you can easily monitor the installation of new games or software, the video games watched by them and their access to various websites. The kids are bound to use computer and internet according to your customization and for accessing anything beyond that boundary, they need your permission which you can grant by judging their age appropriateness.
- Categorically Access Restriction Is Possible
From mobile to PCs, laptops to internet usage, you are the one who selects the category for each section namely websites, music, video, movies, books, games, images and applications. According to their age, you can select the films which are categorized under early-childhood, teen etc with ratings like G, PG, PG-13 etc. You would also be able to filter out violence, addiction, sexuality and other obscene contents from image results, videos, movie and games with browser parental controls.
- Inappropriate Websites Can Be Blocked
Internet is full of spam and malicious websites which can affect your system with virus. Moreover, such websites can often hack your IP address and personal data. The pornographic websites create spam notifications on various websites which are not suitable for the kids. Parental Control on search engines can keep those websites into blacklist. It also ensures that the kids cannot access such websites out of curiosity.
- App Usage Can Be Controlled
Your kids may not be mature enough to use social networking sites but would always feel attracted to having a look of it. Parental Control passwords on certain apps can stop them from logging into your account and post something that can affect your reputation. Besides, there are other instant messaging apps and monetary transaction app and of course play store apps which should be off your kids’ limits –parental control ensures that.
Addiction to internet, games or movies are quite common these days, so is being inattentive in studies or feeling lack of interest for real-time interaction and physical activities. By limiting screen time, you can allow usage of gadgets and internet during those times when you wish them to. In this way, their studies or real-world activities are not hampered and they can also get their suitable slice of using those technological mediums.
- You Can Track Activity Log
Checking browser history time to time after the kids usage of mobile or computer helps you in learning what your kids are up to, whether they are victim of any cyber bullying or are entrapped in the snare of any cyber predator. You will also have an idea of the sites they have been accessing and if you find anything wrong, you can confront them before it is too late. Even if your kids delete the browsing history, you can still have access to them with router configuration and some parental control software.
- Search monitoring and control
There is a common refrain that sometimes an innocent search can lead to not so innocent results. Deploy services like Google Safe -search to prevent inappropriate or adult content.
This list is not exclusive but is just to give you a gist of what parental control is. Ultimately, the best form of parental control is instilling the values you desire in your child. No matter how rigorous the measures one utilizes are, there is only so much a parent can do against a determined child. Therefore, these steps are to be conducted hand in hand with effective guidance for a wholesome internet experience.
Kids don’t like the idea to be controlled and think of the parents or guardians as control-freaks. Instead of showering too much love, why not secure their present and future with parental controls?