Online Parental Controls

online parental controls

What’s new during COVID-19?

Screen time limits and responsible online behavior are top priorities for most parents managing distance learning today. The Internet is filled with a lot of dark and murky corners, and with kids having more access to the internet, parental controls are more important than ever. Even sites built as safe havens for young children can easily be corrupted by anyone with an Internet connection and evil intentions.

What Can You Control Online?

Behavioral control consists of limiting the amount of time a child spends online, or how much the child can view. In other cases, we’re talking about parents wanting to influence their children’s behavior online.

Several techniques exist for creating parental controls for blocking websites, for example. Add-on parental control software may monitor API in order to observe applications such as a web browser or Internet chats. They intervene according to certain criteria, such as a match in a database of banned words. Virtually all parental control software includes a password or other form of authentication to prevent unauthorized users from disabling it.

Keep your kids’ internet experiences safe, fun and productive by following these types of parental controls.  We’re not talking spying, we’re talking about an open discussion in partnership with your child. We recommend this be discussed regularly.

What are the levels of control?

  • Filter inappropriate content with simple, free browser settings
  • Spot check kids’ devices periodically
  • Clamp down on screen time and inappropriate sites

Have you enabled Google SafeSearch?

This is something you can easily do. Just make sure the device browser uses Google as the default search engine and turn on SafeSearch. Let Google help avoid accidentally landing on a bad site. Furthermore, every major operating system has settings that can help keep kids from accessing bad sites. Microsoft, for example, opens in a new window has settings that allow parents to set screen time limits, filter content, see online activity reports and find family members.

3rd Party Controls – Blockers, filters, time limits, activity on all devices

Services such as opens in a new windowNetNanny are providing parents with visibility into how their kids use their devices. Likewise, apps such as KidBridge or opens in a new windowWebWatcher monitor text messages, social networks, emails and other mobile functions. Bark, for example, notifies parents when it detects alert words such as “drugs.”

There are both hardware and software products to control home network safety and WiFi use as well. Circle Home Plus is a device and subscription that connects to your router and allows you to pause internet access, create time limits and add content filters to all devices on the network, including Wi-Fi devices.

With a proper device, parents, can restrict access to specific sites and apps, filter dangerous or explicit web-content, manage time, and even track their kid’s location. Most of these apps and devices can be set up with minimal time or call ClickAway to set them up for you.