In the modern age, the Internet has become a gateway for many things. Although it is home to lots of informational and useful stuff, it also certainly has its dark corners.
Letting children, either small or teenagers, use the Internet unsupervised is probably not a good idea no matter how much faith you have in your child’s sense of responsibility and caution. Why? Because these days, malware and cyber attackers have evolved to such an extent that it is difficult even for an adult not to fall into a trap.
There are probably many dangers on the Internet you are not even aware of, or would not possibly imagine they exist. This is where internet parental controls come in. They have built-in mechanisms specifically designed to keep your child safe, and are very flexible, so you can adjust them as you see fit.
While the Internet can be a great way for your child to learn new things or make friends, it leaves them exposed to all kinds of cyber crime, not to mention content you might not feel is appropriate for them.
Even the most clever kids can be tricked into giving away your address, phone number, or credit card information – things that definitely shouldn’t be shared with strangers on the Internet and can leave your child and your entire household vulnerable. There is also the bigger issue of children being taken advantage of by adults, and many cases have been recorded all around the world of children ending up being molested, kidnapped, or any other number of gruesome things.
Also, there is most likely some content you would not want your child being exposed to, either depending on their age, character, or your personal judgement. We’d say this is completely justified, at least to some extent, as being exposed to certain things at a wrong time or in the wrong way can lead to psychological problems or even trauma. In any case, the amount of danger your child is exposed while using the Internet can hardly even be measured. This is why parents are advised to use lots of caution.
Ease Of Use
First of all, Windows has built-in parental controls which are very effective, easy to set up and work with. Some Internet browsers also have parental control options, while with others you can use add ons for the same purpose. Other than that, there is endless parental control software you can find on the Internet, and many of them are even free.
All you need to do is take a look at each of them and pick one that suits you best. What’s best, almost all of them are easy to set up and work with, and very straightforward and user-friendly, so even if you are not a very computer savvy person yourself, setting one of these programs up shouldn’t be a problem for you.
A great benefit of this type of software is that most products offer personal information control. This means that you can, for example, block your child from entering your home address, email or phone number anywhere on the Internet. This is indeed very handy, especially with small children which might easily be taken advantage of.
One of the most common concerns regarding internet parental control programs is that people think that by installing one on a PC, they will be as limited themselves as much as the child. In most cases, this is not true. In fact, most programs prompt you to enter a password to override access to any of the content blocked for your child.
A real problem that arises sometimes, especially with teenagers, is that they know their way around computers. One way or another, they might figure out how to bypass the parental control. Remember, setting up parental control and then giving your child the password for any reason whatsoever defeats the whole purpose of the protection software. If there is a site that was accidentally blocked and your child needs to access it, for school for example, make sure you’re there to enter the password yourself. As inconvenient as this might be, it is a necessary precaution. Remember also to regularly check your computer to see if the program is set to work properly, and change passwords on occasion.
On the other hand, there are some slightly tricky bits when it comes to how much privacy you want to allow your child. For example, there are programs called keyword trackers. These can be used to monitor everything your child types on the computer. While this can be a great tool to avoid internet predators or sex offenders, you might partially call it invasion of privacy. It’s all up to your judgement and what you want for your child.
Whether you think it bothersome or not to set up and manage an internet parental control program, it has unfortunately become necessary if you want your child to be able to use the Internet safely. Think about it. Malware infections and fraud happens to adult users all the time and it is so much easier for such things to happen to a child. So, be prepared, and be safe.