Even if you've talked to your kids about screen time limitations and proper online conduct, it might not be easy to control what they do while you're not around. Parental controls can help you make your children's internet experiences safe, enjoyable, and productive. They function best when used openly and honestly in collaboration with your children rather than as a covert surveillance technique.
The type of parental control that is ideal for your family largely depends on your requirements. Some families might get away with simple, free browser settings to screen improper information. Some families require assistance in limiting their screen time. Some parents are fine with spot inspections on their children's electronic gadgets and consider teen phone monitoring. Having free parental control software for iPhone can be quite useful
Here's what parents need to know about parental control apps
1. There are various control websites such as blocking and filtering websites
For block websites, they help you limit what kids can search for on the internet using the safe google search. You must first ensure that Google is set as your preferred search engine in your browsers and enable SafeSearch. This is a wise precaution to take as soon as your children begin using the internet, and you want to make sure they don't come across anything harmful. Additionally, you may use the parental controls built into your device's operating system to block access to particular websites and restrict your child's exposure to improper content like adult games or porn.
2. With control apps, you may track and monitor various activities
Using control apps will open you to various opportunities to track and monitor kids' activities. For instance, you may impose time limits, see what your kids are doing on their phones, track location and manage all devices on the network, limit screen time, filter content, turn off Wi-Fi. Some of these control apps include; OpenDNS, Circle Home plus, and much more.
3. Parents may set parental controls in specific apps, such as Snapchat and TikTok
Most social media programs allow you to disable elements that may represent a risk to children, in addition to barring particular persons. You might be able to disable chat, limit conversations to friends only, and conceal your child's profile from search results, for example. Some apps take things a step further by allowing users to manage their use. For example, Instagram's Your Activity feature displays how much time you've spent on the app and allows you to set time limits. A function that advises viewers to take a break is available on YouTube. Using TikTok's Family Pairing tool, parents can set limitations and monitor their children's TikTok accounts remotely from their phones.
4. Kids may undo parental controls
Children can undo parental restrictions. Directions for navigating them are readily available on the internet. Depending on your program, you may or may not receive a message that your parental control has been violated. Suppose you see a sharp decline in parental control notifications, Wi-Fi or data activity after you've shut off the network, or anything that suggests the parent involvement isn't working as it should. In that case, your child may have worked out a method to get past it.
5. It's good to discuss parental controls before using them on kids
Discussing with kids on the ned to use these control apps is necessary. Going behind your children's backs is not something Common Sense Media recommends. Parental control firms that promote open communication will most likely be more beneficial regardless because you'll need to talk about what you uncover at some time. And it's a lot simpler to do if your child is already aware that you're watching them. If you opt to use parental controls, explain why you're doing so (to keep your children safe) and how your ultimate objective is for them to learn how to behave properly online and manage their usage.
In conclusion, Parental controls are helpful to ensure we keep our kids away from the hazards of the internet. However, before having parental controls on your kids' phones, ensure that you have a conversation with your kids and enlighten them on the need and benefits of having parental controls.