Kids are using the Internet at younger ages than ever before. Fortunately, technology is helping you keep a careful eye on your kids online so they may safely enjoy all the benefits the Internet has to offer.
Many new tools and applications have been developed to help parents monitor their children’s online activities and help ensure their safety. Now it’s easier than ever for you to find the right tools to help promote their kids’ safe browsing habits.
What technology can do
Depending on your child’s age and Internet usage habits, you might have different monitoring needs. For example, you may want an in-depth view of what they are doing online. Or perhaps you might just want a way to limit the number of hours they are in front of the screen. Whatever your need may be, there are tools to help.
Here are some common capabilities and how you can use them.
Install time limits
Setting time limits for certain websites and apps can allow you to have peace of mind without being involved in every aspect of your child’s online activities. In addition to safety benefits, limiting time on screens also leaves time for children to get outside or focus on schoolwork. Some software options that allow you to install these time limits are Mobicip, My Mobile Watchdog, Net Nanny, and PhoneSheriff.
Block or set warnings for categories of content and website
You may also want to set content, website, or app categories for broader restrictions. For many apps, parents can choose a category of sensitive content, such as violence or adult content, and block it. You can also easily set the software to send a warning when your child accesses content in predetermined categories. FamilyShield and Net Nanny offer you the ability to block or set warnings for certain categories.
View all web search history
You may want to monitor search history. A few tools give you the ability to receive alerts when your children visit specific sites. Software, such as TeenSafe and Kidlogger, provides reports on which websites, browsers, and apps were used and for how long.
Report or block new contacts
Many apps, such as My Mobile Watchdog and Net Nanny, allow parents a view into which contacts their children are adding. These apps allow you to set a geographic or age range suitable for your child’s contacts. You can set the app to alert them to any contacts created out of that range or to block those contacts altogether.
View online interactions
If you want a more holistic view into all of your child’s interactions online can install My Mobile Watchdog, Net Nanny, PhoneSheriff, TeenSafe, or Kidlogger. These apps allow you to see call logs, photos, videos, screenshots, and messages. Additionally, the TeenSafe app allows you to see messages that have been deleted.
Track the phone location
In addition to online safety, you can use mobile safety software to help keep your children safe in the real world. My Mobile Watchdog, PhoneSheriff, and TeenSafe can track the location of phones and alert parents when kids venture out of agreed-upon locations.
As technology evolves, it is becoming more customizable. There are now a variety of apps with different options and capabilities to help parents ensure their child’s safety online. So while there may always be some small risk in online activity, technology is helping make sure your children browse the Internet safely.