Kids these days have never known a time when they couldn’t connect to the entire world via the internet. In fact, they probably spend more time online than anyone else.
Anything goes on the internet – so you need a way to protect your kids. There are explicit, disturbing, and illegal sites on the web that you simply don’t want your kids to encounter.
Some basic settings / steps to protect your kids:
Before we get into the full parental control software options, there are a number of free settings and controls you can use to protect your kids, no matter what type of device they use.
Let’s start with the easiest first, before getting into the more complex options:
- Set up and use Google’s “safe search” feature. This restricts what your kids can find when they search using google.com. Obviously it only protects them whilst using google, but is very quick and easy to configure. SafeSearch isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid explicit content. When SafeSearch is on, it helps block explicit images, videos, and websites from Google Search results. Here’s details on how to enable it.
- Set up and use YouTube’s “restricted mode“. This is another simple way to stop your kids from seeing inappropriate material when using Google’s Youtube. There also a youtube for kids app which only lets your kids view curated safe content.
Filter all devices on your home network:
- Another popular way to protect your kids is to use a DNS filter. This allows you to control what types of sites they can visit, and it also keeps a log of the sites they connect to. The best way is to sign up to OpenDNS (https://opendns.com) and configure it on your home router using their provided instructions.
Paid Parental Solutions:
With the ever-increasing number of devices that kids use to connect, it’s increasingly difficult to always supervise every moment they’re online. That’s where parental control solutions can help. This software gives you the ability to block unwanted web content, limit screen time, restrict the use of risky applications, and much more.
Long gone are the days when a single parental control utility on the family PC was sufficient for keeping your kids safe and productive. Modern kids use a range of different internet-connected devices, and modern parental control systems must keep up. So before settling on a particular parental control solution, you need to make sure that it supports all the device types in your home.
I’d recommend using one of the leading parental control software products. Both Net Nanny or ourpact.com/ are great options and provide a number of additional features – such as time limits, social network monitoring and screen time scheduling.