Digital world is going to stay and we are in no position to ignore this fact anymore. As parents we should not also deprive our children from the ocean of learning opportunities the online world offers. While encouraging them to explore we must also protect them from inadvertently stumbling across harmful unwanted things on the web that can affect their mental development. Parental control tools can help you, to do that. You can block adult content, limit online time, restrict time of the day they are online and more. There are host of paid security tools available in the market that claim accomplish these objectives, however this article explores simple options available to each of us which can achieve a great deal without buying and configuring expensive tool. Let’s look at some of these briefly.
If your child uses a shared device or has one of his own, it is always advisable to have separate user profiles created for children and they never be allowed administrator permissions. All common operating systems have some level of parental controls built into them which can be applied to profiles. Some common once are:
Windows 10 parental controls:
The most common operating system used in almost all personal computers and laptops. Windows 10 allows the administrator (in this case parent) to set up separate profiles for children and then apply appropriate controls. Windows 10 can help you
1. Restrict internet browsing in Internet Explorer and Edge to age-appropriate sites.
2. Block mature content from search results.
3. Set age restrictions on apps, games, and media acquired through the Windows and Xbox stores.
4. Manage screen time, either via a schedule or a maximum number of hours.
5. Receive reports on web browsing and application usage
Watch this video to to understand how you may quickly set up controls in your Windows 10 Systems
Apple iOS parental controls:
iOS which is the operating system for ipads and iphones had a very robust system to set restrictions for children. You can set parental controls that let you turn off apps, stop children from downloading and buying new apps or in-app purchases and there is even a way to hide apps. iOS also includes a built-in website filter to keep adult content off the iPad without the need to buy special software.
Learn how to configure your iPhones and ipads for parental controls
Google Android Parental Controls:
A large majority of smartphones and some tablets use Google’s Android operating system, which also has several settings to restrict actions and apps. Android lets parents create restricted profiles for kids and control their access to age-appropriate apps.
Google Safe Search:
Another very important and potent tool to restrict explicit material from children is by configuring Google safe search. Since most web browsing usually commences from a search of appropriate content, activating safe search would let Google filter out the content of explicit nature from any search query.
YouTube video below helps you configure Google Safe Search
Kiddle is a visual search engine for kids powered by Google, offering safe kids web, image, and video search. Since search content in Kiddle is handpicked by a panel of editors Kiddle ensures a near safe search experience for kids.
YouTube Parental Controls:
Youtube is perhaps the most common user search platform after Google and lots of children access YouTube daily to view videos for entertainment and education. YouTube, like Google, has restricted mode setting that filters out objectionable and age-inappropriate material.
Find below video tutorial on how to configure YouTube Restricted Mode
However always remember that neither of these parental control tools are not 100% accurate. These restrictions can even create trust issues between parents and children. Teens are more likely to react adversely to such restrictions. Along with setting up restrictions, parents should get into supervising whenever possible. Having open conversations about the online dangers will help children to manage these risks to a large extent.