Keeping an eye on your child’s browsing activity, as a parent, can be a tricky thing. You have to be vigilant enough to keep him or her out of the harm’s way without appearing too overbearing. The software listed below are very helpful in accomplishing that.
Typically, no matter what operating system you use, it comes with a basic set of parental controls that can be implemented. These controls are available as part of the OS as well as on specific browsers. If you’re a Windows user, for instance, you can go to Control Panel > Parental Controls and tweak the settings accordingly.
As a Mac OS X user, on the other hand, you can go to the main System Preferences > Parental Controls and set the limits on your kids’ activities on the very system.
However, the default parental controls offered by the operating systems are fairly rudimentary and quite limited. This is precisely why the five free parental control software listed below will got a long way in helping you keep an eye on your child’s online activity.
One of the first features you’ll notice about K9 Web Protection software is that it is really speedy and light. And while being so brisk, it comes with a whole plethora of really useful features and settings.
You can block domains and subdomains related to more than 60 unique categories as well as define the nature of the searches on the browsers installed on your machine. You can enable keyword blocking on the browsers and the best part is that the software logs all the online activity happening on you machine so that you can later review it and see if anything is amiss.
Windows Family Safety:
As the name suggests, this is an offering directly from Microsoft and builds on top of the default parental controls in Windows. You can access and install this software using your Windows Live ID. The parental control settings can be changed through the software’s web interface.
You can define the settings for web filtering, limiting access to certain apps and select one of the many filtering levels available in the software. ‘General Interest‘ filtering level comes with fairly relaxed filters while ‘Adults Only’ blocks all site except the ones specifically whitelisted. Using the software, you can even set a ‘curfew time’, a duration during which the children can’t access the machine at all.
This software is able to categorize pages in real-time along with a way of blocking the access of children to either the computer itself or from the browser at specified times. Qustodio has a web interface for managing the settings, although the design and outlook of this interface is better than most parental control software.
The settings of Qustodio are particularly useful in that you can leverage them to force ‘Safe Search’ option on all the popular search engines. The best thing about Qustodio is that it lets you manage up to eight individual accounts.
Avira Social Media Parental Control:
Social media may be a critical part of the online experience today but that makes it fairly essential for parents to keep an eye on the social media activity of third young kids. Avira has a name in the antivirus industry, knowing how to tackle different online and offline security threats.
Keeping up with that reputation, Avira social media parental control is able to monitor your child’s activities on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The software is extraordinarily detailed, allowing you to keep tabs on individual posts on the social media accounts of your child and notifying you as soon as any of these posts contain something inappropriate such as profanity.
One very useful feature of this software is that it keeps an eye on the new relationships your young one may forge online, notifying you if the kid adds a stranger or starts spending a lot online time with a specific individual. However, Avira’s parental controls come with a big check: you need your child’s clear consent before you can monitor all his activities.
Norton parental controls:
Norton, like Avira, is a very well-known digital security company. Norton’s parental control software is available in freemium and premium versions. The premium version, although it may appear a little overbearing, still packs some very impressive monitoring tools. You can, for instance, avail video monitoring of your child’s online activity and use the parental control to keep tabs not only on your child’s desktop activity but also his use of the smartphone.
The software is able to keep a good track of the social media activity of your child and instantly notifies you if he posts his personal information online. Like Avira’s solution, Norton‘s software allows for the creation of multiple accounts and pops up warnings if a child tries to access blocked content.