Parental Control Software: Do You Need It?

Parental Control Software: Do You Need It?

It is not easy being a parent. Aside from worrying about your personal mistakes and discussing with your partner how do you want the child to be raised, there is also the threat from the outside. The parental control software can help here, but it is not a be-all solution for every danger.

Depending on the type of software, you may restrict what your child can and can’t see or tailor the media they are receiving to match your parenting style. Regretfully, you will also need to survey their communication and protect them from malicious people on the outside.

Generally, there are 3 types of parental control software:

  1. Restriction software
  2. Surveillance software
  3. Tracking software

And the last category is not just for seeing where your child is and has been, but also to see which pages it is visiting online. In the current climate, this is exceptionally important for any parent whose kid is online often.

Furthermore, you must ensure that there is no one engaging with your kids from the outside. If you are not using a premium VPN service like Le VPN, there is a chance that someone would track your IP address and get in contact with your kid.

Finally, as there is no such thing as safe social media apps, and there is no hiding from these apps, even the best parental control apps will need to work with education and communication. There’s no way for your child to learn if you don’t tell them yourself.

Types of Parental Control Software

Parental Control Software: Do You Need It? | Le VPN

The most common type of parental control software is that made for restricting access to websites, pages, apps, or channels. In most cases, such controls would be integrated with a media service and give a set of tools for parents.

These kinds of tools are far from perfect, and they will only work while your kid is quite young. But, you should still invest some time into arranging what you want to shield your kid from. This will be perfect for the ages from around four to about ten when they are active but not proficient.

Further, there is surveillance software that is used to either access your kid’s camera remotely or to see exactly what they see when they are online. And, this isn’t as useful as it sounds.

Primarily, such apps are usually in real-time, and unless you know exactly when to look, you will rarely find anything. Not to mention that, when it comes to chatting with friends, especially for older kids, it is a severe breach of privacy.

Finally, tracking software is almost mandatory for parents who have school children. It will allow you to see where your child, or at least their phone, is. Also, it can let you see who they are communicating with and when even if you can’t see the messages themselves.

Working in Tandem with Education

There is no way to substitute education and parenting with software. The lack of the former will not only diminish the effects of any tools you use but can even make them counterproductive in some situations.

Especially in 2021, when your kids have more screen time than most adults had a decade ago, it is nigh impossible to shield your kids from everything. It is much better to explain in advance what they will find than to react to things they already see.

Thankfully, the worst things that can happen can be prevented if you were to have good software and buy VPN that has a premium service. That way, you can prevent targeted malicious communication from strangers online.

But, even with the best software, there are pages on social media and even on YouTube Kids that you just don’t want your child to see that will just be out there. Here is where the human touch must prevail.

The best course of action is not to forbid your child from anything, as they are not to blame. Rather, you will need to explain such online behavior as ridiculous, stupid, and something people laugh at, as that is the best way to deter a socially-minded child from repeating it.

Gauge Your Child’s Sensibilities

There are four factors that we need to weigh in when judging what is appropriate for our child and what is not.

  1. Our parenting goals
  2. Age of the child
  3. Child’s maturity
  4. What their friends know

Depending on these factors, we might want to inform them about something sooner rather than later. If your kid’s friends know about some adult topics or think they know about them, your child might get bad info without you even knowing.

As these subjects can usually be categorized with ‘’violence, sex, and drugs’’, we have a rule of thumb when it comes to age. For most kids, the basics of violence should be explained at the age of 6, especially for boys. Sex comes around 10 and drugs around 12.

You might want to push these points for a bit if you are certain that they won’t learn about it elsewhere, but at most for a year or two.

Conclusion

Even the best parental control software apps line NetNanny or KidLogger can only work for some time. By the age of 13 and 14, when your kids have the capability to open most social media in their name legally, they should already be aware of both cybersecurity and physical security.

And even with the best VPN online solutions, you can’t prevent your kids from starting communication with strangers. But they should know how to use premium providers like Le VPN to browse safely even without supervision.

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Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

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