Parental control apps work by automatically restricting, filtering, and monitoring activity on a child’s device. This can mean blocking access to inappropriate websites or preventing the use of specific apps. Obviously, these are just the basic functions and the full capabilities of parental control software go far beyond that – for example the ability to monitor private messages, social media activity, or even reporting on a device’s GPS location.
What parental control apps allow you to do is to customize permission settings so you can shape your children’s internet experience in whichever way you see fit, whether that means giving them more protection and security or gradually increasing their online freedom.
How Do I Set It Up?
Parental control software is incredibly easy to set up. First, you’ll need to download your chosen app on your children’s devices, whether that’s desktops, phones, tablets, and even video game consoles in some cases.
The next step is to add user profiles for each child. Some apps have default settings depending on your child’s age, while others require you to go into more detail about which apps or what content you want to restrict. Each account is customizable, so you’ll also be able set up schedules, time limits, and a whole host of other options that each solution has to offer.
What Do I Do Next?
After you’ve installed the software on your devices and set up your children’s profiles, you can sit back and relax knowing that your kids are now a great deal safer online.
Now the software will start monitoring your children’s device usage and internet traffic, while sending the information directly to you. Usually, this will be in the form of emails or text notifications, but you have the option of seeing more information with the software’s parent app or on its web dashboard. Typically, you’ll also get the choice of receiving daily or weekly activity summaries. If your child tries to access content that’s restricted, then you’ll receive a special notification straight away.
What Stops Kids From Just Deleting It?
Don’t be surprised if your child attempts to delete or uninstall the software, as it’s only natural that they’ll try eventually but you’ll find that most apps are designed with this in mind. One solution is that certain parental control apps require a username and password for uninstalling, which of course, your children shouldn’t have access to. Some software is even made to be completely invisible so not only can your children not uninstall it – they might not even know it’s there.
However, although every app does its best to prevent any child from removing it, ultimately it’s never going to be completely indestructible. Often children can find guides written online with complex methods of removing the software, and some kids are just technologically gifted enough to do it on their own. Of course, if you notice a drop in notifications and see less data being reported, then chances are your child has found a way around the app. Fortunately, many apps actually report to parents when the program has been removed immediately – at that point it’s best to talk with your child about why having the app installed is beneficial for everyone.