5 Parental Control Software to Monitor What Your Child is Doing Online
There is no place less child-friendly than an uncensored internet. While it is a great platform for education, all that uncensored information is a place they can discover when they get older. For many parents, they rely on publicly located computers in the home to control what their child is looking at, but these days, that is not enough. In order to truly keep your children safe, you will want to wander into the realms of parental control software. These programs can not only control what your child can browse, but how long they can stay online as well.
So what parental control software is both useful and aboveboard?
If your child is an avid user of social media (and who isn't these days), Safety Web is an all-around great way to keep an eye on them. While they have some layer of privacy, Safety Web alerts parents when there is explicit content in your child's messages on Facebook and Twitter and sends an alert to the parent. Alerts also go out when your child is contacted by people that are significantly older than them.
By keeping track of what a child shares on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and others, this software also opens up the pathway for conversation on what is and isn't appropriate to share online.
This piece of software is free to use, so you can only expect so many features from it. While you can use it to block inappropriate sites, the best use to Romaco Timeout is as a way to limit your child's online usage. Where this software excels is in setting specific time limits that you child can use the internet and allowing you to set times where those time limits can be used. Say you only want your child to be able to get online when you are awake, this software can do that.
Many parents look to key loggers to monitor their child's online conversations only to have it backfire because they have no idea how to use most key loggers. To take all the guesswork out of it, McGruff SafeGuard is the way to go. After installing the software on your child's computer, you can remotely monitor their conversations, searches, and what sites they visit in an easy-to-use interface. The software even translates common slang and abbreviations for parents that are a little out of the loop.
If you want a well-rounded program that both blocks inappropriate sites on the internet and limits the amount of time your child can spend online, Qustodio is the best option. While the paid version allows you to control multiple devices, if you are just a one computer household, the free version works just fine. Qustodio allows you to set rules and time schedules for the internet, blocks inappropriate sites, and monitors what goes on while your child is online. The paid version also includes SMS monitoring for text messages, and features more flexible rules for social media sites.
PC Screen Watcher
If you have the time to monitor your child's activities while on the computer in real-time, this free piece of software is the way to do it. The software takes a screenshot of the computer screen every couple of seconds so that you can see what you child is doing all the time. After it takes the snap shots, the software will e-mail you the logs. It is a good way to keep tabs on what you child is doing, but the software also allows you to set internet and app time limits to keep them from spending every second on the computer.