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Parental Control Software for Kids protection and safety online


Until recently, ensuring your children remained safe online was a reasonably simple affair. Often the only computer they used was the family PC, which could be set up with parental control software that would limit the web browser, IM chats, and hopefully prevent them handing over passwords or financial and personal details. These applications also provided a way to limit the time kids spent on the computer, and some packages even offered ways to monitor - or spy on - what they were doing.

 

With the advent of mobile technology this landscape has changed rapidly. Now it’s not uncommon for a family to have tablets, laptops, phones, or even iPods that can access information online, and keeping control of all these devices can feel like a Sisyphean task. Take heart though, PC Advisor is here to help, with a guide on how you can use system settings, device features, and parental control software to chase the digital wolves from your doors.

Before we move on to the various software and hardware solutions it’s important to remember that none of them are designed to replace the role of a parent or guardian.
‘Talking to your child is one of the best ways to keep them safe’ states the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), ‘Preventing your children from using the internet or mobile phones won't keep them safe online, so it's important to have conversations that help your child understand how to stay safe and what to do if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable.’

 
Creating an awareness of the wonderful possibilities the internet holds is a very positive approach, but it should definitely be augmented with conversations about the potential dangers of inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and talking to strangers. As your child grows older they will also need different levels of supervision, and conversations should be on going, rather than having ‘the one’. Many schools now include these subjects in lessons, which gives you an excellent opportunity to continue the discussion at home.

The CPS is also on their side against cyberbullies and fraudsters, and those who create fake social-media profiles in order to troll or harass others could soon face charges. Cases will also follow if posts are indecent, grossly offensive or so false they cause distress and anxiety, reports the BBC.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t implement software restrictions to safeguard their internet access. So much hard-core material is available online within a few key presses, that it would be foolish to let your little ones loose in such a jungle without protection. But preparing your child for the eventual exposure to something adult is the wisest course, as even if you successfully lock-down your own home and devices, there will always be friends at school with tablets or phones and unfettered internet access. 


In the end, you are still the parent, and thus remain in charge. If you feel your child is ignoring warnings, or actively seeking out the wrong sites, then you can remove their internet privileges, or move them back into the centre of the house where you can observe their behaviour. While some software does allow you to monitor the internet activity of your children, we feel it would be best to tell them in advance that you are using these techniques. It could be quite damaging to the trust of a child to find out that you were secretly spying on their every conversation. Again, and we really can’t stress this strongly enough, talk to your children rather than rely on a software solution.  With all that being said, here are some ways in which you can use settings and applications to help you protect your young family.

Best parental control software: Ways to make the internet safe

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!

While there exists many tweaks and features within browsers and software that can make your internet access more secure, one almost fool proof step you can take is to actually go to the source itself – the router. That little box with all the flashing lights is your gateway to the web, and it’s actually possible to use special apps such as Familyshield by OpenDNS to directly filter all the content that emanates from its glowing heart.

We have a guide showing you how to install Familyshield, but before you rush over there it’s worth noting that this is a unilateral setting – meaning there is very little in the way of granular adjustments. You choose from either High, Moderate, or Low filters, but this applies to everybody on the network, not just your children. There are ways around this, as seen in the guide, but they can be somewhat complicated. It’s not just Familyshield that suffers from this broad-brush approach. Many Internet Service Providers, such as Sky, BT, and Virgin, offer family security filters, but once again these are blanket apps across all content, reducing the internet to a children’s version for everyone.

We have seen improvement recently though, with offerings such as Sky’s Broadband Shield allowing you to set time limits, so access is opened up after a watershed time when the kids are in bed. Obviously the advantage of this approach is that all devices connecting to your home Wi-Fi will have the same restrictions, so you don’t need to go around setting up each tablet or PC. Remember though, this doesn’t apply to 3G or 4G signals on mobile phones, or any other Wi-Fi connections that are in range and don’t have passwords. 
 
Best free parental control software

Best parental control software: User settings

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!

If the nuclear approach of router-based solutions feels too restrictive or cumbersome, then you can work on an individual device level. Depending on the operating system you’re running, the approaches are slightly different. On both of Google’s platforms – Chrome and Android – you are able to set up different User Profiles so that a number of people can share the same device, but not the security levels. If your children have their own Google accounts, then these profiles are independent from one another and therefore harder to control, as the settings are always available to the user.

For younger children, the answer is to create Supervised User accounts on the Chrome browser. These are linked to your full Google account, but allow you to set limits for the websites they can visit, as well as keeping a log of their online habits. If you share an Android tablet then a similar feature is Restricted User accounts.

These are easy to set up via the Settings>User menu options, and give the administrator (you) the ability to select which apps the account can access, plus blocking any purchases or even the app store itself. It isn’t a completely satisfactory solution though, as content settings are still available within YouTube and Chrome, so explicit material could still sneak through. In many ways it’s more a feature to stop your children running up bills through in-app purchases, or installing random apps on your device.
Best free parental control software

 
With Android 5.0 (Lollipop) Google has created the option to create separate profiles on an Android phone. While this can be useful in short bursts, as you can disable phone calls and SMS messaging, it’s not really suitable for children as such, due to the fact that you can’t limit the things they can access online.

Child-friendly tablets

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!

There has been a real rise in child-focused tablets in the past couple of years, so it’s not always necessary to buy a fully-fledged device and then try to restrict it. Some newer Android devices we’ve seen arrive complete with their own suite of parental controls already installed. The now-discontinued Tesco Hudl 2 features specially designed Child Safety settings, that allows parents to set when your children are allowed to go online, for how long, and the sites they can see. The Amazon Fire range of tablets (such as the Fire HD6) is also child friendly, with its FreeTime controls offering the same level of customisation as the Tesco models, while also allowing you to share specific books and movies from your Amazon account with your children.

FreeTime even has advanced settings that can withhold access to entertainment apps until user-defined targets for educational tasks (reading, for example) have been achieved. We recently conducted a series of reviews to find the best child friendly tablets on the market and were pleased to see that the range is wide and varied in its approach.

 
Apple’s iPad is often regarded as the most desirable tablet around, but the company has a different approach when it comes to user accounts – namely that’s it one per device. You can’t create a child account on iOS, instead there is a Restrictions area in Settings that can be switched on and off. Within Restrictions you’ll find on/off buttons for apps, websites, TV shows, Movies, Music, and others. If your child is the only user of the device – say an iPod Touch – then you can create an account for them (as long as they have a valid email address) then set the restrictions and lock them with a passcode. This is a relatively quick solution, and means you can adjust the settings as the child grows older.

How to set up parental controls on an iPhone and iPad

 
To access this feature go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and scroll down until you find Restrictions (which should currently be Off).
How to set up parental controls in iOS 8

 
After selecting this you will see a menu of the available options. At the top is Enable Restrictions, tap this to access these settings.
How to set up parental controls in iOS 8

 
You’ll be prompted to create a passcode for the Restrictions. This will ensure that your children don’t simply go to Settings and disable your choices.
How to set up parental controls in iOS 8

Now you can select the options that you feel are appropriate to your child, remembering to look at the section covering Allowed Content, as here you can limit explicit songs and TV shows from iTunes.
How to set up parental controls in iOS 8

How to activate Kid’s Corner on Windows Phone

 
Windows Phone also comes with its own safety features, such as Kid’s Corner, a built in safe-area on your handset where your children can play. Here they have access to apps and media decided by you, and won’t be able to accidentally delete any of your photos, contacts, or emails. In many ways it’s similar to the Amazon approach, and can be switched on and off as and when you need it. To activate the feature go to the App list>Settings>Kid’s Corner, and follow the instructions.

How to make YouTube and Facebook safer for kids

 
Two of the most popular websites are Facebook and YouTube. Facebook is something of a mixed bag when it comes to content. There are no obvious filters that can restrict explicit content, although the friends you follow obviously have a great effect on the kind of material that appears in your newsfeed. You can block individual users and apps in the settings options, but that’s about the extent of your controls. It’s worth remembering that the minimum age requirement of a Facebook account is thirteen years old, so it’s not really intended to be entirely child-friendly. Many of the family security software packages available now often include social media features, so if your child is a regular Facebook user then it would be worth investigating some of these.

 
YouTube is another huge draw for younger users, especially due to the huge amount of music videos on the site. Google does provide a safe mode option, and once applied it covers any instance of YouTube that logs in with the same account. On your PC all you need to do is navigate to the YouTube site, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the ‘Safety:’ box. Here you’ll see an explanation of how it works, and the restrictions it applies. To set the safe mode up on a tablet is slightly different.

On Android devices launch the YouTube app, then tap of the three dots in the top right hand corner. This opens the settings menu, where you’ll need to choose Search and then tap on the Safesearch option. If you have an iPad or iPhone launch the app and you’ll see the cog icon in the top left next to the account name. Tap on this and then select the Safesearch option.
It’s not foolproof of course, but it will at least limit the amount of unsuitable material that might otherwise get through.

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!

Best parental control software

While system settings and user accounts are useful, they often don’t have the same kind of complexity as dedicated software. Also, the Restrictions on an iPod won’t mean anything when your child moves onto the family PC. In years gone by the effectiveness of a centralised computer in the home meant you only needed to set safety restrictions in one place, now, as we’ve established, controlling access is more challenging. Thankfully many of the software solutions currently on offer cover pretty much every platform available, and also usually offer some form of remote control so you can adjust settings without needing access to the device itself. Norton Family, McAfee Family Protection, AV Family Safety and Net Nanny are among the prime examples of cross platform protection, each providing an impressive level of security for your family.

 
The initial setup of dedicated software is more time consuming than simply adjusting settings, as you’ll need to install the software on every device individually, but once this is done, the content your children can access should be far more regulated than the often generic approach of browsers and profiles. One way this is usually implemented by the mobile apps is replacing your existing browser with a purpose built one from the security company.  AVG actually offer this service for free on iOS through its AVG Safe Browser, but sadly haven’t released an Android or Windows Phone equivalent as yet.  There’s also a financial element to consider, as many of the advanced features found on these suites usually appear in the premium versions, and might need to be renewed annually at a cost of around thirty pounds. In the long run though, if you’re serious about protecting your children from the various dangers lurking behind a web browser, then it’s a worthwhile investment.


A good example of how dedicated software works is Qustodio, which offers a decent blend of control and flexibility, without needing a degree in network administration to understand its features. There’s also a free version that allows you to install it on one device and create one user profile – which would be a good way to experiment with the service. If you think it’s useful then, much like the others we’ve mentioned, you can upgrade to a year-long Premium package (five users and five devices) for just under thirty pounds. Qustodio’s clean interface makes it very easy to understand, and you control everything via a web portal that displays the sites your child is visiting, how long they are there, and lets you change the content filters, plus settings usage time limits, all remotely. It’s not perfect, as we were able to avoid a safety filter on sports sites by visiting the Guardian and then navigating to the Football section without detection, but in many cases it’s an effective safeguard.

 
How to set up parental controls in iOS 8

 
The job of a parent has been made a little more challenging by the internet, of that there is no doubt. While we’ve gathered together as much helpful information as possible in this feature, and there are some fine tools available, in truth none of them are a guarantee that your child will be safe online. That’s not to say that they won’t help, but as we stated at the beginning, they must only be used in conjunction with your own presence and on going engagement with your children to be fully effective.

 
Combining many of the features together though, will at least limit the potential of unsavoury material appearing before their young eyes. Ensure that the various Safe Modes are enabled on search engines, add restricted profiles if possible, and if you’re happy to pay the money then invest in one of the safety suites we mentioned above. This will get you a good way along the road to security. But remember to take time out to talk with your young ones about how they use the web, what they like, and what their friends are into. It could just be the very best way to protect them.

How to Protect Your Child on Ask.fm

You know your child may be on the big giants of social media websites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. But there’s another social networking site that’s skyrocketing in popularity, especially among kids under 18: Ask.fm. This popular social networking website allows you ask anonymous questions of any user, and answer others’ questions on your own public profile.

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!
If you have heard of Ask.fm, it’s probably due to all the media attention it’s been receiving lately: Ask.fm was linked to a suicide case in Florida recently, where a young girl was anonymously bullied on Ask.fm. British Prime Minister David Cameron called Ask.fm “vile” due to several similar cyberbullying cases, and schools in Britain have advised students not to use it.
The social network has become known as a haven for cyberbullies, and has been linked to suicides around the world. That’s because its users, who are required to be at least 13 years old, are allowed to ask questions of specific users anonymously, and content is not monitored. The official Ask.fm website states that they have “no liability to you for content that you may find objectionable, obscene or in poor taste."

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!
Because of all the risks associated with Ask.fm, and its skyrocketing popularity among kids and teens, it’s important to know how to find out if your child is using it and how they can keep safe. Here’s how you can protect your child from dangerous cyberbullying on Ask.fm.
Ask.fm guide for parents

32 Internet Acronyms & Slang Every Parent Should Know

Start Monitoring and Protecting your Kids Online: Read Details/Guidelines Here!!!

Just a few generations ago, it was normal to let your children walk to school alone or play ball in the street unsupervised.
But the world has changed since the days parents let their children freely roam the neighborhood. Today, most parents know where their children are 24/7 thanks to the advent of technology, and many wouldn’t dream of letting their children wander around without adult supervision.
While technology may make it easier to keep tabs on your children, it also opens up a whole new world of risk. Thanks to the ubiquity of the Internet, staying indoors can be even more dangerous than wandering the streets unsupervised.
Children and teens now have access to limitless information and can chat with anyone around the world through their computers, tablets, and smartphones.
Besides the obvious danger of strangers with malicious intent, there are also the risks of your child accessing dangerous or inappropriate information, chatting with friends about illegal drugs or underage drinking, or even being cyberbullied or participating in the bullying of others.
It’s tempting to assume that your children are too smart to get caught up in these kinds of activities, but peer pressure and impulsive decision making can put even the smartest of children at risk.
And children and teens are often experts at keeping secrets from their parents, so you may not even realize that anything’s wrong before it’s too late.

 
It’s important to have an open dialogue with your children, trust them with privacy to live their own lives, and grant them the space to learn and grow through experience. But one of a parent’s hardest tasks is balancing this with the need to keep your children safe and not make mistakes they can’t recover from.
You can give your child the space and privacy they need while still keeping an eye on their Internet activities for hints of dangerous behavior. One of the most effective ways to do so is by familiarizing yourself with current slang and acronyms.
While most of their slang is harmless, some of it can hint to dangerous behavior that could get your child into trouble or hurt. Check out the list below to see some of the latest Internet slang and acronyms used by children and teens today.


How to Protect Your Children on Snapchat


Snapchat Safety

Snapchat is a hugely popular messaging app that allows users to send photos, videos, or screencaptures to friends whose Snapchat usernames they know. Like a “Mission: Impossible” briefing, the messages self-destruct in just a few seconds.

Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here. 

In addition to images and videos, Snapchat also added video chatting and text messaging features to their app, making it an all-in-one communications network for teens. The service is most popular with teens and young adults. According to Snapshot's terms of service, you only have to be 13 years old and up to use their app.

But, as the saying goes, the Internet is forever. Deleted messages on Snapchat can be recovered with a bit of technical knowledge, and those who know how to take a screenshot on their own smartphones can easily and permanently save any image that comes across their screens.
And while Snapchat maintains that the majority of messages are harmless, the service has gained a reputation for being used for sexting. 
Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here. 

If your child is using Snapchat, don’t panic: there are settings you can configure to protect your child’s privacy and keep strangers from sending them inappropriate messages. Check out the graphic below to discover how to keep your child safe while they use this popular app.
Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here. 


How to monitor and keep your kids safe and protected online using pc tattletale software

Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

Raising children can suddenly make the world seem a frightening and dangerous place.

While you may have grown up wandering the streets or visiting friends or the mall without telling your parents where you were going, giving your own children that kind of freedom is unthinkable for many parents today. In the age of smartphones, we're accustomed to knowing where our kids are at all times.

But while smartphones can help keep your children safe by keeping them in constant contact, that technology can also put them in danger online.

Children and teens today are more tech-savvy than ever, having grown up with the technology we've seen evolve so quickly over time. But even when your kids have as much technical know-how as adults, they don't yet have the experience and discernment necessary to keep them safe online.

Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here.

No parent can monitor their children round the clock, and it may be tempting to take the easy way out and block access entirely. But the Internet is a valuable tool, more integral to our modern lives than ever, and necessary for children to learn to navigate safely.

While there are general guidelines to follow to keep your children safe online, many of them are common-sense and too general to help in many situations. Some of them are out of touch with modern technology, such as the FBI's Parent's Guide to Internet Safety, which advises you to monitor your children's email: most children today don't communicate primarily through email anymore, or even through texts.

Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here. 

Instead, social media networks and smartphone apps are more popular for chatting and sharing multimedia online. Chances are your child is chatting with an app like Snapchat or Kick, or a social network like Ask.fm.

Illustrated Guides

The following chapters cover the most popular online apps and websites that parents should understand.
Snapchat is one of the most popular smartphone messaging apps being used by kids today: about a third of all teens in the United States use Snapchat, sending millions of photos and videos every day. With Snapchat, users can send their friends photos, videos, and screencaptures, which are supposed to auto-destruct within a few seconds. But the images can easily be undeleted or screen captured on another device, leaving a permanent record of whatever images your child chooses to share.

Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here. 

Kik Messenger is another popular app among teens and young adults. It allows you to message others without giving out your phone number, making it popular for users who want to retain their anonymity. Just looking at the app reviews, it's clear that Kik is very popular for sending explicit messages. The app itself is rated 17+ in the app store for "Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes,” but that doesn't stop kids from downloading and using it.

Then there's Ask.fm, a question-and-answer social networking website which has received a lot of press surrounding bullying issues and related suicides around the world. Users 13 and older are allowed, and there are no systems for monitoring content. Due to the lack of moderation and encouraged anonymity, the network has become a mecca for cyberbullying.

Illustrated Guide to E-Safety

Keep Your Kids Safe online with PC Tattletale Monitoring Software, Start Here. 

e-Safety Visual Guide
With all these new online dangers, even your own home can be dangerous place for children. By staying informed about the most popular websites and apps your children are likely to be using, you can learn how to talk to your child about using them safely, and what specific steps you can take to make their experience safer while they have fun chatting online with friends and exploring the web.

Source/Credit: eSafety Guide on http://www.whoishostingthis.com/resources/e-safety/

Two things to bear in Mind while we talk about Protecting yourself Online in order to Prevent Online Identity Theft and being Victim of Cyber-Criminals:

A. Keep in mind that antivirus software protects only your device, not your internet connection. It’s only Secured and Protected Virtual Private Network, VPN can securely protect your internet connection communications between your computer device, servers and websites.

B. A VPN is a must-have utility to protect your privacy and prevent hackers and snoopers from stealing your personal information.