What Are Parental Controls? Know All About Online Safety of Kids

What Are Parental Controls? Know All About Online Safety of Kids

It is in the nature of parents to protect their children; we may call it a parental instinct. Protection is not merely related to ensuring your kids’ physical safety. But it is essential to keep kids safe digitally as well.

Parents can use parental controls to give their kids a safe online space to explore.

But what exactly are parental controls? How do they work?

This article is about parental control functionality and kids’ digital safety.

Let’s dig into the details.

What are Parental Controls?

Parental controls are digital settings for parents to limit screen exposure and usage among their children. Such settings filter content, including internet browsing and app downloads, and even block contacts from contacting your child. Parents’ controls help guardians safeguard their children from inappropriate content exposure.

Safety Concerns – Red Flags of the Online World

Deciding what is appropriate for kids is the fundamental right of a parent. Considering digital exposure, parents should know the online risks and harms that can exploit their kids’ innocence.

Out of many dangerous online traps, some are mentioned below:

Cyberbullying – It is a form of harassment done online using digital devices. Just like school bullying, online bullying can pose a threat to a child’s mental and physical health.

Online Predation: Psychopaths are spread over the Internet, and some of them are child predators who befriend kids to take sexual benefits from them.

Catfishing: Pretending to be someone is very common on the Internet. But such false identities can turn your child’s life upside down.

Grooming: Social engineering or online grooming makes kids rebel and develops them into people interested in doing wrong things.

Adult Content: Explicit content is just a query away. If kids watch sexual or violent content online, they might develop mental trauma or become addicted to such content.

Some Useful Statistics

In the cyberworld, 58% of teens testified that they have heard hurtful and mean things about themselves. There’s more; not only is bullying a menace, but other online threats complement the risks to young kids.

  • 1 in 9 parents use parental controls to make online space a haven for kids.
  • Nearly 42% of kids have been bullied in the US, and around 21% of teens have received threatening emails.
  • Almost 67% of online predation victims are females.

Experts say that parents should use parental controls on their kids’ devices until the age of 18 years. After kids reach adulthood, there is no need to supervise them as they can make their own decisions themselves.

How Do Parental Controls Work?

Parental controls are software or digital tools designed to interfere with the device OS, giving you the authority to manage the settings of the target device. The functionality of parental control tools depends on the Wifi and broadband connection. It is not like all the controlled settings will vanish in the absence of the Internet; this is not how it works. You only need an internet connection to set up parental controls.

With increased cyber threats, Android has launched built-in parental controls to manage the settings of kids’ phones and tablets.

However, various third-party Android parental controls are available. Some deliver exceptional functionality, enabling parents to track location and monitor complete phone activities.

What Can You Do Using Parental Controls?

From filtering improper content to blocking a natural person, parental controls can do wonders.

Here are some of the best features of parental controls for Android;

  • Set a time limit for screen usage.
  • Block apps and games that are not suitable for kids.
  • Monitor screen time and app usage.
  • Lock or unlock devices.
  • Delete apps, contacts, or media.
  • Locate the whereabouts.

Parents can set up parental controls on mobile devices, game consoles, Wifi connections, laptops, and search engines. Alongside great functionality, parental controls have some limitations, as discussed below.

Limitations of Parental Controls

Although parental controls seem like a complete solution to safeguard your kids’ online space, there are some limitations. The functionality of parental controls is bound by some limitations, as discussed below.

  • Wifi parental controls might be reset when kids connect to a new Wifi connection. It means that such parental controls only work within the boundary of your home.
  • If your child is intelligent, they can turn off the parental controls without letting you know.
  • Android launched restrictions in new OS 13, 14 and beyond, which detect the presence of third-party parental control apps and notify users that you are controlling their online space.
  • The built-in parental controls of Android phones and PlayStore do not give complete access to target device settings.
  • Location tracking is only possible when the target device is connected to the internet.

Now that we know all the necessary details about parental controls let’s move to the best available options.

Some Reliable Parental Control Options

There are free and paid parental control tools to choose from. Here are the best options;

Google Family Link

It is a free parental control app designed by Google. All you need to do is install the app on your child’s device, create a profile for your kid, set some restrictions, and make the device child-friendly.

PlayStore Restrictions

PlayStore restrictions give you access to the backend settings of PlayStore apps. You can turn on parental controls from PlayStore and restrict certain apps on your kids’ phones and tablets.

NexaSpy App

NexaSpy is one of the best options available right now. It is a paid parental control software with a minimal registration fee. Using NexaSpy, parents can monitor and control their kids’ digital space in real time. It offers features that no other parental control app does. Simply put, NexaSpy is a good app for digital monitoring.

Take Away

Parental controls have become a necessity in today’s digital world. Parents need to adapt advanced parenting approaches to keep their kids safe from the harms of the online world.

Today, kids’ exposure to digital devices is too much. From listening to poems to playing games to learning new things, smartphones and tablets have become necessary in children’s lives. Parenting gets easier with enabled parental control settings.

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