In today’s modern world of social media, online gaming with games like Fortnite and Roblox, and online shopping, the internet is easily one of the most valuable assets a child can have. However, it’s also potentially one of the most dangerous, depending on what sites they visit and their other activities.
While the internet has many positive qualities, there are certain less savory aspects that most parents don’t want for their children. This includes possible exposure to graphic or mature content, cyberbullying, grooming, or unauthorized online purchases leading to identity theft or credit card fraud.
If you want to help keep your child safe online and prevent these things from happening, you’ve come to the right place. This article explains how parental controls can help protect your child while they’re online, how parental control software works, and how to use it properly.
What Are Parental Controls?
In the olden days, parental controls were settings on your TV that restricted what type of programs your child could watch. While parental control settings are still available for TVs, they’re more commonly used on computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, smart TVs, and other devices with internet access.
The purpose of parental controls is to monitor and manage what your child can do and see while they’re online. While this used to only be available on a device-by-device basis, parental control software now can help protect all devices on a connected network. This means you can monitor, protect, and manage every phone, computer, TV, or console connected to your Wi-Fi.
Why Are Parental Controls Important?
Contrary to what some people might think, parental controls aren’t a way for over-protective parents to control everything their child does and sees on the internet. Instead, parental control is necessary to help protect kids from genuine dangers in the online world.
Here are some of the top reasons parental controls are essential in the modern digital age:
- Protecting children and teenagers as they interact with other people online. According to the Child Crime and Prevention Center, there are more than 500,000 active online predators daily. While this is horrifying to consider, it’s one of the top reasons parental control is crucial for online protection.
- Keeping your kids from getting addicted to technology. Roughly 50% of teenagers are addicted to mobile devices, and this doesn’t even take into consideration online gaming and streaming. By setting screen time limits on your children’s devices, you can help prevent this from happening.
- Restricting access to mature, harmful, or inappropriate content. If you’re worried about your child having access to explicit content, parental controls can help. You can set up content filters to keep your kids off certain sites and from seeing unsuitable content.
- Using the internet for educational purposes. By not letting your kids access inappropriate content, you can help steer children toward positive, educational online resources.
- Parental controls can also help keep your kids from using your credit cards or bank account information for online or in-app purchasing without your approval. In addition to saving you money, this could also help prevent identity theft.
In short, parental controls can help give you peace of mind, knowing that the internet is a safer space for your children.
6 Bitdefender® Total Security Parental Controls Offered by IdentityIQ
Now that you have a better idea of the overall scope and purpose of parental controls, let’s look specifically at how parental controls in Bitdefender Total Security offered by IdentityIQ work.
IdentityIQ is best known for its suite of identity theft protection features. On top of these outstanding features, they also provide advanced parental controls through Bitdefender Total Security.
1. See What Applications Your Child Is Using
See all the apps that your child is using. Whether on their phone, computer, tablet, or another connected device, you can see every application and program your kid has downloaded and how often they use it.
Understanding what apps your kids are using can help you to better understand what they’re up to and if they’re in danger. This is especially true with apps you’ve never heard of because you can research the app and determine if it’s age appropriate.
2. Select Content Categories to Keep Away
On a more traditional level, you can adjust parental control settings to restrict specific online search categories and results. This is a great way to ensure your kid only sees age-appropriate content.
3. Access Phone Contacts
Are you worried your kid might be talking to strangers on social media, chat websites, social networks, or through text messages? If so, you’ll appreciate that you can see who your child has in their contacts list. That way, if they add someone new you’ll notice it and you can ask them about the person in question.
4. Track Their Location
Whether you’re worried about your kid sneaking out after dark or venturing somewhere they ought not to be, tracking your child’s location can offer peace of mind to parents.
For example, if your kid leaves the house, you can make sure they arrive safely at their destination. When they do, your child will let you know they’re safe through the “Safe Check-In” feature. This will help keep you from wondering if they’re safe.
5. Check How Much Time Your Child Spends on a Device
You can monitor your child’s screen time, whether on their phone, computer, or gaming console. As we said before, social media, phone, and gaming addiction is at an all-time high, and it’s in your child’s best interest to be protected from technology addiction.
In addition to seeing how much time your kid spends online, you can set up screen time limits if you think your kids spend too much time on their devices. Limiting screen time is a great way to help encourage your kids to spend time outdoors, increase their physical activity, and find other ways to spend their time.
6. Summary of Online Activity
Finally, parental controls are a great way to get the overall picture of what your kids are up to online. You’ll receive daily, weekly, and monthly summaries of their activities and real-time notifications if your children try to access blocked websites, platforms, or apps. You also get notified if your child does one of the following things:
- Leaves a “safe” space and goes to an “unsafe” or restricted location.
- Calls, texts, or emails an unknown or blocked contact or receives a call, text, or email from one.
- Attempts to remove or delete the parental control app from their device.
From limiting time on social media platforms to restricting certain online services and search results, parental controls are important for kids of every age and maturity level.
If you want comprehensive parental control software, consider using Bitdefender Total Security parental controls offered by IdentityIQ identity theft protection services. Doing so can help keep your kids safe online while eliminating the risk of identity theft and internet misuse.