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In the not-so-distant past, Internet parental monitoring was all about preventing children from visiting inappropriate sites on the family computer and tweaking a simple filter to blocking certain explicit pages. Today, though, thing have become much more complicated than that. Now almost every kid owns or has access to the mobile Internet-connected device, be it a smartphone, tablet or another gadget. Teens are literally glued to their mobile screens with roughly one-third of them appreciating a smartphone to the same extent they value parents.
At the same time, the list of digital dangers had also become much longer, absorbing such elements as cyberbullying, sexting, online predators, etc. Protecting kids remotely from new threats is nowadays one of the main concerns of worried parents.
When considering to monitor children or not, parents would inevitably face an ethical issue of finding a balance between protecting their kids and not violating their privacy. This is the question that parents must answer themselves. Keep in mind, however that no child internet safety software has been yet invented that can read a teenager’s mind. On the other hand, as the old saying goes, little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
If you do decide to monitor your kids via digital means, we urge you to have a frank and detailed talk with them to explain why and how you’re going to keep an eye on them. 93% of parents claim having talked to their teens about online safety, while only 61% of children report really having this conversation.
There many ways to make web browsing safer for your kids, some of them being really simple, some of them being very sophisticated. As the first step, you can tweak the browser you’re using or apply Internet filtering tool. A bit more advanced step is to install a special software for the router. These measures are most effective to implement on family computers. But when it comes to dealing with mobile devices, you either have to limit yourself to using built-in restrictions, or install a specialized app. Thankfully, today there is a wide range of state-of-the-art parental control software that you can choose from.
Device’s Built-in Restrictions
Any Android and iOS mobile device has onboard parental controls. They allow setting certain limits and filters without any additional software. Often these features are based on the child’s age and may have a several presets for different age groups. It’s generally recognized that Apple ‘Restrictions’ are much handier and well thought through than standard Android built-in parental controls. However, they both are not flexible enough and allow for bypassing parental restrictions. But anyway, it’s still way better than nothing.
Parental Monitoring App
Specialized parental monitoring apps like Pumpic with multiple features is a universal solution. They are designed to shield kids from apparent and hidden risks and dangers they may face while being online via smartphones and tablets. Moreover, apart from all-round Internet activity monitoring, such apps enables parents to track child’s location, calls, SMS, multimedia. Add here a possibility to set device usage limits and block unauthorized apps – and you will get a tool that allows parents to keep their eyes wide open.
It’s your duty as a parent to protect your children from all kinds of risks that the Internet bears. But it’s up to you as a parent to choose how you will do that – with the help of built-in device capabilities, using a particular software or totally banning kids from using Internet-connected devices (which seems to be a mission impossible these days). But if you do decide to limit kids’ online opportunities or download Internet monitoring software, have an honest talk with your daughter or son! Thus, you will not undermine their trust.
“Last year my daughter wanted to get a new iPhone for her birthday. And I wanted to stay aware what she’s up to – because she’s a teen girl in the awkward age... Plus earlier we’ve had couple incidents with lies and visiting inappropriate sites. So we had a talk, and I offered her an iPhone with almost full Internet privileges as long as I could monitor her every move. It was a good deal for her, and Pumpic was a good deal for me.”
“I saw the news on TV that there are 50,000 sexual predators online at any given moment. The thought that my daughter can encounter one of them hadn’t left my mind. Guess, under such circumstances, it’s irresponsible for parents not to monitor their kids’ Internet activity. So when I came across Pumpic ad – I knew it was what I’ve needed. Awesome app!”
“After I’ve caught my son sending semi-nude pictures to an unknown person who pretended to be 16-year-old girl, there was no question for me ‘To monitor or not to monitor?’ It was ‘How to monitor?’ Having reviewed a dozen of various apps, I chose Pumpic for its multiple functions and a fair price. Although there were couple false geofences alerts, I didn’t have a chance to regret the choice.”