Minors on the Internet: the importance of parental control

the importance of parental control

How many times have you seen a child using a smartphone or a tablet and have thought: “you have to see, if he knows how it works better than me”? We even find it funny that our young children know how to play a mobile application or open YouTube and find a video of their favorite drawings.

These situations are increasingly common in our society and it is not surprising considering the technological revolution that we are experiencing today. The proliferation and progressive simplicity of all these devices and the almost unlimited accessibility to the Internet is making it possible for children to have more and more contact with a multitude of electronic devices and, in many cases, to be in charge of teaching their parents how to they must use them .

But we must not forget that, although a priori this whole world can provide them  with very useful tools when it comes to studying or training, for example, it can also entail dangers . And it is that the Internet is a space where content of all kinds fits , many of them unsuitable for minors: violence, pornography, radicalism … Not to mention problems such as cyberbullying or sexting , growing concerns given the possibility of contacting all kinds of people in the network.

For all these reasons, it is convenient for parents to become aware of the importance of supervising and directing their children’s use of new technologies and helping them, especially at an early age, to discern between what they should and should not do on the internet.

Fortunately, the same network offers parents a multitude of platforms and tools for parental control that can be of use in these situations.

What functionalities do parental control systems incorporate?

Most parental control tools or applications work in a similar way and may include features such as the following:

  • Web supervision and control: this is, surely, the most important functionality of parental control systems and allows parents both to consult the websites most visited by their children and to configure the so-called “black list”, a list of websites that you want to limit access.
  • Activity reports: it consists of the possibility of periodically sending reports on the activity and behavior of minors during the use of the device.
  • Blocking applications or programs: with this option parents can determine that minors do not have access to certain programs or applications (social networks, messaging applications …). For this, they can establish that it is necessary to enter a password to execute it.
  • Establishment of a “safe zone”: this functionality allows establishing a security zone that the minor can access, while protecting other parts of the device that may contain, for example, information that the child should not have access to.
  • Call Blocking: Most tools allow the possibility of making or receiving calls from certain phone numbers to be blocked during the minor’s use of the device. This feature is very useful if you want, for example, to restrict international calls or calls from unknown numbers.
  • Denial of activities that involve an economic outlay: allows to establish the prohibition of downloading paid applications or making any type of purchase online. In addition, this option can also limit children to send messages or make phone calls.
  • Use time: this functionality allows you to control and limit the hours during which the minor uses the device. Many tools allow you to program the times for each day of the week and, for example, to set that if the device is turned on when the time limit is reached, the session ends automatically.
  • Geolocation: this feature allows you to know the child’s location if you leave the house with the device.
  • Remote control from the mobile or the computer: finally, most of the parental control tools include this functionality, through which we can control from our mobile phone or computer all the variables that we have been discussing.

There are many parental control tools compatible with both Windows and Android, some of the best known are: Windows Family Safety, Qustodio, Norton Family, KidLogger or K9 Web Protection.

If you are interested in starting to get acquainted with any of them, you can consult the list prepared by the Internet Security Office (OSI), a space dependent on the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda that provides information and support to prevent and resolve the possible security problems that may exist when browsing the Internet.

In addition, we must not forget that there are professionals who can advise us on the use of this type of platform. This is the case of the Home insurance of MGH Seguros, which includes coverage for remote home computer assistance . If you have contracted this coverage you can have a group of professionals who will guide you in the prevention of minors on the Internet: they will inform you of the existing risks, along with recommended action guidelines; They will assist you in the selection, installation and use of the computer support tools for parental control available on the market and will be able to inform you about the existing aid organizations and associations in the event of a minor incident on the Internet.

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