[Note: This article is a continuation of the previously posted article we wrote about premium parental controls, hence we number the software from the last article 1-4 and this article starts with 5th]
Gone are the days when you could let your child amuse himself at home without worrying about what he might stumble upon. Even if you can trust your child to obey the rules you’ve set, it’s said that a whole 34% of internet users unintentionally come across pornography through banner ads, pop-up ads, misdirected links, and emails. Online scams and solicitations are still a major threat to innocent children, too.
Finding trustworthy software to shield your little one is increasingly important. If you need something more rigorous than a free filter[June 2017 blog] , then check out part one of our list of premium parental control software options[July 2017 blog] , or pick something from this one:
If you’ve tried to set filters with your router but found that it doesn’t have the option or that it isn’t comprehensive enough, a Netgear router can help. Netgear provides a free downloadable app with their router that will allow you to exercise control over all the devices connected to your home network, including smartphones and game consoles.
“With just a few clicks,” they explain, “you can set up customized profiles that define content filters and time periods for website access for each child, teenager, and parent in your household or set filtering level specific to the devices in your home.” Because the settings can be individualized, you can make sure every member of the household receives the protection and the freedom you want. The parental controls are web-based, not merely on the router, which means you can change settings when you’re away from home.
“The Internet’s best free parental app,” Qustodio, is free for a single device, but also comes with premium packages for five devices ($49.95 a year) or for ten devices ($87.95 a year). It is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and major e-readers, and requires only a quick installation on your child’s device and nothing on yours.
You can monitor time spent on social media; create schedules or time limits for online activity, games, and apps; block sites and apps you don’t want used; see incoming and outgoing messages and calls on mobile devices; and even track your child’s location through the device.
If you want to record all activity on the devices your kid uses instead of only blocking certain content, WebWatcher is a great option to keep you privy to what is going on behind your back. The program is designed for stealth to help you monitor everything undetected, so its more involved nature means greater expense: although regularly $160, it is currently being sold for $99.95.
For those who don’t feel the need to view all activity on computers or mobile devices, this is not the right choice—but if you’ve already had problems and need to keep a closer eye on your child, the tamper-proof WebWatcher can help.
8. Content Barrier
Intego, a developer of computer security software, offers multiple products with parental controls—and they provide a brief free trial so you can test the software before committing to a purchase. Content Barrier, which starts at $29.99 per year for a single device, offers many useful features: you can record keystrokes, take screenshots of active applications, view web history, block inappropriate and predator-related chat content (and have emails sent to you if objectionable content is detected), block certain games and streaming, set time limits for internet connectivity, adjust settings remotely, and much more.
Although the software is Mac-based, Content Barrier Secure and the Mac Premium Bundle (which includes Content Barrier) have the option of dual protection for Windows and OS X, and both also provide antivirus software. Intego also has a program for managing iOS devices.