In a world where cyberbullying, sexting, and predators lurk around every chatroom, it is understandable that parents want to protect their children online. Having a child get online without any supervision is like sending them to the middle of a large city alone at night, whether they are five or fifteen. The same hazards exist – scammers, exploiters, even kidnappers and pedophiles are just as present online as they are in real life.
However, the Internet also presents unique opportunities for kids to learn, especially in ways that are entertaining. Kids can research and learn anything they want, from how to sing opera to how to assemble a computer, and all of this knowledge gives them a way to find their interests and passions. So kids need to be able to take advantage of the Internet, but they need to be able to do it safely.
Some parents respond to this by installing parental control software that tracks their child, their child’s web activity, and even the child’s mobile devices. Parental control apps have features including access to text messages and all apps on mobile devices, as well as password information for all accounts, from email to social media.
Other parents find these measures extremely invasive. The response from the kids is also mixed, as some kids being tracked develop mistrust and resentment while others who were not tracked met with tragedy because of anything from inappropriate content to being kidnapped and trafficked.
Some features are also meant to manage a child’s screen time. Kids can get involved in the Internet, especially social networks and online games. Parents can use software to set time limits to aid screen time management so the kids do something besides sit at the computer all day.
Location tracking is another feature that families have been known to use on one another, not just the kids. Being able to locate one another in case of emergency has actually saved lives, young and elderly, simply because family members have been able to find one another in time to prevent injuries from accidents from becoming life-threatening.
There is a case for both points of view, and whether or not parents should use child monitoring software or apps is an individual decision that depends on many factors.
With so many things to consider, the choice to monitor your child’s online activities through an app or other software becomes dependent on your child’s relationship with the Internet. Stricter monitoring is obviously more important for younger children, but also provides an opportunity to teach them good Internet habits, which in turn could mean they require less monitoring when they are older. It is as important for parents to be responsible with parental monitoring as it is for their children to be responsible online.
Many Internet providers have parental controls as part of their package or an inexpensive addon. To find an Internet package with good parental controls, or compare the service you have with what’s available in your area, simply tell us your zip code. We’ll show you everything, from providers to their packages and rates, so your Internet can be part of your choice about monitoring your child’s online activity.