The digital age has presented a number of new challenges for parents to keep their kids safe. It’s not just about shielding them from the stranger next door or in the park, but keeping them safe from strangers that could be millions of miles away.
With the vast array of apps available for your child’s smartphone, computer, and digital devices, monitoring and blocking their access is ever more important.
Smartphone Safety Apps
Messaging apps such as Snapchat, TikTok, and Kik allow kids to communicate with strangers all the time. Although there is no single best app for blocking, tracking, and monitoring these services, there are some great ones on the market. Net Nanny (formerly Zift) gives you the ability to filter your child’s web content, track their location, and manage their apps on Android and iOS devices.
Another great parental control app is the Norton Family Premier service, which includes the ability to log text messages on Android devices as well as providing security and monitoring for Windows PCs.
For a more budget-friendly choice, Kaspersky Safe Kids offers free web monitoring, app management, and the ability to set time limits. You can upgrade to a fully-featured plan for just $15 per year to monitor unlimited devices including Macs and PCs.
Importance of Monitoring
No matter how much you trust your child, it’s important to take these extra steps. The digital age allows strangers to enter your child’s room or sit at the dinner table with you. Innocent social media posts about your child’s Friday night ritual of hanging out a mall or checking out the latest movie can put them in danger within an instant.
Setting up parental controls and teaching them the do’s and don’ts of digital communication is essential. Talk to your kids about the dangers of what they post, text, send, or email–even to their friends. For tips on talking to your kids about internet safety, check out our article Don’t Just Block What Your Kids Can See – Talk About Internet Safety.