While parental controls give you some peace of mind about your child’s internet usage – it’s important that you understand what some of the most common parental control solutions on the market can’t do, so that you can take steps to educate your children.
The pros of parental controls
Block inappropriate content
Even the most basic parental controls tend to include a feature that blocks inappropriate content – like Google Safe Search – whether it’s a webpage that uses a banned word like “drugs” or it’s a website without a security certificate. This prevents your child from being able to access content that might be harmful to their mental health, provide a negative influence or enable malware to be downloaded.
Intervene in risky situations
The appeal of many parental control solutions is that parents can see all their child’s online communication so that they can step in if they suspect something risky is happening e.g. a conversation with a predator or scammer. This can also be a good way to keep an eye on your child’s emotional state and to immediately know if cyberbullying occurs.
Monitor screen time and time spent online
It’s undeniable that children today are spending more and more time online – with the COVID-19 lockdown only increasing this further – so it’s understandable that another strong appeal of leading parental control solutions is the fact that you can monitor and limit how much time your child spends online.
Prevent unauthorised spending
We’ve all heard the stories about children who have accidentally spent a ridiculous amount from their parent’s bank account while playing a game or using an app. This is why a lot of parents use parental controls to stop their children from making any purchase online without approval from the registered parent themselves.
The cons of parental controls
Invade children’s privacy
While keeping an eye on the conversations your child is having online is a great way to keep them safe, it’s also an invasion of privacy that can damage your relationship with them as they get older. Excessive parental supervision like this can also be a trigger in itself for children to set up fake accounts on games and social media that their parents can’t access so they are ‘free’ to be themselves – which can lead to even more problems in the future.
Tech-savvy children can get around them
As technology continues to advance, our children are more ideally placed to learn and adapt to these changes than we are. Since parental controls are device or network dependant, many children now have enough technological knowledge to either get around or completely remove the parental controls that have been installed.
Does not stop predators and scammers from making contact
Parental control solutions that allow you to monitor your child’s conversations to identify online predators only function if you act on it. This means that if you don’t spot it, you can’t stop it. As parents are often time-poor, a lot can go unnoticed – especially when predators pose as innocent children.
Unlike traditional parental control solutions, CAP is not linked to the individual device or network but instead is linked to the account of the child meaning that it cannot be uninstalled and will be protecting your child regardless of the device they use or the network they are connected to.
CAPs solution is different to typical parental control solutions currently on the market as it keeps your children safe from dangerous conversations with predators and scammers all without invading their privacy. Rather than looking at the conversation to identify threats to your child, CAP uses data from local authorities to verify that the profile of who your child is talking to belongs to a child in the real world (and not a scammer posing as a child). This means that even though you’ve used CAP to protect your child online, they are free to have conversations in private with their friends.
Since CAP doesn’t let your child connect and talk to anyone who isn’t also a verified child, predators and scammers won’t be able to make contact in the first place.
If your goal is to more strictly monitor your child’s activity or screen time parental controls might be the solution you need, however if your aim is to create an online space where children are as safe as in their back garden you should consider a solution like CAP. For more information visit https://www.capcertified.com/