The internet is a whole new world to discover. In times such as these, when the overload of information to which we are exposed is overwhelming, and when many criminals take advantage of any naivety or knowledge gaps, one’s child can suddenly come accross content that is inappropriate for his age and life.
For this reason it has become urgent, if not vital, that we parents make the necessary decisions that can ensure that our children’s browsing can be as safe as possible, whether from a computer, or from any type of mobile device.
The internet offers many benefits, such as the a greater possibility for information, the democratization of opinions and ideas, not to mention the almost endless opportunities to participate, communicate, and interact. Nonetheless, it also presents many risks: sexting , grooming , cyberbullying , phishing , etc., in addition to all the other disorders that come from the use of the web and technology, which Asians have termed the “electronic heroin.”
Does your child have a tablet or cell phone that operates on an Android platform? Does he spend hours on that device? Are you absolutely certain of the websites that he visits, the content he looks at, and the people to whom he speaks? Perhaps it is time to learn how to establish parental controls on these devices that will allow you to monitor the online activity of your children, in order to avoid risks without sacrificing their fun.
It can happen for various reasons, such as the rush of an unexpected visit, that you give your child a cell phone to pass the time so that he might not bother you. This is a risk however, given that you are not absolutely certain of what your child might do with the phone: receive calls, change settings, make unintended purchases online, reset the system, etc. Kid Place creates a safe area so that children can interact with the phone in a secure way.
This application allows you to configure the home screen in a personalized way with the applications that you consider most appropriate. It also allows you to block signal to avoid incoming and outgoing calls, and even set a security PIN to enter and exit applications.
This application acts like a filter that prevents your child or teenager from, intentionally or not, accessing unsuitable and prejudicial content for his age. Besides offering the possibility for 24 hour a day, seven days a week supervision of how your child uses the device, it will also help you to geographically locate your minor and assure that he is not in any risk. Everything is done remotely, by a parental control panel.
In just three easy steps, Kids Zone allows you to block applications, as well as other phone features, that are not suitable for children. First, you create your child’s profile and add his favorite applications. Afterwards, you choose a background screen, and finally set a secret PIN to block the device. Kids Zone blocks outgoing calls and messages as well as internet connection, unless you add the browser to your selected applications.
This application is very useful because it allows you to manage and keep an eye on the time that your child spends with his device. It all works thanks to a usage-timer that can even manage access to content, in such a way that at a certain time (at night, for example) games are deactivated, while only reading applications function. If your child brings their device to school, you can program it so that games and social networks remain deactivated, while leaving active only the applications they can use in class.
Thanks to this application, it is possible to know your child’s online
activities: the pages he visits, his traffic on social media, the people he
interacts with. You can also block access to pages that are not suitable
and set usage schedules.
A sixth: Recently, an application called Mspy was launched. Its developer holds that it is an application for complete parental monitoring that is easy to use.
All of these tools, along with many others, offer great help, though they are never meant to substitute your presence in assuring that your child uses social networks safely, responsibly, and constructively. We need to teach them how to use the tools offered by the web, and not limit their use of applications as though we were mere supervisors.
To accompany, guide, orient, and form: this remains the best strategy for protecting and teaching our children.
Reproduced, with kind permission, from http://blogs.eltiempo.com/
(*) Juan Camilo Díaz B.
Profesor Instituto de la Familia - Universidad de La Sabana - Colombia