In the modern age, the internet gives users access to unlimited information, which includes a lot of things that your kids probably aren’t ready to see. Your children may not even purposefully search for this information, but it’s incredibly easy for a Google search to go astray or a domain name to be misspelled, which could result in mature content being displayed. The best way to protect your kids from this content is to install parental control software. This will let you block mature content from being displayed.
What Does Parental Control Software do?
Any good parental control software will allow you to filter, block and record.
Filtering is the process of searching through search engine results and removing from view the ones that contain specific keywords or content. For example, let’s say that your child types “swimsuits” into Google. The very first result is “sexy women’s swimsuits” courtesy of Victoria’s Secret. The filter will see the word “sexy” and block that result from the search.
Blocking is the process of literally blocking domain names that lead to mature websites. When domains like pornhub.com or deathtube.com (which display pornography and gore respectively), are typed into the browser, they will be immediately blocked by your software.
Recording allows you to see exactly what your kids are doing on the internet. Some programs even let you see every keystroke they made. This allows you to keep tabs on all the content that they’re viewing.
The Best Parental Control Software Options for You and Your Kids
Now that you know what parental control software does, it’s time to find out what the best parental control software is. Here are the top 5:
- Witigo Parental Filter– Super user friendly, this is a great program for a family with a lot of kids. It lets you create individual profiles for everyone in your family, allowing you to block more from younger kids while still protecting all your children from porn and similar mature content.
- Mcaffee Safe Eyes- This program is great because it works on not only on the computer, but on all the internet-connected devices that are in your household. The one downside is that is doesn’t work on Android phones, so unless you’re specifically looking for parental control software for Mac and iOS, this may not be the best option.
- Web Watcher- Great for recording, this program will alert you when your child types things like “nude,” “beer,” or any other word or phrase that you tell it to. The only downside is the constant micro-transactions. Basically, this program will tell you anything you want to know about your child’s internet habits, but you’re going to be constantly paying for it.
- Qustodio- First of all, Qustodio is the only free software on this page, giving it a huge leg up on the competition. Secondly, it’s real-time categorization sets it apart from the pack. Qustodio can block a new porn website the second that it appears thanks to its tech, and it’s also great for recording because it can tell you the top fifteen websites your child visits in a given time period, the names of who they talk to the most online, and more. A quick Qustodio review: this product is totally worth downloading!
- Netnanny- Far and away the best parental control software out there, Netnanny does everything the other programs do and more, with the only exception being that it can’t record individual keystrokes. Still, it can tell you exactly what a child is doing on social media, record all the websites that he or she visits, and give you transcripts of instant message conversations. It will even send you an immediate email update when it detects sexual content, bullying, etc.