The Benefits of Parental Controls
Antivirus software can do more than just protect you from things like viruses and spyware. It is also possible to benefit from additional features such as parental control. This means that you can control what your children get up to online and protect them from risks.
These days our kids expect to be able to use the internet, and it is our job to make sure that they can do this safely. One way we can do this is by taking advantage of the parental control features that come with some of the more popular antivirus software packages.
The Need for Parental Control Dangers
The internet can be an excellent resource for children because it provides them with easy access to so much information – usually for free. There are also plenty of fun things to do online, and in some households people are even using streaming video as a replacement for their TV service. The internet is a wonderful invention, no doubt about it, but there are dangers for children who go online unsupervised.
The types of risks your child will face when they use the web will include:
- Sexually explicit content
- Content that is unsuitable for children
- Online bullying
- Unsavory characters may try to befriend your child in chat rooms
- Your child may download viruses or spyware when using peer to peer file sharing networks.
- They may download pirated material.
- There are people who will try to trick your child into divulging personal information.
Antivirus Software Parental Control Features
The parental control features that can be offered by with antivirus software can include:
- There are some programs that will not allow children to access high risk websites unless they are able to supply a password. It is usually possible to filter these websites based on your child’s age.
- It is possible to limit the amount of time that your child spends online. You can do this by setting time limits on how long they can stay online or by blocking access to the internet at certain times during the day.
- It is usually possible for parents to customize the exact restrictions they want for their child. For example, it should be possible for you to block any internet websites that you do not wish your child to visit.
- The software can monitor social media websites, such as Facebook, for potential risks.
- You can also be able to prevent your child from accessing certain programs or files on the computer. This is useful if you have downloaded movies or other content that you do not wish your child to access. It also means that any work documents you have on the computer will be kept safe.
Additional Steps to Keep Your Children Safe Online
As well as using the parental control features available with antivirus software it is also recommended that parents:
- Keep the computer in a part of the house where it will be easy to monitor what children are up to.
- Sit your children down and discuss the potential dangers they may face online.
- Encourage kids to discuss their experiences of using the internet.
- Insist that your child speaks to you first before they download anything.
- Monitor their activity to see the types of websites they are visiting.
- Be clear with your children about your rules and expectations for them when using the internet.
- It is important to encourage your child to let you know if they have experienced any upsetting or strange encounters while online.
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