5 reasons parental controls are important

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Putting parental controls on teens' smartphones
Smartphones are important to everyday life, but how they’re used can make drastic differences to how they’re perceived by parents. Photo via Pexels, CC0 License.

This post is also available in: French Chinese (Simplified)

Why are parental controls important, now more than ever? In a world where technology is moving fast, with innovations upon innovations, parents need to understand why they’re necessary on computers and other devices kids use, for the protection of these young minds.

Parental controls have come a long way

In the past, these monitoring methods were seen as a nuisance or simply not great solutions. They required extra setup on devices that were already difficult or frustrating to use, and tech-savvy kids often found ways to undo the safeguards, which rendered them useless.

However, as technology advanced, so did control options. Nowadays, parental controls are easy to setup and they’re vital in controlling how much time your child is able to spend on the internet. But they are also ways to keep an eye on how your children are using technology.

If you want to ensure that your kids are safe on the internet, then you need to know the answer to the following question. It is: Why are parental controls important? Here are five reasons for setup at home:

1. Limit downloads to keep your computers safer

Kids are usually gullible and easy to fool, which makes them prime targets for hackers and cyber-criminals. The reason is they’re more likely to download programs that look legitimate but are actually viruses designed to be as close to the original as possible.

This likeness will trick many kids into thinking they are downloading something useful while spending time on the computer and phone. But, in actual fact, it’s something that could destroy the technology. It can lock your computers and even spread to other devices in the same home network.

In short, parental controls that limit downloads are important not only for your children but also for you. To keep your computers safe and your networks free of viruses and malware, you’d be wise to limit what your kids can and cannot download online.

2. Shield your children from questionable online content

It’s not unusual to place strict parental controls on what content your children are allowed to see online. For example, you might want to block certain search terms and blacklist various websites to prevent your child from accidentally stumbling onto them.

This action might give them a lack of freedom, especially if moms and dads are a little overzealous with the websites they block. But it’s important to shield your child from certain types of content. They are better off not not having negative influences at a young age.

When you will remove this blacklist depends on your personal preferences. But it’s usually a good idea to remove it sooner rather than later if you believe that your kids are ready to brave the world.

The types of questionable content that we see on a regular basis online will come before their eyes at some point, unfortunately; you can only shield them for so long and raise them to understand what is right. Good values will take them far, and you can be proud of their ability to make good decisions.

3. Parental controls prevent unintentionable abuse of money

Many parents trust their kids with their tablets and smartphones. However, many children don’t understand just what it takes to earn money. This makes sense as they’ve never had a job.

Thus, they might purchase things such as games or in-app purchases on their favorite smartphone and tablet games without any thought about the consequences. There have been countless situations like this one in the news.

It’s becoming an increasing problem with parents who don’t activate the parental control settings on their devices. You’d be surprised at just how easy it is for a child to accidentally drain your entire bank account by pressing a few buttons on a device without parental control locks.

These locks are easy to set up, forcing your child to ask before able to purchase anything on smartphones and tablets. This process provides a great opportunity to teach your children about money so that they have a solid understanding of what it means to have additional responsibility in life.

4. Monitor your child’s usage to identify problems

Whether it’s using iPhone monitoring software to track their photos and location history or tracking purchases made with their Android phone, it’s important to monitor how your child uses technology. That way, you have the time to identify certain problems in their behavior.

For example, let’s say that your child spends too much time on video games. In this case, there’s an risk of them falling behind in school. If they miss projects and fail tests, they will have even more issues. In this case, there needs to be a discussion about priorities before they start to lag in class.

Monitoring text messages and Facebook posts can also help you identify online bullying or threats toward your younster at school. Prevention is usually the best answer to these types of problems.

Now you see another answer to the question of “why are parental controls important?” It is vital for you to play an active role in monitoring your boy or girl’s usage of various devices and services. Only then can you get a clear picture of the situation.

5. Help limit your kids’ time online

Parental controls can also limit how much time your children spend on computers. It achieves this by setting times that give your child internet access.

When a certain amount of time passes, the network will automatically cut the internet connection. That way, your child can no longer access the computer or mobile device.

This lock ensures that you can get kids to bed on time and help prevent a tech addiction. It will also help little ones to maintain a healthy balance between online and offline activities.

Final words on why are parental controls important

As you can see, parental controls are often overlooked, yet they’re still incredibly valuable. That is especially true when it comes to protecting your child from the wild west online.

These internet-based parental controls are ones you can set and install on individual devices or on your internet router. The router is the better choice of the two.

For hardware setup, it might take some learning to figure out but it’s absolutely worth it for your child’s protection and the betterment of the family unit. There are usually instructions in the boxes of the devices you have or you can find guides online. The guides will help you as long as you know the specific make and model of the home internet router.

This post is also available in: French Chinese (Simplified)

15 COMMENTS

  1. Great points Christy. I’m thankful my kids are grown now because the amount of scams, viruses, and suggestive sites has increased exponentially in the last few years. Luckily, we have virus and credit protection to help keep us safe.

  2. Great post .we never know enough about it.last winter I went to a tLk about internet safety and even if my girls are still young I am glad I did.actually I learned few tips for my own safety too.
    What I don’t get is those parents who complaint about their kids browsing constantly on internet or learning this and that through u tube like they are justifying the self”they didn’t get from me ,they got it from u tube.i can’t control that”,well,I might be a bit old fashion but yes you can and you have to.😉

  3. Good post Christy,
    I tried to keep my kids safe but the ex didn’t want parameters set & the older ones couldn’t do what they wanted.
    Ho hum…

  4. Excellent and very timely post Christy! I’m involved with a lovely group of parents in a family learning programme at the moment trying to understand the “how to” of the above. Two classes in and we agree Parental control and setting boundaries is key. Also fostering good communication with your children is vital. Parents have also said that knowing other parents have the same concerns has been supportive. Learning to focus on some of the positives of social media, rather than always focusing on the extreme cases has dispelled some anxiety.

    But the task is far from easy; the vast amount of devices and jargon takes time and practice to come to grips with but as a community of learners and using a discovery approach to learning we are determined to educate ourselves and find supportive solutions!

  5. My Hub and I often comment on how lucky we were to have brought our children up, more or less, prior to the internet. It’s brought a whole new set of worries and responsibilities for parents. It’s good to put the reminders out there.

  6. Thank you, Christy, for sharing this important post regarding parents taking control of their children to prevent the misuse of social media. There is potential abuse with the use of social media and the internet with inappropriate content. I know my own daughter has taken some of the steps above.

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