Kids today are more digitally connected than their parents ever were, and despite their tech-savviness, they also face more online dangers.
The internet is not all fun and games. It’s a place where we connect and share information with millions of strangers who may not necessarily have good intentions.
If adults can fall victims to scammers, stalkers and cybercriminals, imagine the dangers and challenges your child or tween can face in the digital world.
The online realm has its share of funny cat videos, Facebook posts and TikToks, but it’s also home to disturbing content, cyberbullying, predators and malicious activity of all sorts.
Parental control software can help make your child’s computer or mobile device safer by allowing you to monitor and filter inappropriate content and help establish better device habits. However, before you start implementing this option on your kids’ smart devices or computers, it’s essential to be open and communicative and let them how the software works.
Moreover, parental control software should not be used to obsessively track your kids’ every online move or infringe on their privacy or emotional wellbeing.
When should you consider using parental controls?
If you’re concerned about your children’s online activity but aren’t sure when or to implement parental controls on their devices, look for seven tell-tale signs to help you figure out your next steps:
- Children sneak a device into their bedrooms or lie about how long they’ve been on the device. While this behavior can be observed in many children who don’t want to give up that extra time watching a show or playing their favorite game, it can also point to more damaging behavior
- Your child starts ignoring family responsibilities and schoolwork, focusing more on time online
- Kids stop communicating with family members, spending all their free time on smart devices – If your child is increasingly consumed by a phone or tablet and this behavior changes the family dynamic, it may be time to consider setting screen time limits
- Your kids’ browser history reveals access to age-inappropriate websites – children are curious, and most often, their search patterns may start innocent enough and lead them down a slippery slope of adult content and apps
- Your child self isolates from the family, and you find inappropriate instant messaging apps on the device – this is probably one of the most alarming signs for a parent, as it could mean that he or is she is communicating with a stranger
- You notice your kids overshare online, have hundreds of friends they don’t know in real life, and all their profile info is publicly visible
- Your child shows signs of exhaustion and can’t focus on school work, household chores or other activities – the pandemic has boosted the consumption of digital activities for adults and children alike. If your kids are trading screen time for sleep, it may be time to set screen limits to help them re-establish their focus and get into healthier daily activities that promote creativity, good sleep patterns and better overall lifestyle
Bitdefender’s Parental Control feature, which can be found in several of our security products, offers digital help to parents and guardians who wish to ensure extra online safety for children who use internet-enabled devices. The software filters out inappropriate digital content while allowing the parent to limit screen time and keep up with the child’s online activities. You can also check your child’s latest phone contacts for suspicious or unfamiliar numbers and track their location when they are not by your side.