How many times have you seen a child using a smartphone or tablet and have you thought: “you have to see, if he knows how it works better than me”? We even find it funny that our young children know how to play a mobile application or open YouTube and find a video of their favorite drawings.
These situations are increasingly common in our society and it is not surprising considering the technological revolution that we are experiencing today. The proliferation and progressive simplicity of all these devices and the almost unlimited accessibility to the Internet is allowing children to have more and more contact with a multitude of electronic devices and that, in many cases, they are the ones in charge of teaching their parents how they must use them.
But we must not forget that, although a priori this whole world can provide them with very useful tools when studying or training, for example, it can also entail dangers. And the thing is that the Internet is a space where content of all kinds can fit , many of them inappropriate for minors: violence, pornography, radicalism… Not to mention problems such as cyberbullying or sexting, growing concerns given the possibility of contacting all kinds of people in the network.
Therefore, it is convenient for parents to become aware of the importance of supervising and directing their children’s use of new technologies and helping them, especially at an early age, to discern between what they should or should not do on the Internet.
Fortunately, the same network offers parents a multitude of platforms and tools for parental control that can be of use in these situations.
What functionalities do parental control systems incorporate?
Most parental control tools or applications work in a similar way and may include features such as the following:
- Supervision and web control: this is, surely, the most important functionality of parental control systems and allows parents both to consult the most visited websites by their children and to configure the so-called “black list”, a list of websites to which you want to limit access.
- Activity reports: consists of the possibility of establishing periodic reports on the activity and behavior of minors while using the device.
- Blocking applications or programs: with this option parents can determine that minors do not have access to certain programs or applications (social networks, messaging applications …). To do this, they can establish that it is necessary to enter a password to execute it.
- Establishment of a “safe zone”: this functionality allows to establish a security zone that the minor can access, while protecting other parts of the device that may contain, for example, information that the child should not have access to.
- Call blocking: most tools allow that during the use that the minor makes of the device, the possibility of sending or receiving calls from certain phone numbers is blocked. This feature is very useful if you want, for example, to restrict international calls or calls from unknown numbers.
- Denial of activities that involve an economic outlay: allows to establish the prohibition of downloading paid applications or making any type of purchase over the Internet. In addition, with this option you can also limit children from sending messages or making phone calls.
- Time of use: this functionality allows you to control and limit the hours during which the minor uses the device. Many tools allow you to program the schedules for each day of the week and set, for example, that if the device is turned on when the time limit is reached, the session ends automatically.
- Geolocation: this feature allows you to know the child’s location if they leave home with the device.
- Remote control from the mobile phone or computer: finally, most parental control tools include this functionality, through which we can control all the variables that we have been commenting on from our mobile phone or computer.