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Parental Control Guide: Free Tools to Maximize Internet Safety for Children

We live in a time where all of our information and identities exist online. We post pictures of our friends and ourselves, and at times forget that we are exposing ourselves. I know what you’re thinking, “I’m an adult, I can take care of myself.”

Sure! But what about your little ones?

Children born after 1995 grew up in a world connected by the internet and mobile phones. They start using mobile technology from the time that they are 3 or 4 years old. This means that they will be able to learn how to use the internet and mobile phones much faster than us adults.

By four or five years of age, they will know how to navigate all kinds of phone apps and software. Imagine what they’ll know how to do by the time they are eight or ten years old.

Perhaps even before they reach eight or nine, they will have learned how to take selfies, make videos, browse the web, type on a keyboard, send emails and messages over communication apps. Having these skills enables our youngsters to use all kinds of amazing web services and platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube.

Basically, given their early start, everything that you and I can do, your children can probably do better.

Does this mean that you ought to restrict their access to technology? No, of course not. Our entire future will most likely require tech-savvy youth. However, there is another option that you should consider: parental controls.

What are Parental Controls Used For?

Instead of depriving your children of all of the wonders of the tech universe, just restrict access to specific websites, certain mobile phone functions, or specific types of content. This is exactly what parental controls do. On the one hand, your child will still get the tech experience they need to survive the modern world. However, on the other hand, they won’t be exposed to the many dangers present in the cyber world.

Protect Your Children from These Dangers:

It would be impossible to list all of the unfortunate problems and scoundrels that hinder internet safety for children, but here are a few big ones to consider:

  • Sexual Extortion
  • Online Predators
  • Cyberbullying
  • Identity Fraud

Don’t worry! Continue reading for suggestions on how to use the best parental control software to protect your children from such dangers.

What Can Parental Controls Do?

The following are functions typically offered by parental control software:

  • Filters can block specific types of content such as pornography
  • Profiles created for each individual family can give everyone different levels of access to the internet or applications
  • User controls can restrict website or application access to mobile functions such as sharing documents, photos, videos, etc
  • Set limits on time to make sure your children don’t spend all of their time on the internet
  • Real-time analysis of website content and instant alerts in case your child is trying to access certain websites

Parental Control software would normally provide all of these functions. However, it’s also true that you’re not going to invest more time in learning how to use such complex software.

Where to Find Such Parental Control Functions?

You can find such parental control functions in many different places. Try tinkering with the following to find such controls:

  • Mobile phones and tablet computer settings
    • Usually, you can also create profiles with different levels of access
  • Broadband/ ISP settings
    • These settings would impact all of the computers and devices connected to this broadband/wifi/router
  • Computer profile settings
    • Will affect individual accounts on a phone or computer
  • Internet service account settings
    • Youtube and facebook settings can also give parents greater control over what types of content their children are accessing on these platforms

Which Functions Should I Block or Limit?

The number of functions available can definitely be overwhelming to learn. However, if you follow these steps you should easily be able to determine what to do:

  1. What specifically are you trying to protect your child from?
  2. Ask yourself if you can trust your children to protect themselves from such dangers.
  3. Make a list of device functions, websites, and platforms you think will be impacted by your efforts to protect your child from such dangers?
  4. Going through each item on the list and determine what type of control you’ll need to impose:
    • Filter
    • Time restriction
    • Device functions
    • Application access to device functions
    • Control access to specific websites
  5. Also, determine if you want to monitor or limit their activity

Which are the Best Apps to Monitor Childs Phone?

In a study done by Influence Central (2016), there was a notable rise in children’s access to mobile phones and social media from a younger age than in previous years. The average age for a child to get a phone is now 10.3, with 64 percent of kids also having access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet – a 22 percent increase from 2012. Tablets and phones are also increasingly used on the go, with the usage of tablets going up from 26 percent to 55 percent, and phones increasing by 6 percent to 45 percent from 2012.

Whilst this study was limited to 500 women to keep it in line with the previous 2012 one, the trends identified in it are too noteworthy to ignore. Children are in control of their access to social media and the internet at an increasingly younger age than in previous years, leaving them exposed to online predators, cyberbullying, and adult content. This rise in availability has not been mirrored in parents monitoring of child usage of electronics and Internet. Limits set by parents have actually decreased, with 41 percent limiting access to content online.

Bearing in mind that 1 in 7 child Internet users have been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual solicitations, this drop in parental control in worrying. Nonetheless, there are easy and manageable ways to redeem this dire situation. Parental control apps are an easy and manageable method of restricting access to and monitoring your children’s Internet access. Here are some of the best currently on the market:

  • Norton Family Premier ($49.99)
    • Norton Family Premier is capable of monitoring a range of devices from Android to iOS. It has flexible content filtering, time-limits Internet and device usage, social media monitoring, and can also monitor what your child is watching on YouTube.
  • KidGuard (Free)
    • KidGuard for iOS is great for a hands-off approach to parental control. It allows you to view your child’s browser history for any day, monitor all social media apps including Snapchat and WhatsApp, view complete call logs and texts. It comes with a location tracker that actually lets you view your child’s current or past location.
  • Net Nanny ($59.99)
    • Net Nanny offers the same wide range of services as most top parental control apps do. It monitors social media, has a profanity masking setting, allows you time manage your child’s device usage and has an Internet filter. A family pass is needed to get this app for both Android and iOS.
  • Qustodio for Families ($54.95)
    • Qustodio is a simple parental control app that allows you to monitor your child’s activities in real-time. Simply download the app on both your and your child’s device to block out adult content even in private browsing mode, limit the use of their device, or even individual apps (or just block them altogether), monitor their social networks, calls, texts, and track their location. There is a basic free version and a more comprehensive paid premium version.
  • PhoneSherff ($89.00)
    • This handy app allows you to filter out unwanted content from either a tablet or a mobile device, while letting you monitor any actions taken on it, such as texting, call logs, specific numbers and browser history. It also lets you track the location of a device via GPS, all from your PhoneSheriff account. It offers a six-month subscription and a twelve-month subscription.

Of course, in conjunction with these parental control apps, you should have an open and honest conversation with your child about the dangers of online, and agree on what and what isn’t appropriate for them.

The Best Free Parental Control Apps for Cellphones

Choosing between applications or software can certainly be brain-wracking. But isn’t technology supposed to be the solution to all of our petty problems?

Try telling that to a parent who’s juggling between babies and pancake batter in the mornings! To us parents, we care about what works, not necessarily how.

We will give you a very brief description of what these free parental control apps do and as little ‘how’ as possible. Instead of going through all of the available options we prefer to educate our readers on the best free parental control tools out there.

We are going to judge each parental control based on the following simple but important factors:

  1. The number of devices that can be restricted:
  2. Most families will have more than one child. Thus, the best tools out there can work on multiple devices.
  3. Ease of installation:
  4. No one wants to spend too much time trying to figure out the nitty-gritty details, especially when we’d rather put more of our time in protecting our children.
  5. Ease of use:
  6. When it comes to parental controls, the best software won’t necessarily be the ones with the greatest degree of configuration. You want something that can be installed to instantly protect your children from the superfluous dangers or explicit content floating around on the web. We also know that you’ll want a tool that your children can’t easily uninstall or alter.

KidGuard’s Parental Control Tool

Imagine this: you want to prevent your kids from lingering onto some web page with racy or inappropriate content, and all you want to do is use something that can’t be uninstalled from your kid’s phone and requires no effort whatsoever to use. That, moms and dads, is exactly what KidGuard’s parental control app does!

After a quick installation and password creation, this super simple app will block your children from accessing those danger zones regardless of whether they’re using their friend’s wifi, their mobile data, or anything for that matter. Furthermore, it can be installed on an unlimited number of phones and can only be uninstalled with a password.

After installation, try any racy site and observe each page’s demise before your eyes. None will get through, EVER.

OpenDNS Family Shield

OpenDNS Family Shield can also block almost any underage site on the internet. This tool works differently, and that difference can be quite large. See, it’s not a tool per se since it doesn’t require installation. Rather, you simply change a couple of numbers in the settings menu of your phone, computer, or even laptop. But this simple change of numbers won’t matter once your children are at their friend’s home or suddenly decide to use their phone’s data.

The downside is, that although useful at home, the protection won’t follow your kids everywhere.

QuStudio Parental Control 2015

Let us tap your imagination once again. Imagine a tool that could be used to monitor and control everything that your child does on his or her phone. You can read their messages, limit their phone time, browse through their photo album, or see who they’ve been talking with. Furthermore, it can also block certain bad websites, location, and other functions as well.

But by now you should realize that it’ll require you to learn an onslaught of settings and functions. Furthermore, those with big families will soon learn that this app is only free for one phone! Yup, that’s right. One and that’s all.

So, there you have it! We gave you the best options available for free. If we didn’t include another program you’ve heard of, then we didn’t think its worth any parent’s time.

Changing App Permissions on Android and iPhone

Have you started realizing that your children are spending too much time on their phones? Do you know who they’re talking to? Do you know which sites have your children glued to their monitors? Is it starting to affect their homework or test grades?

If you’ve even contemplated some of these questions, then you’re worried. At this juncture, you’re probably searching for ways to limit what they can do on their phones, their chatting time, or what they share with the dark wilderness of the web. To answer all of your questions about particular functions, yes, you can block photo sharing, location sharing, and even the microphone. You can even customize such limits for specific apps. All of this can be done with parental controls.

What can you restrict?

Before we get into the details, we’ll clue you in on what types of functions a parental control app monitors or changes.

  • Camera – taking pictures with other applications
  • Photos – sending or sharing photos
  • Microphone – sending voice messages or any type of recording
  • Videos – sending video recordings
  • File Sharing – sending files to other phones using an application or wireless connection
  • Location services – sharing location with other individuals

How do you access these restrictions?

As you might have imagined, iOS and Android will both have different ways to limit functionality.

How to Set Parental Controls on iPhone

What makes blocking or turning off functions on the iPhone so simple is that it can all be done from the settings page.

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Tap “General”
  3. Tap “Restrictions”
  4. Tap “Turn on Restrictions”
  5. Enter a Restrictions Password
  6. Choose any function you wish you to turn off by tapping on the switch icons
How to Change Permissions on Android

Android’s process is a bit longer. Before you can restrict your child’s phone, you’ll need to make a “Kid Account”, which takes about 15 minutes. This type of account is created by a parent through the app Family Link, which allows you to remotely monitor and limit certain functions on your kid’s phone. Just like the iPhone, it allows you to restrict functions for individual apps as well.

  1. First Create an account on the Family Link App.
    1. Open Family Link
    2. In the top right corner of the first screen, press the + button
    3. Input all of the requested information to make an account
    4. You should see a confirmation after this part is complete
  2. Add a new account to your child’s new Android Device.
    1. Turn on the device and follow all of the instructions to set up the device
    2. When asked to sign in with your Google Account, tap Create Account; If you can’t see this button, tap More Options
    3. Enter your child’s personal information and password
    4. Follow the instructions to sign in with your own Google Account, give parental consent, and then choose the settings that you know will make your child safe
  3. Access all of the functions through the Family Link app.
    1. Open the app “Family Link”
    2. Select your child’s account
    3. On the “Apps” section, tap “More”
    4. On the “Allowed” list, choose “Facebook”, or any app
    5. Tap “App Permissions”
    6. Turn the switch off

Although Family Link takes a bit of time to set up, it may be a very useful platform to stop your kids from carelessly browsing around on the internet.

The Best Parental Control App for Free

Knowing kids, all you have to do is look the other way and they’ll start scheming surreptitious ways to break the house rules. The same thing is going to happen with their phones.

You want to stay a step ahead and make sure that, no matter where they are, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they aren’t being exposed to graphic content online.

Given this, if you were to install OpenDNS Family Shield on your router or child’s phone, it’ll only work with your WiFi at home. This means that your child could simply turn off WiFi and use data or go to their friends’ house to see whatever they want online.

The best option for maximum control is to install a software that your child can’t alter, uninstall, or ever evade. That option is KidGuard Parental Control. After a simple installation and quick password, your child will always be protected from the worst of the internet, no matter where they are. Of all of the free tools out there, we recommend using KidGuard Parental Controls.

How to Block Apps & Functions on iPhone and Android

As parents, we’re all worried about the activities that our children engage in online. A lot of content might expose them to ideas or thoughts that are simply inappropriate. The internet also carries a number of other risks, such as interaction with mal-intentioned strangers.

Unfortunately, many of our popular applications and social networking services amplify the risk of kids stumbling upon graphic or mature online content or bad things happening to our kids.

To help you stay in control over what your kids are doing and to minimize their exposure to those bad apples lurking around the net, we have provided a short set of instructions on how to block apps and functions of the internet’s major services like AppStore and Facebook.

Although some of these major services have parental controls available directly from their mobile apps, the world of technology keeps working for parents to make matters of safety much simpler. Thus, iPhone allows you to control every app through its restrictions menu, whereas Android achieves the same level of simplicity, but through an entirely separate app. Both work out quite nicely.

If you use an iPhone, you can access all of the controls from the iPhone Restrictions. If you use an android, you can access such parental controls through a Google application called Family Link. Here are the instructions on how to access and add a password to your child’s restrictions.

iPhone Restrictions

iPhone restrictions are apple’s native parental control system. To access it, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. General
  3. Restrictions
  4. Turn on Restrictions
  5. Add Restrictions Password

How to Block Apps on iPhone

So you’ve accessed the restrictions settings for your child’s iPhone. Now you want to stop your child from, say, sharing photos on their phone’s Facebook App. Scroll down to the “Privacy” section.

Photos

What is commonly used for extortion by online predators are pictures. Knowing that you’d like to limit your child’s exposure to such dangers, it might be necessary to limit their sharing capabilities. However, if you’d only like to limit their sharing to just the Facebook or Messenger apps, use the following restriction settings:

  1. Select “Photos”
  2. Find “Facebook” or “Messenger” and click on the switch

This will prevent these applications from accessing the photos on your child’s phone.

Location

If you want to stop your children from using the “Share Live Location” on facebook messenger, do the following:

  1. Select “Location Services”
  2. Scroll down till you see “Facebook” or “Messenger”
  3. Click on the app of interest and click “Never”
Third-Party Apps

Another way that a child’s information could surface on the internet is by meeting strangers over gaming apps and third-party apps for Facebook. It’s possible to restrict third-party applications from accessing their profile on Facebook. In order to do this follow the instructions:

  1. Under the “Privacy” section find and tap on Facebook
  2. Check “Don’t Allow Changes
  3. Scroll down and Tap the switch aligned with the Facebook icon

Parental Controls for Twitter, Line, Whatsapp, etc on the iPhone

The above instructions can be followed for almost any iPhone application, be it Twitter, WhatsApp, or even Youtube.

Android Permissions

Unlike the iPhone, all restrictions that parents wish to place on their children’s Android phone must be done through an application called Family Link. Just like the iPhone, you can control what your child does for specific apps through the Family Link settings. However, the benefit is that using that app, you can do it remotely.

If you want to manage permissions only for Facebook, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the app “Family Link”
  2. Select your child’s account
  3. On the “Apps” section, tap “More”
  4. On the “Allowed” list, choose “Facebook”
  5. Tap “App Permissions”
  6. Turn the switch off

These instructions can be used for all applications installed on your child’s Android Phone. Using the Family Link you can manage your child’s Android phone activity without having ever having to see the device.

Cyber Safety Alert: Watch Out For These Websites and Apps

In an age where children are becoming active in social media at the tender age of 10 it’s important for parents to be aware of the apps they are using and the content they are consuming and sharing as a result. Fads come and go, and trends are precarious in their longevity, making it difficult to keep on the pulse of what is hot in social media and what is not. For instance, YikYak, an anonymous status posting app was booming not two years ago but has since faded in popularity.

So what sites and apps are popular? you may be asking. And why is it so important that I know what one my child is on? I know the overbearing and protecting parent stereotype is stifling and one you may be wanting to avoid, but nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution when it comes to your child’s social media use. There isn’t a need to know everything about these apps and sites, just enough to know the dangers and whether you can trust your child to use them or not. After all, social media is the preferred method of predators to meet their victims these days, with 1 in 7 – that’s 13 percent – of youth Internet users receiving unwanted sexual solicitations. Additionally, in a poll of 11 to 17-year-olds, 35 percent reported that they have experienced cyberbullying.

And so, here is a list of popular and potentially dangerous sites and apps that your child may be using.

Kik

Kik messenger is a free messenger app that allows users to send messages and pictures. As Kik needs a username from users to sign up there is a definite Stranger Danger since you can add contacts via this anonymous username.

Tinder

Tinder is a dating app, where users will swipe left to match with other users. The signup date for this is 18, but a lot of kids will create a Facebook with a fake age to join up. This leaves kids open to predatory behavior and potential abuse from adults and is a hard no for them to have.

ASKfm

This is a Q&A app, where users will answer anonymous asks to their public profile. The anonymity involved in this app is very dangerous, as it leaves users open to harassment and sexually explicit questions from askers who will remain anonymous.

Voxer

Essentially this is a walkie-talkie app, where users communicate in voice message snippets. It offers a live feature, and the ability to share text, photos and videos, and your location as well. The danger here is harassment from cyberbullies that can be played again and again.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a popular messaging app where users send temporary ‘Snaps’ (pictures) as a means to communicate. Popular with teens, users can be added to group chats with strangers. Whilst the assumption here is that the Snap will go away, users can screenshot anything, leaving teens open to cyberbullying and, also, sexual predators who will add them and try to groom them.

Whisper

Whisper posts confessions from users on top of a picture. Some of the content is adult and alarming, with users posting about sexual desires or even distressing situations such as abuse. There aren’t a lot of signup requirements, so it is easy for kids to join. It also allows a user to communicate in-app, sending pictures and text alike. There have been two cases of arrests involving the use of Whisper to send/ask for explicit images of minors.

musical.ly

music.ly is a social media app that is based around recording yourself lip syncing to a song and posting in in-app. Because this app has users of all ages there is a lot of content for mature audiences, especially in the popular music used in the app.

Houseparty

Houseparty is a group video chat application that can have up to eight people in a chat at once. Because this is a live app, there is a risk of inappropriate behavior that can be screenshotted and shared, and kids may see distressing content as there is no way to control what others show in a chat.

Monkey

This app uses Snapchat to connect to it, and like many old video chat rooms, users have 10 seconds to video chat with a random user. Though users do get to look at their chat partner’s age, gender and location and can chose whether to accept or not, there is still a big risk of sexual content being shown by strangers to kids.

Omegle

Omegle is a chat site that pairs up users at random, or according to specific interests in either a text or video and text chat. This site is rife with users looking for sexual chats and porn bots, so it is not a place for children or teens.

If you’re concerned about your child using these applications and websites, talk to them about it and explain why they are inappropriate to use. You can also use parental control apps to filter the content and apps your child sees and uses. Apps such as KidGuard (free) and NetNanny (paid) allow parents to block websites, monitor social media use, and block apps from being downloaded, making it much simpler to keep your child safe from dangerous apps and websites.

How to Protect Your Children from Online Predators Using Parental Controls

We live in an age of instant connection: with friends, with information, with media. All reached with a simple tap of a button, physical or digital. The world is in the palm of our smartphone beholden hands, and we have unfettered access to it, for good or worse. For adults, this is a new world, for children? It is the only one they have known. Children are given access to a, mostly, decidedly child unfriendly world, waiting for their inherent innocence to be taken advantage of by a myriad of online predators.

1 in 3 internet users are children as of 2015 – that’s roughly 1066666666 children who are exposed to abuse online from a predator, cyberbullying from peers and unsuitable adult content such as pornography. In fact, 1 in 7 youth users were the recipients of unwanted sexual solicitations, and from then about 1 in 25 youths were asked by online predators to meet in real life. That’s a whopping 42666666 children being abused by predators that could’ve been avoided through restrictions on their internet access.

So, how do we protect our children from online abuse and adult content? Parental control is a good start. Remember, sitting your child down and having a conversation about the dangers online, and which websites are banned is vital in protecting them as well.

Whilst 39% of parents have reported using parental controls for “blocking, filtering or monitoring their teen’s online activities” according to a Pew Research Center survey, the use of parental controls is essential for protecting children from online abuse and predatory behavior. So what are parental controls then? It is software that allows parents to restrict the access of content to their children, tools that come with many browsers such as Google, Internet Explorer, and Opera; on many consoles like PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo; on phones and tablets like Apple iPhone, Samsung, and Sony.

Parental control comes in four types:

  • Content filters – self-explanatory
  • Usage controls – a device can only be used during certain time periods
  • Computer usage management tools – only certain software is available
  • and Monitoring – texts, IMs, browser history, call log can be tracked

As I have already mentioned, most devices and browsers come up parental controls in their operating systems, so it is simple and free to set up content restrictions for your children via their settings. However, apps/software need to used to block programs, set a usage timer, or to monitor a mobile device/tablet. Norton Family Premier is a monthly subscription service that has web content filters, location tracking, and a time limit function. Another payable app is PhoneSheriff, which includes a panic button for alerting contacts to a child’s whereabouts. Net Nanny is a popular pay-by-device software that includes a profanity masking tool.

However, if you’re in the market for free parental control software then try out KidGuard for iOS, an online service that “equips any parent with the right tools” to protect your children from online predators by monitoring their social media, texts and calls, browser history, and allowing them to view their location, all without the need to jailbreak the device. Qustodio also offers a basic free version of their parental control service, which covers the basics like time schedules, and adult content blocking.

In order to protect children from abuse online – cyberbullying, sexual harassment – parental controls are a must. Youthful curiosity must be stemmed and diverted from places online that would hurt them, and this should be done through setting boundaries both through talking with your child and on their online access.

Stop Cyberbullying with Parental Controls

1 in 3 Internet users are youths. They have a wider access to the Web than any generation before, and with that, the potential for online cyberbullying has also become greater. With everything being online now – talking, texting, showing pictures – the platform for bullying has increased from the schoolyard to cyberspace.

According to a Connected Kids report, children aged 5 to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours in front of screens a day, doubled from three hours in 1995. If kids spend seven hours at school and then a further 6.5 hours in front of a screen, the time frame for bullies to strike has exponentially grown. Not happy to just contain bullying to schools, bullies are now able to strike anywhere at anytime with the connectedness of the Internet. A whopping 52 percent of students report being cyberbullied, which does not take those who do not report it into account. And out of these, 52 percent of kids do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs.

So what exactly is cyberbullying? It is any form of bullying that happens online or digitally. This usually is IMs, DMs, email, social media and social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat. There are many kinds of cyberbullying, but these are the most common types as reported by the ETCB.

  • Harassment  – This involves the sending of offensive and malicious messages to an individual or a group by a bully, and often this happened multiple times.
  • Flaming – Similar to harassment, flaming is a type of public bullying that often directs harsh language or images to a specific person via emails, IM or chat rooms.
  • Exclusion – This is the act of leaving someone, or singling someone out from an online group such as group chats, forums, or sites. The group then harass the one they have singled out.
  • Outing – Outing is when a bully shares personal or private information, pictures, or videos about someone publically without their permission.
  • Masquerading – This is a situation where the bully will ‘masquerade’ as someone to harass someone anonymously, or they assume someone’s identity to harass them.

So how does a parent protect their child from cyberbullying when they don’t even know when it’s happening to them? Parental control software and apps are the best way to safely monitor your child’s Internet usage, such as their social media, and their texts and calls. They allow you to see what your child is receiving, and should it be something harassing some let you block certain numbers.

KidGuard’s free parental control software for iOS is fantastic for finding signs of cyberbullying and stopping it while being noninvasive. It allows you to view call logs and texts, their online activity with a notable ability to be up-to-date with Snapchat (an app notorious for being a send-and-delete mode of communication), and other applications they are using on their device. It is a free, easy software for any concerned parent. Of course, you should talk to your child should you suspect they are being cyberbullied in an open and safe way as well.

Ensure Internet Safety for Kids with Parental Control Enabled Video Gaming Systems

Roughly four out of five American households contain a device used to play videos – so either a video game console or a computer. Of that, 155 million Americans regularly play video games, with 26 percent of players being under 18 years. At an estimate, that’s 299000000 under 18’s playing video games; with one in three gamers playing online a huge number of kids being exposed to potentially unsuitable content, abuse on live chats and console IMs.

While this study says that 69 percent of parents regularly check ESRB ratings before buying games, 31 percent (and possibly more) do not, leaving their child susceptible to violent and sexual video game content without any knowledge of their child buying the game. This is why it is imperative for parents to use parental control settings on video gaming systems so as to block children from playing adult content!

Here is a guide to video gaming systems that use parental controls.

Steam

This popular PC gaming service is used by nearly every PC gamer. Simply go to Preferences then Family to enable Family Mode. This includes:

  • a pin protection
  • what games to be displayed in Family Mode
  • disable use of the store, chat, and community

PlayStation 4

One of, if not the most, popular gaming consoles today, the PlayStation 4 parental controls are simple to set up. You simply go to the System Menu, then Parental Control and set up the options to your liking. They include:

  • restricting games, apps, and DVDs by age rating
  • disabling messages on PSN from other users
  • blocking content and setting spending limits on the PlayStation Story

Xbox One

Another incredibly popular console that is simple to set up parental controls. Each profile can be set to child, teen, and adult with each profile having restrictions:

  • Adult profiles have no restrictions, and can play any movie or game, and have the ability to change settings as they please. The can restrict app and game access by rating, block certain phrases from appearing in searches, filter websites, and have a timer function.
  • Teen profiles can have restrictions placed on them as adult profiles see fit, restricting content by rating and ability to change settings.
  • Child profiles are restricted by rating and limit a number of online functions available to them. Adult profiles can add other restrictions as they see fit.

Nintendo 3DS

This is the most popular handheld for children (Nintendo has branded itself for years as a family company) so the parental controls are comprehensive and easy to use, with a pin protecting them so your child can’t access and turn them off. Go to System Setting and then Parental Control to activate them. Features include:

  • restricting chat, friends added, Miiverse and Street Pass
  • e-Shop store restrictions
  • apps and web browser
  • and 3D image display

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s newest console actually offers a parental control app to monitor use of the Switch! This is very handy for parents to monitor their kids even when they’re not in the same room. Simply install the app in the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. Features include:

  • decide which games they can play based on age ratings
  • see daily play times of each user
  • limit sharing of in-game text or images per game
  • restrict e-Shop purchases
  • suspend software is play time limit has to be exceeded
  • notifications of what your child is playing

About Us

KidGuard's sole mission is to protect your children online. Our team spends every waking hour thinking about how to bring awareness and inspire solutions on issues of cyber bullying, online predators, teen suicide, and childhood depression in the age of technology. KidGuard employs a team of researchers and writers to educate parents on solutions to digital parenting problems and also runs a popular child cell phone monitoring software to allow parents to stay involved in their child's life online.
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