Safeguards for using technology

Our last post detailed the five steps to creating a comprehensive internet safety plan for your family. Now is the time to discuss how Safeguards technical security fits into this plan.

But before we do, it’s important to reiterate that Safeguards technical security is only part of an internet security plan. They strengthen the guardrails around children’s and teens’ online activities and help parents maintain (Safeguards) awareness of these activities. In other words, they facilitate but do not replace good parenting.

Below is a guide to the different types of Safeguards technical security available, what they do and where they can be installed. While none of these tools will protect your family from every imaginable danger, the right combination can make parenting in the digital age much more manageable.

Warranties for use of technology

  1. Parental control

What they do:

Most operating systems have some level of parental control that can set restrictions on app usage, purchase rights, or even web permissions.

Devices covered: Parental controls can vary from device to device, but most devices include some level of native restrictions that you can put in place.

What they don’t do:

While parental controls offer some control over what content kids can access, parents often find they need additional layers of security beyond these built-in controls. Parental controls tend to be less detailed than standalone products, which can lead to frustration.

  1. Content Filters

What they do:

Simply put, content filters block the bad stuff. Most of them provide control over what kinds of content parents want to block (pornography, violence, etc.).

Devices that apply:

Content filters can be installed on a single device (computer, smartphone, tablet) or across the entire network. We often recommend that parents install both a network-level filter, such as OpenDNS, which blocks inappropriate content on any device connecting to the web from their network, and a device-level filter on their children’s devices, which protects them when they connect to the Internet away from home. from home or on a data plan.

What they don’t:

Content filters don’t block all inappropriate content. They have become more advanced, but none of them are perfect.

  1. Monitoring software

What it does:

Monitoring software, also known as accountability software, gives parents visibility into how their kids and teens are browsing the web through messages that alert them to problematic behaviours.

Devices covered:

Monitoring software can be installed on computers and mobile devices. Some retailers, such as Covenant Eyes, offer flat rates for unlimited devices within a family.

What it doesn’t:

Tracking is a bit more complicated on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) because it has to be installed as a separate browser app. This means that parents must use device-level parental controls to prevent their children from downloading other browser apps if they want to monitor all web activity on an iOS device.

  1. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software.

What it does:

MDM solutions like Curbi give parents visibility and control over their kids’ and teens’ devices. They usually facilitate control over app downloads and usage limits (such as turning off the device after sleeping).

Devices covered:

MDM software is specifically designed for devices with mobile operating systems (eg smartphones, tablets, iPod touch)

What it doesn’t do:

MDM software is great for protecting mobile devices, but it’s no glory. Some questionable apps are specifically designed to appear harmless to parents, so parents need to stay in touch.

  1. Social media and text tracking

What it does:

Social media and text monitoring provides insight into children’s and teens’ social media and texting interactions. Solutions like Bark work by connecting to children’s and teens’ profiles, then sending reports to parents when communication looks problematic.

Devices covered:

These tools are usually directly linked to social media accounts, so they track all activity on a particular account from any device. Bark also offers text message tracking apps on smartphones.

What it doesn’t:

While tools like Bark cover a wide range of social media platforms, the list of platforms that are popular with kids and teens is growing every day. Parents need to be sure that the tools they choose cover the social media their children use.





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