Parental Control Software
With tools like filtering, blacklists for inappropriate sites, email monitoring and social networking safeguards, parental control software can help parents keep an eye on the content their kids are accessing online. We tested the best parental control software to help parents pick the right software for their kids, their computers and their parenting strategies. We paid particular attention to factors like how easy they were to set up, how effectively they blocked content and how easy they were to circumvent, so take a look at our detailed reviews to learn more.
Parental Control Software Reviews & RatingsView Full Comparison Chart
NextAdvisor Parental Control Software Blog Headlines
Are Windows’ Parental Controls Enough Protection for Your Children?
Parents can’t always be around their children to make sure the websites they are visiting are safe and appropriate, which is why many use parental control features to help block or restrict potentially harmful content. While the easiest way to do this is to enlist the help of a parental control software, most computer and mobile […]
Instagram’s Push Notifications: Should Parents Be Concerned?
The popular photo and video-sharing app Instagram has been making a lot of changes to its platform recently. Just last month, users were pleasantly surprised to discover that the app increased its video time limit from 15 seconds to a full 60 seconds. And this past week, it began to roll out updates to the […]
Are Netflix’s Parental Controls Enough to Protect My Children?
Netflix has been on a roll with producing award-winning content with original series like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black,” but that’s not all the online video service has been up to lately. It’s also stepped its game up in children’s content as well, with new originals like “Kong: King of the […]
Which Parental Control Software Works Best with Smartphones and Tablets?
The Internet is not an unfamiliar concept to anyone, especially children who are often more in touch with technology than their parents these days. With some parents opting to give their children smartphones at an early age, kids have access to the Internet no matter where they are, which means that parents can’t always be […]
Did you know?
There are over 186 million websites on the Internet. Some of them are good and provide access to a wealth of information never before available. Others, well, most of us would rather not talk about them. For the most part, the Internet is completely unregulated. Along with all the great information out there, there's no shortage of sites that offer up pornography, violence, and other content that many parents don't want their children accessing.
Parental control software gives parents the ability to monitor their child's online activities and keep them from prohibited content. Parental control software can also help protect children from online predators. You can think of parental control software like Internet security software: it runs in the background, filtering content, analyzing behavior, and sending out warnings.
How we tested parental control software
For these tests we had to act like both parents and children. We downloaded and set up the software, and then we used the computer with the controls activated. We searched for stuff, both prohibited and acceptable, to see how smart the parental control software was, to see if it blocked too much or not enough. And then we tried to get around the controls. An important criterion in our ratings was how easy it was for us to bypass the parental control software using common techniques such as surfing with a proxy server. This gave us our "kid-proof rating," which you can see in our compare chart. For more ways to prevent parental control software circumvention, check out our FAQ.
How parental control software protects kids
Parental control software doesn't just keep kids from accessing inappropriate web sites, it provides mechanisms for monitoring online activity. Some parental control software records chat activity, and others give your teen privacy while just monitoring conversations for risky behavior. Some products even send out warnings to your email or cell phone. As we said above, the Internet is a big place, with new programs and new search terms invented daily. While parental control software is a great aid to keeping your kids safe, nothing beats keeping honest and open communication with them about the good and bad of the online world.