Parental Control – Protect Your Kids Online

contrôle parental can help you monitor how your kids use their devices and apps. They can also block access to risky content and set healthy time limits.

Many operating systems include parental control options, as do some internet service providers with their gateways and routers. And some third-party services offer more extensive monitoring.


Monitoring parental control lets you see what your kids are up to online, including if they are visiting age-inappropriate sites or if they are cyberbullying other people. Some programs, like McAfee Safe Family and Bark, offer a free version with limited features while others such as Qustodio and Net Nanny cost yearly subscriptions of up to 100$.

These apps let you filter and block specific sites, words or images. They may also block outgoing content and prevent children from sharing personal information online in chat rooms or through email. Most products suggest settings based on your child’s age range, but you can adjust them as needed. Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to talk to your children about why they need software that monitors their usage and to explain how the software works. It can be difficult to justify letting them know that you are watching, but it’s essential to your child’s safety and well-being.


A good parental control software will filter out websites, apps, and games containing inappropriate content. It will also identify phishing sites, malware downloads, and other malicious websites.

Look for an Internet filter that works with all major browsers. A few options can even filter encrypted (https) websites—but not all do so.

Most products have some type of time limits and schedules for internet access. Look for those that offer category or app-specific limit settings, as well.

Some filters are only able to block specific categories of websites and apps; others will examine search terms and redirection, as well. Using a combination of both approaches will give you the most comprehensive and effective filtering. Look for a product that will work outside your home network, as well, if you have kids who use their phone or tablet while on the go. Some options, such as Bark and Qustodio, also scan doc-sharing apps for content that may be hidden from parents’ content filters.


Many Internet service providers offer parental controls to help manage content on the computers and devices in the home. The features can restrict apps, social media, sharing of personal information like photos and location and allowing or disabling camera access.

The tools also help balance computing time for children by introducing a learning component to gaming, where they earn computer and game time by completing educational content. However, no parental control tool is 100% fool proof so it’s important to talk with your children about the tools and create a family agreement to guide their technology use.

Some of the most popular parental control apps are Bark, Canopy and Google Family Link. While these do provide an excellent range of features caregivers want, there are some limitations – especially once your kids reach 13 years old and you no longer have access to their online profiles. However, all of these apps can be an effective addition to a comprehensive safety strategy that includes talking openly about the Internet with your children and giving them age appropriate strategies for dealing with inappropriate content they may come across online.

Ages and Settings

The internet puts the world at your child’s fingertips, from laughing at videos to shuddering at news, but it can also be risky. Parental controls, available on most Internet-enabled devices such as computers, mobile phones and gaming systems, can help reduce the risk of seeing inappropriate content online.

Parental control settings can be restrictive or permissive, depending on your child’s needs and your comfort level. You can adjust these settings to fit your child as they grow, but remember that parental controls are not a substitute for having regular conversations with your children about online safety.

Parental controls are generally available through your Internet service provider and/or on devices such as smartphones, tablets and desktops. These free practical guides from Internet Matters can help you understand the different options and set them for your family. They will show you how to filter apps and games, restrict screen time and lock settings with a password, plus help you navigate the many game rating systems used across platforms.

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