Parental Control - What Are They and How to Implement Them

Haseeb Awan
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April 13, 2023

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There are parental controls, and they're one of the most effective techniques for curbing children's internet use. Managing screen time and what your children see online is a high priority for parents today.

What Are Parental Controls?

Using parental controls, parents can block websites and apps, set time limits, restrict screen time, and even monitor their children's online activity minute by minute.

Why Are Parental Controls Needed?

There's a lot of information available on the Internet at any time. Whether you're looking for recipes or want to see cute cats, you can find them. You may also come across content you did not intend to find. Because children do not monitor while using the Internet, unrestricted access can become a dangerous freedom, especially when offered as a constant, immediate content buffet.

Setting healthy limits on your child's Internet use and reviewing their history are capabilities of internet parental control tools.

When Screen Time Becomes a Problem

Mobile device use among children as young as two years old up to eight years old has increased from about one hour a day in 2016 to about two hours a day in 2019, according to a Common Sense Media study. Restrictions are essential because screen time can become addictive quickly.

Screen time before age three can hinder frontal lobe development, affecting a child's ability to develop healthy and empathetic social responses. This video explains how a child's cognitive system develops during screen time.

Parental Controls and Digital Well-being: Why Children Need Balance

The World Health Organization recently released screen time guidelines for children under the age of 5, urging parents to limit their child's screen time to one hour daily. Aside from health issues caused by excessive screen time, insufficient exercise, and inadequate time spent outdoors, poor sleep may result.

According to Dr. Fiona Bull, WHO program manager for surveillance and population-based noncommunicable disease prevention, "Improving physical activity, reducing sedentary time and guaranteeing quality sleep in young children will enhance their physical health, mental health and quality of life, and help prevent associated childhood diseases and obesity later in life." Your family may avoid these health hazards through parental controls and clear family regulations.

Internet Restrictions Are Necessary for Teenage Safety

There are significant differences in the degree of danger tweens and adolescents face regarding unlimited Internet access. According to research, using social media (2+ hours daily) in this age group may lead to mental health issues. Cyberbullying on social media is another potential threat to youngsters this age.

According to the Psychology Today article mentioned above, the harmful effects of early exposure to sexually explicit material are also becoming more evident. Children as young as 8 or 9 are finding it online and in other media, according to Dr. Carolyn C. Ross, MD, MPH. It will help if you begin preparing your child now.

There are still several reasons to be cheerful about screens! Children need a wide range of activities to succeed, so it's essential to balance screen time with other activities. You can use parental internet controls to start.

Parental Control Basics

You can limit your children's screen time by controlling what they can do on their internet-connected devices. They can play video games, binge shows, or scroll social media if they want, but you can intervene.

How Parental Control Works?

If paired with a control source like Circle, you may monitor and limit each child's ability to use connected devices via parental controls with Wi-Fi or cellular connections. You may set "off times" for family time, homework, or bedtime by restricting device use during these periods. The Circle Parental Controls App increases parental control to iOS and Android devices, on any network, via Circle's Home Plus device. It is different from many other solutions because it connects to your router and the Circle Parental Controls App.

What Kinds of Content Can Be Restricted?

To set up Internet restrictions on a parental control device, you can prevent several contents. Here are a few examples of content that you can block:

  • Block certain websites from appearing in web browsers
  • Prevent your children from accessing particular applications online
  • Allow search engine tools like Restricted Search and SafeSearch on YouTube
  • Disable video search
  • Block online video games
  • Set limits on which they can search for videos
  • Block online gaming

Do All of the Home's Devices Support Parental Controls?

You can set up individual controls on devices connected to the Internet to regulate content access. Circle provides profiles for each personal-use device that you can tailor to suit your needs. Devices that more than one family member uses sets have unique restrictions. To find out more about device-specific restrictions, please visit our website.

Regardless of the kind of controls your family desires, parental controls are simple to modify to match your unique requirements.

You can control your children's devices, such as smartphones, PCs, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, computers, gaming consoles, and more.

How to Set Up Parental Controls?

Set Up Parental Controls Through Wi-Fi.

Setting up parental controls via a device like Circle is fantastic because it enables your router into a parental control router. Rather than each connected device, you can block certain content across all connected devices at once. That is a huge time saver.

Enable Notifications

Do not you think your children would never attempt to surmount your parental controls if you enabled notifications? It's one of the simplest ways to track when your kid's screen time is up or if they attempt to bypass them.

How to Discuss Parental Controls with Family Members

How do parents in the digital age encourage independence while setting healthy screen time and Internet limits?

When home life and school both include more screens, it's essential to communicate with your children to establish a healthy balance between screen time and real life. Create a safe environment to discuss issues one-on-one or as a family.

When starting the parental controls conversation, focus on allowing your children to participate rather than just telling them what they can and can't do. Here are some starting points.

Be Honest with Your Kids

When your parents wanted to have a serious conversation with you as a child, you assumed it was about screen time. Although these are serious matters, the two-way screen time talk should also involve online dangers. Give them an idiot-proof example of a problem you've experienced on the web. They'll appreciate the reality check and be open to hearing your concerns.

Listen to What They Have to Say

It's up to you what you decide, but focusing on your kid's concerns can be beneficial. It's essential to try to listen to them, as even though you are the parent, they are still children. Listening to one another can only be beneficial.

Set Clear Boundaries

Ensure everybody is on the same page before setting the rules. What would the consequences be if they had not followed? Will there be any rewards for meeting the expectations? Please write down the rules and post them in a public place so there is no doubt later. Make sure your children and partner agree: We have decided together.

The Benefits of Parental Controls

There's no value to have in ensuring security. As a parent, you can cross screen time management off your list of priorities, knowing that your children can browse securely and not spend all their time online. With parental control for computers and mobile devices, you can be sure your children will only spend some time online.

In cases where you don't need to decide whether your children are online, parental controls can help you track their activities and keep an eye on what they're doing. Here's a summary of all the advantages you can expect.

Set Screen Time Limits

Setting healthy limits on screen time is essential to keeping your children mentally and physically healthy. Getting your children to adhere to healthy screen time limits is a pain point for many families, and parental controls are here to help. Using parental controls, you can pre-set daily screen times or decide on the fly to pause the Internet® with a single touch. You can also monitor your family's usage without having to ask intrusive questions without your kids pulling out their phones.

Monitor Your Kids' Devices

The History feature lets you see which websites your child has visited. The handy Usage feature gives you a list of apps and categories on which your child has spent time, including detailed information about where they've been visiting. You can also see how much time they've spent on each app for a week, month, or year.

Manage What Your Kids Find on Search Engines

You can make the Internet a safe place for your children to browse by using filters and enabling SafeSearch.

You can restrict children's and adult content on Circle by specifying appropriate age-appropriateness through the Filter feature. You can set up pre-set ages for kids, teens, and adults that block content you can modify.

Manage Online Video Games

Video game creators are superb at captivating children. You can thwart their designs and safeguard your children using Circle. Whether you need cell phone controls or laptop controls, you can specify limits for games online.

Track Your Kids' Location

You can stop worrying about whether your children are where they should be. You can monitor your children's mobile devices by setting up location services through parental controls.

Keep Parental Controls Rolling When Your Kids Aren't Home

Regardless of where your children are or whether they connect to a data plan or a guest Wi-Fi network, you can still keep an eye on their activities using the Circle Parental Controls App for iOS and Android. You can ensure they're safe no matter where you are.

Best Parental Controls

No matter how carefully you guard your home computer, cell phone, and other devices that allow you to access the Internet, you may only sometimes know what your child has access to when they are away from home.

You should ensure that your children receive the most benefit from their smartphones by teaching them how to use them responsibly, discussing the risks of new technologies, and being aware of what they are doing. Before allowing your children to use smartphones that allow them to send and receive email, text, or access the Internet, you should follow these steps:

  • Discuss with them age-appropriate activities that can get them into problems, such as looking at inappropriate websites, photos, and videos and chatting with people online. Further then, continue to have these discussions and ask your children questions regarding what they are doing online from time to time.
  • Configure your parental controls, but monitor your children's cell phone and computer usage, especially if they are younger.
  • Don't let your children believe everything they see or read online—not everything online is true.
  • Ask them to talk to you when someone watches something confusing, or that doesn't seem right.
  • Because personal information on social media platforms like Instagram is usually not permanent, try teaching your children to be careful with what they post online.
  • Create screen names for them that do not include their email address, real name, age, or other identifying information.
  • Make sure they know about online bullying, sending hurtful texts or spreading rumors and emails, or impersonating other kids to send hurtful messages or emails.
  • It would help if you restricted the websites and games your children can use to age-appropriate content. For example, Facebook is not available to users younger than age 13, and the most popular games that young children like to play that provide internet accessibility are rated "M" for "Mature" or "T" for "Teen" and should play by adults.
  • It is vital to encourage RL (real-life) activities and limit screen time. That should include playing video games, watching TV, using a computer, or using a cell phone, iPod, or other media device for no more than one or two hours a day. Internet activities can be pretty addictive.
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Haseeb Awan
CEO, Efani Secure Mobile

I founded Efani after being Sim Swapped 4 times. I am an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the crypto and cybersecurity industry. I provide Secure Mobile Service for influential people to protect them against SIM Swaps, eavesdropping, location tracking, and other mobile security threats. I've been covered in New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Hulu, Nasdaq, Netflix, Techcrunch, Coindesk, etc. Contact me at 855-55-EFANI or haseebawan@efani.com for a confidential assessment to see if we're the right fit!

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