Parental Control Software
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– Apr 3, 2023(2 replies)
I'm interested in recent reviews of parental control software. What are folks using to ensure their kids are safe online (in addition to ongoing conversations)? Our 12-year-old is much more tech-savvy than we are and we're concerned he will easily be able to disable the parental controls. Common Sense Media recommends Bark, NetNanny, Quostodia, among others--do folks like these services?
Additionally, I'm curious if there's anyone we can hire to give us more specific guidance based on our needs. Recommendations?
Thank you so much in advance!Apr 3, 2023
– Aug 22, 2022(2 replies)
Hi neighbors. I am looking for a parental control app/service that makes sense to use on a grandparent's iPhone or iPad (iOS).
My child does not have her own phone, but I do want to limit/monitor her use when she is at her grandma's house. Specifically, I want to limit access to social media, sexual content, and the downloading of certain apps.
P.S. I also did share these resources with them:Aug 22, 2022
– Aug 29, 2021(1 reply)
We held out until 14 but have just given our son a phone and are somewhat dismayed at how fast going down the rabbit hole has been. We are looking for a computer expert who intimately understand iphone and macbook parental controls and can consult with us on how to allow access to only those thing we have agreed on. If this person doesn't exist then it seems like a really good business opportunity for someone!Aug 29, 2021
– Aug 21, 2020(2 replies)
My children use district-issued Chromebooks for online school. YouTube is restricted but there's enough to be very distracting. How can I totally block YouTube on those Chromebooks? I'm not allowed to add BlockSite or other apps because the district is the administrator.
(We don't own a Chromebook or laptop ourselves. Worth getting our own for that reason?)Aug 21, 2020
– Aug 30, 2019(9 replies)
My 15 year old with ADHD and a mood disorder is addicted to her phone - forgoing meals, sleep and bathing when she really gets going; yelling and screaming when we remind her it's time to put it away. We've discussed the physical and mental health consequences with her. We've set limits and made rules. We take the phone away when she doesn't comply. But, the process of physically taking the phone feels like we're teetering on the edge of violent disaster. She had a very traumatic childhood (she's adopted) and gets easily triggered. I have Verizon Smart Family App on her phone but the time limits haven't been working, either because the App doesn't work very well, or because she's learned how to disable it, or both. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good app? I'd like to be able to to cut access to the cell network and our home network at certain hours of the day. I can unplug our router if necessary so cutting access to the cell network is my major goal. It's such a frustrating and disheartening situation. Thanks for your help.Aug 30, 2019
– Aug 30, 2017(5 replies)
I have a 17-y-o heading off to boarding school for the first time - entering as a junior. The primary reason my teen is going to boarding school is for a better fit - this is a bright teen who is floundering in the local public and private school systems. I'm hoping a change in environment, a school with supports for gifted w/ ADHD students, and routine and structure implemented by someone other than parents will be a good thing.
Like a lot of teens, mine is completely distracted and consumed by technology use. The boarding school will manage this to a point, but I'm thinking it would be a good idea to have parental controls in place as well (we've had them in place on devices all along to some degree of usefulness).
My question is this: what parental controls on a MacBook have you found to be useful in supporting a teen's use of the device as a learning tool, while limiting their ability to use it for excess distraction or, worse, nefarious (keeping Tor and Bitcoin off, etc.) purposes?
This has proven to be a helpful and insightful forum for me in the past, so thanks in advance for your suggestions.Aug 30, 2017
– Aug 7, 2017(5 replies)
I'm overwhelmed by the plethora of apps out there that filter content and restrict time on the internet for kids. Does anyone have direct experience with one they really like? I'm looking at Net Nanny, for instance. Also Screenlimit. There is a new one called unPlug that sounds great but the reviews are awful. My 14 y/o daughter has an Apple Pro Book and some of them don't work with MacOS. I need something that can work with our smart TV, her iPhone and Pro book, and that I can set up on my PC and access on my Android phone. Thanks for any help.Aug 7, 2017
– Sep 19, 2016(2 replies)
With a tween daughter, I realize we are at the point where we will need to manage/screen what she accesses? The various options (NetNanny, Qustodio, etc.) are confusing and prior to shelling out for a subscription, I would love to hear from BPN on your experiences.Sep 19, 2016
– Aug 7, 2016(9 replies)
I recently discovered that my almost 15 year old son has been accessing porn on his computer. When he was much younger I tried to put parental controls on his computer, but the basic features on the Mac didn't seem to work very well and would block too much such that when he wanted to watch youtube or access sites that were legitimate, he could not get to them. My husband was annoyed about having to constantly deal with the access issues and complained so much that I took all controls off years ago. A few months ago I checked my son's browsing history and found that he was accessing porn regularly. And even though we have (loose) rules about where the computer can be used, he occasionally takes it in his room while working on hobbies, or in the bathroom. In addition, there are plenty of times when we leave him home alone for several hours while we run errands or exercise. My son is very sensitive and sometimes when I bring up difficult issues, he refuses to discuss them with me. I don't find it easy to talk with him. My therapist recommended I have my husband handle the conversations "man to man", particularly because I didn't want my son to shut me down or feel "shamed" by me. My husband talked with him about the concerns of porn and asked him to watch some documentaries about how abusive and damaging the porn industry is to the women who participate. A few months have gone by and he is still accessing the adult content, and even worse, writing fictional porn in a sort of journal. I only know this because I regularly check his computer and devices, although he recently changed his password on his phone so I can't access it. My husband would never bother to do this and while he is concerned, doesn't really want to get into the habit of monitoring. I recently installed a device on our WiFi called "Circle by Disney" which I can control through my phone or iPad. It filters adult content, tracks websites accessed, tracks total device usage, has the ability to limit time and hours for wifi access, can lock out access to any app (such snapchat, FB, instagram) and pause the internet on demand. I wish this device had been available when the kids were first getting computers and phones and the restrictions would have just been part of the deal. My husband is reluctant for me to implement it because he feels it is passive aggressive to just restrict the access without getting a "buy in" from my son. While I agree that we should talk about our rules for internet usage, risk about porn, etc, I have told my husband that the decision to restrict access is like deciding not to have junk food, cigarettes, guns or anything else in the house that you don't want to expose your kids to. It reminds me of when I was a teenager and I had a friend sleep over. While my parents were out for the evening, we drank some of their alcohol and got drunk! Not long after that I noticed that all the alcohol was put in a locked cabinet. Would love any thoughts or advice on this.Aug 7, 2016
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I would like to know about what parent's experiences have been with screening devices or screening programs for computers? We have a MAC. Much thanks.
I need it now.
I mentor a number of teenaged young men. With them and their families I often suggest x3watch. It doesn't stop the sites, but it does send you a report of sites visited twice a month that empowers you to have a conversation with your son about it. The website where you can read more about it is: http://x3watch.com/ The free version is available for mac. Goodluck, I'd love to know what you finally choose. Erik
We used during a difficult time a software program called Safeeyes. It is like Fort Knox. I know my son and his friends devoted hours and much research on unprotected computers to trying to hack it, and were unable. It can be set to stop porn, drug info, cheating sites, suicide info, etc. It can also record all IM conversations on a machine. (When I turned this on, I told my teen I had done it, and that I would only go in and review the conversations if I felt I had to do so for his safety. That time came, and, even though he knew in advance about the recording, there was useful information there.)
The downside was it can be a pain. It can block legitimate sites, requiring parents to go through a routine to OK them (which of course always happens at midnight when something is due the next day..) At one point it blocked all google images; a real pain for my art student child - and it took quite a bit of work to find a workaround for that. It took over an hour to manage to uninstall it on one of my kids 18th birthdays (perhaps their favorite gift!) But the phone support is good.
I would recommend this if you have a serious need to block. do what's necessary mom
I'd like help finding computer software to monitor the amount of time my teen spends playing games. Any assistance would be appreciated; where have you found programs? can they tell you the amount of time on different games? how easy are they to install and use? I would prefer something transparent so we can all see the amount and talk about it together. Thanks
Mom tired of arguing
I like Child Safe, because you can not only monitor what they are doing, but you can also give them a set amount of time they can be logged on. Its not as invisible as some of the ''spyware'', but your kids know that you are watching, so they are much more conscious of where they go and what they chat about. http://www.webroot.com/consumer/products/childsafe/features.html
We need to put parental controls on our computer. It's an Imac, the newer one with the intell chip. I'm frustrated because there seems to be limited choices for macs, and I've heard that these kinds of controls really slow down the computer. We also don't want to have separate profiles for each user. It's a family computer and we sometimes work on the same projects and it is just too complicated to have separate profiles for everyone. We have several browsers, and tho I guess we could limit that I'd prefer something that would work with different browsers. I'm only interested in blocking porn, not chat groups, politics and violence. Is there anything out there that will work for us? Unfortunetly it is not possible to get the guilty party to knock it off. I am sad to be in this position and very grateful for any advice that you might have, Thank you
I'm running Kids GoGoGo. Seems to work well for us. http://www.makienterprise.com/kggg/kidsgogogo.html
My friend Anne who edits Net Family News (my absolute favorite source of info for all things family & tech-related) told me about SafeEyes (www.safeeyes.com/safe-eyes/ toprated/) which she says is a favorite among software reviewers for filtering on both PCs and Macs. Check out netfamilynews.org while you're at it... I've been reading netfamilynews for years and always find useful info -- and eye-opening letters written by parents and kids themselves. (Also, an aside, Anne just co-authored ''My Space Unraveled, a parents' guide to teen social networking''/ might be useful) Susan