Kids of this generation spend more time looking at their screen than playing outdoors. They’re often glued to their devices such as cell phones, tablets, and computers. Most kids even prefer hanging out in the virtual world than in reality. However, several dangers are lurking on the internet. So users – kids and adults alike – aren’t 100% safe online. To help protect children, parents have opted to use parental computer monitoring software.
Why Parents Need A Computer Monitoring Software Program
Since most kids spend time on social media and gaming platforms, predators have gone digital. These so-called online predators usually take advantage of a child’s innocence and trust. They target younger and naive victims through fake profiles, friendly messages, complimentary comments, or enticing sales pitches. They usually lure them into accessing unsafe sites or into providing access to their devices or data.
Even bullying, the most common crime that involves children, occurs online and is referred to as cyberbullying. Kids can get bullied online by people they know or strangers through social media post comments, direct messages, and more.
This, together with several other cybercrimes, is the main reason why parents should utilize cell phone spy apps, computer monitoring software, and/or any program that offers reliable parental control tools – free or paid.
What Parents Must Look For
To help you avoid a tedious hunt for the most suitable computer monitoring software, we’ve prepared a list of the most important features that you should look for. This checklist is meant for parents and guardians, especially those who aren’t tech-savvy.
The first thing you should check is the list of the available features. Depending on the brand as well as the package deal, there are various functionalities of a spy and monitoring program – from blocking inappropriate content to computer location tracking. Usually, the more advanced software you get, the more features you unlock.
When choosing a software program, a feature-packed app is ideal. However, it’s wise to make sure that the features you need are included. If your kids are active in social media, per se, you have to see to it that the software you install can track activities on such networking sites, or at least the commonly used ones.
In most cases, the basic features offered by computer monitoring apps are the same. Regardless of the creator or manufacturer, such programs have similar purposes – to block access to unsafe sites, set screen time limits, monitor internet activities, and the like.
Hence, it’s ideal to check out extra features on top of the basic functions of tracking and monitoring. For instance, getting a plan option that will enable you to monitor unlimited computers and other devices, not just one.
Once you’ve narrowed your software plan/package option, the next thing you need to look out for is the installation process.
The software must come with detailed manuals and/or easy-to-follow instructions. Most software installations nowadays only take a few clicks, so be sure that the parental control app you choose is straightforward. Remote installation, usually through an over-the-air (OTA) link, is preferable as it enables you to install the app even without having physical access to the target computer.
An essential part of monitoring any child’s computer or device is being able to view an activity report. While most apps do provide reporting access, you need to ensure that generated reports are timely and accurate. Plus, the extracting of the data must be consistent and simultaneous.
It is better if the built-in reporting process is automated, meaning the extracted details are automatically sent to your account or device in a comprehensive format. This is because manual generation could lead to result inconsistencies due to technical difficulties or issues.
Then, of course, it’s not enough that you receive consistent reports of your kids’ computer and online activity. The information must also be easily accessible and understandable. The app’s interface, in general, must be as simple as possible – from setting up the software to navigating through the cloud server.
On top of a clean look or refreshing design, it’s vital how its built-in tools are organized. The complexity of its codes and the complication of its algorithms must not reflect on its interface. Despite the number of formulas and commands running in the background, the graphic interface should be user-friendly.
A real-time alert system is also a great feature that you should consider. This usually works by sending a notification to your account or device when certain settings or filters you’ve set have been met or violated.
This is rather important because it promotes a sense of urgency. For instance, if you’ve restricted the keywords “What’s your full name?”, and your child receives a message containing these, you will immediately be alerted. Hence, it’s more likely that you prevent possible identity theft or data breach.
Computer programs and systems, no matter how creatively and ingeniously coded they are, tend to crash once in a while. A monitoring app that malfunctions too often, however, is not of much use. This is why proper maintenance is critical. The system must be religiously updated to ensure bugs and security loopholes are patched.
Also, these upgrades are needed to ensure the features are up-to-date. For example, the software program of being able to monitor the newest social media platforms kids are using.
When we say value, we’re not merely talking about the price. We are talking about the value the product and its features provide users. For example, a $10 monitoring software package may be more affordable than a $70 one, but doesn’t include the features the more expensive one does. So, the expensive program provides more value to the user.
Parents may have different priorities and purposes for installing parental control computer software. Some are focused on limiting their kids’ time online while others aim to block inappropriate content. Regardless, parents all want the same thing – to keep their beloved children from any harm and raise them to be responsible users.