Parental Control Tips and Tricks
There are plenty of dangers for children online from Internet predators to sites they should have no business visiting. The average child tends to be very technologically savvy and can sometimes figure out a way around parental controls. But there are several things a parent can do to maintain the upper hand in keeping his or her children safe.
PC Platform Parental Controls
Most PC platforms have built-in parental controls. They allow you to limit the hours your child can use the computer to specific times. The controls will automatically log off the Internet if the child is still online when the specific timeframe has ended. They'll also allow you to prevent your child from playing certain types of games or running programs you haven't approved.
Macintosh Parental Controls
Macintosh parental controls allow you to automatically allow or disallow system wide settings so your child can access only allowable apps. You can set time limits, but you need to disable other browsers and only use Safari for the settings to be secure. Limit mail and iChat to a pre-approved list, set time limits and create logs of the sites your child visits.
Trying to Get Your Passwords
Any parental controls are only as secure as your password. Make sure you choose one that your children won't be able to easily figure out. Change it frequently.
Even if they can't guess your password, they may try to trick you. There are free programs children can download and install that will save your passwords. It works by your child asking access to a blocked but acceptable site after he has downloaded the program. You type in your override password to allow access and later your child goes to the free password key logger program, accessing the text log and now has the password to override the parental controls you sent up any time they'd like.
To prevent this from happening, always check to see what's been installed on your computer. Remove any programs that you haven't approved. Deleting the shortcut from the desktop, if your child has set it up that way, won't remove the program. You have to actually select the uninstall option.
Purchased Parental Control Software
For full protection, it's a better idea to buy control software. You pay for it every year and it constantly stayed updated to the changes in the Internet so your program and the set up is more difficult for a technologically savvy child to break into.
The protection is better and the best control software programs make it more difficult for your children to install programs or uninstall programs allowing you to keep control over the computer. It's important to maintain the security by remaining exclusively responsible for all user settings, operating system security, privileges and software installation and removal.