contrôle parental is vital in today’s fast-paced digital world. The rapid pace of technology advancements exposes children to a variety of dangers including identity theft, social media scams and inappropriate content. To keep kids safe, parents must monitor their children’s Internet usage and use parental control software to protect them from objectionable online content and predators. The best parental control apps allow you to block websites, impose time limits and see what your children are doing online.
While parental control can be an important tool, it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for monitoring and teaching children how to navigate the risks of using a computer or smartphone. In fact, excessive parental control can actually have a negative effect on child development. For example, if parents are extremely controlling behaviorally or psychologically, it can lead to self-defeating behaviors in their children. Excessive parental assistance during tasks, interrupting a child’s problem-solving and overreacting to a child’s poor behavior communicate doubt about a child’s competence, which can have long-term, harmful effects.
The best parental controls will allow you to filter and block specific content like pornography, violence and gambling. The majority of parental control apps also offer a variety of additional features, such as tracking your child’s location or letting you view their call history. Many also have a feature that lets you block apps and games so they cannot be accessed or even launched on your child’s device.
Choosing the right parental control app will depend on your needs and your children’s age. For example, a young child may only need parental controls that block objectionable content and limit screen time. Older children might want more freedom but you should still be able to track their usage and location.
Many parental control apps also work with your home WiFi or mobile operator to help prevent access to inappropriate content. They can also block specific sites or categories such as Adult, Social Networking, Game and Downloads. Parents should be aware that older children can often learn how to bypass or disable parental controls, so it’s a good idea to talk to them from the outset about why they are being set up and the importance of respecting them.
Most parental control apps provide web interfaces that let you monitor your child’s device from a desktop or laptop. Some apps have extra features such as geofencing that alerts you if your child leaves a designated safe zone such as school or a parent’s house. A few parental control apps such as MMGuardian on iOS and iMonitor on Android have additional tools such as the ability to read and delete text messages. However, none of the apps we reviewed will allow you to listen in on phone calls or record them. You can learn more about these apps in our review of the best parental control apps.