Category: Internet Filtering & Security

Does my Family Need Parental Control Software?

Most parents seeking parental control software options have kids in their home using multiple computers and devices, all of which are connected to the Internet. Even a single child may have a phone as well as a computer or tablet. They also are often using their parents personal computer from time to time for school projects or simply to print something.

If that isn’t enough to manage, your family members are connecting to the Internet at school or at a friend’s house. With proper parental controls you can ensure the safety and security of your kids online. Otherwise, it’s difficult to know where to begin. It’s hard enough for a person who has some technical savvy, but what if you are technically challenged?

Let’s face it, a lack of technical knowledge is the case for most of us. We live in an ever changing world where the optimal “kid safety zone” is a moving target. This is where parental control software becomes an essential tool in managing the various needs of any family, according to a range of ages and responsibility.

The good news is, effective parental controls allows you to help keep your family safe in one software download, whether you want to access it on an app or your computer. At Safe Search Kids, we recommend complete parental control management to meet the needs of any family large or small.

Let’s explore what parental control means on every device in your home.

Parental Control is Internet Filtering

Internet filtering is certainly the first priority when thinking about protecting kids from harmful aspects of the Internet. This is the primary focus of our search tools on Safe Search Kids, but we are only a single access search engine. Parent control software takes it one step further by filtering the entire Internet, regardless of what search engine your kids may be using.

Quit simply, it allows you to completely control access to the internet including and blocking websites no matter what device is being used.  The level of restriction can be customized by age. After all, the places your 16 years old can go online is much different than your 7 year old. This includes allowing or limiting access on apps and social media, some platforms of which are only appropriate for older kids.

Parental Control is Screen Time Management

Once you have the peace of mind of knowing all the bad areas of the Internet are completely blocked on every device in your home, you can think about controlling the time your kids spend online. Imagine having peace of mind going to sleep at night knowing your teenager is not able to access the internet past 10 or 11 pm.

These controls can easily be set within the dashboard of your account. Likewise, you can restrict access from your 7 year old so that they can not get online after 8 pm, for example. This screen time management control is at your fingertips for any day of the week from the Net Nanny App or desktop dashboard.

Parental Control Software Monitors Apps

The dangers of the Internet are not just through a website browser. With a software application you can also monitor what apps your kids are downloading. You can choose to also block apps you don’t want your family to access at all. As with managing screen time, you can individually customize accessibility for every one in the house and on every one of their devices.

Install our Recommended Parental Control Software Program serving families of all sizes. View family download options.

New apps are being developed and made available on the app store everyday. Whether the app is on an iPhone, Android or Kindle Fire device, you will be notified when a new app is downloaded and installed on any device.

Parental Control is a Location Tracker

Within the parent dashboard, you can also track the location of each family member in real-time from your computer or smart phone. There’s no need to login to an iCloud account and no additional location tracking software is needed. The location tracking feature also allows you to check the past history of where your kids have been.

You can coincide their location with whether or not they’ve been online during that time. Let’s say you agree that it’s OK for your child to go to a friend’s house but you just want them to play. You don’t want them spending time surfing the web or going on social media. This is a way to check up on their activity while out of the house.

Download FamiSafe – Our #1 Trusted Parental Control Software

Alerts and Activity Reports

With all these parental control features working in the background to filter, block, and monitor online activity there is an additional feature that will help you keep track of things. Firstly, only need to initially set up controls and restrictions for each family member one time. From there it’s easy to fine tune controls as needed. 

Get instant alerts when suspicious photos or texts are detected on your child’s phone. Be notified when specific search terms are entered or when an app is being downloaded. What your kids are searching for online is also an insight into struggles they may be having, including bullying or feelings of alienation with friends or at school. Read about how this app even encourages good driving habits with driving history reports.

Safe Search Kids recommends software solutions, which is also a parental control App for Android, iOS and Kindle Fire users, as well as dashboard access on computers and lap tops. Features can be applied on multiple platforms, including Android and iOS smart phones, Kindle Fire, Windows and Mac computers.

FamiSafe is a parental control software and app download created by Wondershare, an innovative company focused on delivering a variety of user friendly tools for individual consumers, education, government, and business markets. They are a reputable and top rated provider of Internet protection tools specifically designed for the non-technical user.

Teaching Internet Accountability and Responsibility

Monitoring and Controlling online activity should always be coupled with showing kids how to be responsible on their own. We all know putting kids in a cocoon will not prepare them properly for life in the read world. Setting up boundaries for kids is of course important, but some of those boundaries can be more lenient for older aged kids while allowing them to learn online responsibility. An internet blocking software can protect kids while they learn how to be responsible with the level of freedom you give them. The older they get and the more responsibly they use that freedom, the more trust we extend.

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Parental Controls answer these questions about your kids’ activities:

1. What exactly are my children doing online or on their mobile phones?

  • Are they chatting with social network sites like Facebook, Snapchat?
  • Are they visiting pornographic or other inappropriate sites?
  • Are they being bombarded with inappropriate ads on pages for guns, cigarettes, drugs or other illegal activity?

2. How much overall time is really spent on a daily basis on their phone and computer talking to friends or other socializing?

Now Here are Some Facts That May Surprise You

  1. One in 5 kids between 11-18 have been solicited online.
  2. 60% of kids are exposed to porn before age 12.
  3. Over 65% of kids have accidentally visited an inappropriate site online.
  4. More than 25% of kids have been cyberbullied, but only 10% of these incidents were told to parents.

We trust our kids to do what is right, but there is so much filth lurking on all corners of the internet and as parents, we should be very concerned – even for the innocent child who is 100% aware of all the dangers involved, it is next to impossible for our children to be 100% protected. In addition to our lack of time, it is an impossible task to manually monitor our children’s online activities. The latest internet and mobile technology make it impossible with software working in the background.  This includes cyberbullying prevention made possible by monitoring.

Why Every Parent Should be Using Parental Controls on Every Device in their Home

Even with the most strict guidelines in place, it is nearly impossible to monitor your children’s activity online doing it manually. In the past several years, a new niche of software has been developed to help families monitor overall online and computer activity.

If you have a gamer in the house, parental control software will allow you to control time spent online.  But it’s not an anti-virus program that protects from outsize threats while gaming.  For that explore Gamer Security

Parental Control Software is a must.

While there are several in this field, what they all have in common is that the specific monitoring is automated. This does not mean that you can rely on the system 100% of the time to monitor what your kids are doing – parental supervision is essential, whether they are using a laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

Parental Control Software provides an integrated time management and internet blocking & monitoring solution with the following key features:

  • Restrict Internet & Computer Usage based on a customizable schedule or time limits.
  • Monitors chatting/instant messaging based on a time limit or schedule.
  • Access phone activity reports including what apps they install or uninstall.
  • Award-winning automated filter of porn, illegal, vulgar and other inappropriate websites.
  • Ability of parent to create White “Trusted” list and Black “Restricted” lists.
  • Dynamic Content Blocker – blocks inappropriate banner ads on webpages.

Download our Recommended Parental Control Software

5 Tips for Making Smartphones More Safe and Secure

Making Smartphones More Safe and Secure

People don’t often think of their smartphones as being a way that hackers can attack their personal information. This is not really the case, however, as phones become more and more like small computers that live in your pocket. As technology continues to evolve, it’s important to consider every device to be at risk.

Smartphones can do more and more things that computers can do and you will find that you have probably not considered the ways in which your phone might expose you to personal data security safety. Your smartphone has access to the internet, can be connected to public WIFI, and has access to most of your banking and personal data through apps. This makes it a very easy way to gain access to your online data that you would otherwise think was safe.

Even if you have your computers locked down really well, your cellphone might lead to a hacker being able to gain access to your personal information that would have been safe if your phone was locked down in a better way. If you want to learn more about making your smartphone more safe and secure, read on!

5 Tips for Making Smartphone More Safe and Secure

1.       Use a Password

You should always use a password or a lock sequence to lock your phone down. If you drop your phone or forget it somewhere, it is a huge risk to have it open to being used by anyone that picks it up. If you want to be sure that your phone is secure, even if it is lost somewhere, you need to use the lock screen options that keep your phone secure from outsiders unlocking it.

Secure passwords and other kinds of lock combinations that can protect your phone will make sure that people cannot pick up your phone and access your data and other information if they pick up your phone. If you leave your phone at a friend’s house, drop it on public transit, or forget it in airport security, you will be able to be sure that your phone is safe if someone picks it up.

2.       Do Not Use Public Chargers

Public charging hubs can be the source of hacking attempts. Public ports can lead to hackers having access to your phone when it is plugged into the public hub. These hubs can transmit data and mine it, and you want to avoid this possible connection to data theft that you do not want to be exposed to.

Compromised power strips and other kinds of power outlets that are common use in public locations are always risky to use and you should consider if this is the best choice for your needs. You should always be able to find a wall plug-in if you need it, and you do not need to feel pressured to use these charging hubs if there is no obvious choice available. Make sure that you are not lured into using a public charging hub unless it is the direst situation.

3.       Use Two-Factor Authentication

You might originally be annoyed having to do these extra steps, but two-factor authentication can make sure that our phone is very safe from hacking. This process double-checks your access and identity to make sure that it is legitimate before you access your banking app among other things.

Two-factor security is becoming far more common and you should jump on board the security train that is offered by this process. You will just enter a code and your phone will verify that it is you who is accessing your personal information before allowing you to use your phone for access to apps. You can also use biometric information for this two-factor authentication process.

4.       Keep Your Phone Updated

Updates make sure that your phone’s security is up to date. Security patches make sure that your phone does not allow access to your data through common cyber threats and you will be much better protected if you use these updates as soon as they are made available. Skipping updates on your phone can lead to major issues with security as well as issues with performance.

Your phone will usually offer you a security update at least once a month, but you should never assume that you do not need to take advantage of these updates when they are offered. It usually takes a few minutes to download a security patch and you do not have to feel like this is a big burden if you stay on top of these updates as they arrive.

5.       Avoid the Use of Public WIFI

Public WIFI is rife with risks and you should always turn off your public WIFI access when you do not need it for anything. WIFI access can expose your phone to many threats that you can avoid by simply turning off your WIFI when you do not need it. Public WIFI sources are always going to open your phone to risks that are better off avoided.

WIFI use can be necessary, but you should always limit your access to public WIFI sources that are not secured, particularly if you are traveling. There is no need to use a huge WIFI network like an airport or restaurant’s WIFI unless you really need WIFI for some reason. Phones these days have access to a network for your needs, so you should not feel pressured to use public WIFI for any reason.

If you do need to use public WIFI, make sure that you have a VPN that you can use for this access. A VPN will encrypt your connection and make it as safe and secure as if you were not using public WIFI. Forbes has rated and shortlisted VPN providers based on a criteria of options if you’re looking for a trusted VPN service.

Making Your Smartphone Secure is Easy

If you have been worrying about keeping your phone safe when you are using it on a daily basis you should use these tips and tricks to make sure that your phone is secure every day. You should never skip updates, always use good WIFI practices and avoid basic issues that can lead to cyberthreats and other kinds of hacking. If you make sure that your phone safety behaviors are on point, you will have good luck with your overall phone safety practices.

Keeping your phone safe is important to make sure that you do not fall prey to any of the common data theft and cybersecurity issues that can lead to personal identity issues and other problems for people.

3 Tips For Kids to Engage Safely With Fellow Gamers

Tips For Kids to Engage Safely With Fellow Gamers

Online gaming isn’t just for fun anymore. It’s a means to socialize. Gaming can even have some serious benefits when it comes to a child’s psyche, as gaming can encourage collaboration and team building, improve social skills through effective communication, and allow children to connect with other people that have the same hobbies.

Social benefits aside, many parents understandably are wary of letting their kids play video games and also engage in the gaming communities that supplement them — and we don’t blame them. Thankfully, there are a few things we can instill in our kids to teach them how to safely engage with fellow gamers online, beginning with these three best practices.

1.  “Never share your personal information”

When it comes to online gaming, there’s no such thing as being too careful. Sharing personal information can put your child at risk of hackers and other dangerous cyber activity.

That being said, be sure to warn your child about sharing personal information online, including your address, phone number, full names, and even account passwords. This way, your child will be able to have fun and connect with other gamers without putting both you and themselves at risk.

2.  “Be aware of pop-up scams”

Pop-up scams are all too common on the internet. However, with a child on a computer, it’s essential to warn them about these malicious pop-ups and inform them on what to do if they encounter one.

Without properly educating your child on cyber scams, they may accidentally download malware that can harm your device. Not to mention, cybercriminals may send harmful attachments on forums that your child can gain access to.

3.  “Don’t purchase cheat codes”

Sometimes, it’s cool to get certain modifications and cheat codes on the internet. However, things get a lot less cool when these cheat codes (potentially) expose your device to harmful viruses.

For this reason, it’s extremely important to educate your child on cheat codes and how they may harm your device. While downloading cheat codes can be tempting, your child should know the impact they may have on your devices so that they can think twice before pressing “download.”

For more perspective on gaming communities and how to engage safely in them, pore over the infographic below, courtesy of Norton.

An infographic, courtesy of Norton, overviews what is internet tracking, four common ways we

How Can I Keep My Computer Virus-Free When My Kids Play Online?

Kids Playing Online Virus Protection

Picture this! The latest online game for kids has just come out, and all of your child’s friends are asking them to get it. After they download it, the computer starts running slower than molasses—you suspect that you have a virus. How can you keep your computer virus-free when your kids play online games?

These days, more children engage in the online world than ever before. Unfortunately, this puts your computer at an increased risk of getting a virus. You want your children to enjoy online social activities, but you don’t want them to slow down the computer in the process!

Try these tips to keep your desktop computer virus-free:

Educate Your Kid

How can your child avoid viruses if they don’t fully understand what they are? If your kid enjoys playing games online, try to sit them down and talk about how to play safely.

Depending on what games they like to play, certain ones may request permission to access your computer. This is often the case with online games, which may need to bypass your firewall. Let your child know that whenever these messages appear on the screen, it’s best to tell a parent first.

Some ads are targeted directly at children, promising them free in-game rewards. Just by visiting a website, malicious software can automatically download onto the computer. Your child may not even realize that they’ve just picked up a virus! Be sure to caution them about these misleading ads.

Teaching your child about viruses can only go so far. They may be able to spot obvious security threats, but many hackers go to great lengths to disguise malware. You’ll need to go the extra mile to keep your computer clean.

Monitor What They’re Doing Online

Your kids may not realize that the websites, games, and online platforms that they interact with can be dangerous.

People online can be incredibly persuasive, and may convince your child that clicking a link or downloading a file is perfectly safe—even if you’ve told them otherwise! Therefore, it’s important to monitor their activities regularly.

You can install various parental monitoring applications that allow you to survey what your child is doing online. This will ensure that they aren’t visiting websites that may damage the computer.

Boost Your Computer’s Defenses

You may have parental control applications on the computer, but most of these programs offer no protection against malware or viruses.

Did you know that up to 32% of computers around the world are infected with viruses? It’s a pretty shocking number! That means there’s almost a 1 in 3 chance that your computer has a virus. You need reliable anti-spyware and antivirus software to keep your desktop safe.

However, be wary of some free antivirus software—it may actually contain other viruses! Do your research when it comes to protective software.

Watch Out for Emails!

Almost everyone has an email address these days, even children. It’s an easy way for kids to connect with friends, get updates from their school, and keep up with new game releases.

Unfortunately, emails are also the most common way that viruses infect computers. This happens in various ways. Sometimes, the malicious person sends emails that appear to come from a close friend. The message might include a (.doc) or (.exe) file that contains a virus. Let your child know that if they receive an email from an unknown sender, they should not open it—instead, they should send it straight to the trash bin!

Make a Secure Password

The passwords that are the easiest to remember are often the least secure. If a hacker is targeting children’s accounts, they’ll start by trying all the most common passwords. You’ll need to get creative to boost your account security—rather than simple phrases, stick to complex strings of numbers and characters.

It can be easy to forget things when you’re a kid! Instead of trying to memorize a complicated password, have your child write it down on a piece of paper and place it next to the computer.

Be Proactive

Even if things are running smoothly, you never know when the next virus will cause a technology breakdown. You can install software that consistently monitors and scans your computer for viruses.

Try to notice when your computer is running slowly. If your kid uses the computer the most, let them know that they can always tell you if something is suspicious. Once you identify the virus, you can ask them where it might have come from. Working through the process with your child can teach them to avoid malicious websites.

The sooner you get rid of a virus, the better! Protect your computer against spyware, malware, and viruses by monitoring its performance.

Limit Their Screen Time

One of the best ways to avoid a virus is by spending less time on the computer. But you don’t need to eliminate their screen time entirely! Instead, work on cutting it down by a few minutes each day.

If you want to reduce screen time for families, it takes planning. Suddenly springing it on your child may result in a tantrum. Instead, aim to start the day by telling your kid that they will have a time limit today.

Next, plan fun activities to show your child that they can have fun without a computer! Plan things like puzzles, baking cookies, or going for a walk. The less time that your kid spends playing online games, the less likely it is that you’ll get a virus!

Children love all that computer games have to offer them, from social interaction with their friends to a break from schoolwork. Unfortunately, playing online carries a risk: viruses.

If you’ve dealt with a computer virus before, then you know how inconvenient, time-consuming, and unsettling they can be. Try these above tips to keep your computer virus-free and functional for the whole family.