Managing your child's internet use Setting up the software
Follow our tips to get the most out of your parental control software and make sure your kids are safe online.
- When you first install parental control software, you’ll need to set up a master password to let you access and configure any settings. This password will also be required to uninstall the software.
- Parental controls work in a similar way to anti-virus and anti-spam software. They will often ‘blacklist’ sites known to be questionable, such as those related to pornography, hate speech, gambling or drugs.
- Most will also analyse websites on the fly and block them if they’re deemed inappropriate – they will detect the presence of certain words, for example.
- Whenever the software blocks a website, an alert should appear on screen. If the site has been incorrectly blocked and your child legitimately wishes to access the site, they can ask you to enter your master password to unblock it.
- You can also control the applications your child is allowed to use and set the hours they are allowed to use the computer. For very young children, you may only want to introduce them to a select few chosen websites. You can add pre-approved websites (CBeebies from a trusted source such as the BBC, for example) to a ‘whitelist’, and prevent your children from accessing those not on the approved list.
See also our report on using parental control software.