Managing your child's internet use Choosing parental control software
Even the best parental control software isn’t designed to be a substitute for educating children about the risks of the internet, particularly as the software can’t be used on every internet-enabled device your child uses (for example, mobile phones or games consoles).
As Helen Penn, head of education at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, explains: ‘We’re seeing the move to mobile internet access. Because it’s becoming a lot cheaper, it’s now more accessible for young people. Suddenly it means everyone can use their phone to go online.’
If your child is responsible online and knows what to do if they run into any danger, then parental control software’s main benefit will be a little extra peace of mind. It’s also vital to understand how the programs work in order to make the most of them.
There’s a huge range of parental control packages on the market. Many of the options are free, so it’s worth experimenting to see which one best suits your needs.
There’s a special British Standards Institution (BSI) kitemark for child safety software – choosing a package displaying this symbol should give you extra peace of mind.