Parental control software Parental controls basics
The internet can be a homework research tool as well as a way for your kids to chat to their friends, listen to music or play games. But there are well-known risks attached to using it. If, like many parents, you want to enlist the help of some tools to limit use of the computer and stop your child being exposed to unsuitable websites, then this guide will help you.
In addition to inappropriate websites, there are many other safety considerations that parents need to consider, including privacy and security threats, online bullying, internet plagiarism and more. Our guide to child internet safety covers the risks for different age-groups.
As well as protecting your child, you'll want to protect your data from being deleted by curious five-year-olds.
Free parental controls
Parental control software lets you manage your child’s computer and internet activity without your intervention.
You can use it to restrict access to a particular program – for instance a computer game that has an unsuitable age rating. You could also limit computer access so that your child can only log on to the family PC at certain times of day or for a specific number of hours per day, or you can filter out certain types of inappropriate web content.
Parental controls are often included free with your computer. We explain what you get with different Windows and Mac computers in 'What parental controls do I need?', and 'How do I set up parental controls?' shows you how to access them. If you don't have any, you can download them from, for example, K9, for free. You might also be offered them by your internet service provider as part of your broadband package.