By Sara Carter, Guest Contributor to TechAddiction
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of TechAddiction and/or Dr. Conrad.
The Internet is full of valuable information. It is a great resource for you and your children as they grow and learn. Of course, there is also a dark side to the Internet, and this has prompted many families to install parental control software on their home computers. If you haven’t put one of these programs on your family’s PC, you may want to consider doing so. The following five reasons why families should install parental security software may convince you that this is indeed an important safety measure to protect your children.
Bullying is a problem that traditionally has been an issue in classrooms and on playgrounds, but now it has also gone online. In fact, a study by Microsoft found that more than half children around the world worry about being bullied online. Bullying on the Internet is a growing problem, with some children who are victims of cyber-bullies going as far as to kill themselves to escape the onslaught of threats and insults.
Unfortunately, many children who are victims of bullying don’t speak out; parents don’t find out because their kids are too embarrassed to tell them. Depending on the type of parental control software you choose to install, you can be alerted to a potential cyber-bullying problem so you can address it before it spirals out of control.
2) Adult content
Forty-two percent of children aged 10 – 17 report seeing pornography online within the last year and 66% of them say that they did not want to view these images. Beyond pornographic materials, there are also plenty of places around the web that can expose your child to drugs use, violence, alcohol use, gambling, and more that is not age-appropriate. Even if your kids aren’t seeking these things out, it is all too common for this sort of content to be stumbled across by accident.
Using parental control software, you can block your child’s access to sites intended only for adults. The level of control you have varies from program to program, but you will certainly be able to change the settings so that the information your child accesses online is more age appropriate. Conveniently, there are also “smart settings” in most parental control programs, and these make sure that helpful, educational content isn’t accidentally held back (for example, so that research on “breast cancer” would not be filtered out).
3) Other adults
Predators targeting children online is a significant concern for many parents. A recent study found that 20% of children have been approached inappropriately by adults while online, so parents really cannot take any chances when it comes to potential pedophiles or other criminals getting in contact with children and teens.
As with cyber-bullying, these programs can monitor what your child is doing online and who he or she is talking to, alerting you to any potentially dangerous conversation. Additionally, parents can use software to block chat sites and social networks where your child could run into these folks.
4) Internet addiction
Many people are addicted to the Internet, and some of those people are kids. With the billions upon billions of websites out there, it is easy for someone to surf the web for hours without realizing where the time has gone. If this is your child, he or she could be kept from doing homework, enjoying physical activities, or socializing with friends due to an online addiction.
Parental control programs usually have tools that can keep your child’s Internet use at a more healthy level. Timers can be used to track usage, and depending on the program, you could use this software to help limit computer usage for your child.
5) You can’t always be there.
The biggest reason why families should install parental control software is because mom or dad can’t always be there. You can try to look over your child’s shoulder the whole time they surf the web, but who is to say that they don’t go to a site you wouldn’t approve of the moment you look away? By installing parental control software, you are still able to monitor their Internet use, but you don’t have to hover over them, helping them to feel more trusted and respected.
Guest Author Bio
This guest article is written by Sara Carter. Sara enjoys writing about social networks, Google android, and psychology. She is also interested in IT services, computer upgrades, computer repair, and different computer apps. When she is not writing, Sara loves travelling and skiing.
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Five Reasons Why Families Should Install Parental Control Software