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Parental Controls and Helpful Apps to Monitor Your Child’s Online Use

Most parents understand how difficult it can be to set limitations for kids when it comes to screen time. Sometimes, it isn’t enough to just talk to your kids about the rules of cell phone use. Taking the next step and setting parental controls will give you some peace of mind and help create a safer online environment for your child.  

WHAT ARE PARENTAL CONTROLS?

Parental controls are features on smartphones and other devices that help you, as a parent, set age appropriate restrictions for your child. Parental controls fall into four basic categories:

1. Content Filters. Content filters provide limited access to content, such as specific  websites, games videos and apps, that might not be age appropriate for the viewer.

2. Usage Controls. Usage controls place limitations for the usage of the device, i.e. setting a timer to limit the screen time.

3. Monitoring. These types of parental controls track the location and activity of the device being used, so you can see what your child is doing -- and where they’re doing it.

4. Parental Advisory. Parental advisory controls provide restrictions for inappropriately rated content that you don’t want your child to see. It’s like a G, PG and PG-13 rating system for your device.

APPS THAT OFFER PARENTAL CONTROLS

Most smartphones and other devices come with built-in parental controls, but due to the constantly changing nature of technology, these settings are often easy to bypass or disable. They don’t always catch everything. Here are some helpful apps for your child's smart device that offer even stronger parental controls: 

QUSTODIO  

(A yearly fee may apply, depending on the protection your family desires and the number of family members using the protection plan.)

Qustodio protects your child from unwanted Internet activity, offers call monitoring and tracks the location of your child's device. You can see what your child is doing online in real time. You can also receive notifications when other people call or text your child's device.

Qustodio also allows you to set timers to create a healthy balance of screen time and free time. You can monitor all of this from your own smart device or your computer. 

CIRCLE WITH DISNEY

(You can download this app on Google Play or iTunes for $99 or find it on Amazon)

One great thing about this parental controls app is that you can manage the Internet activity on all the devices in your home -- whether that be a phone, tablet or computer connected to the internet. Circle with Disney allows you to set daily time limits, monitor apps, and even filter apps like Snapchat, Hulu and Facetime.

You can also pause the Internet and monitor where you child is spending their time online, as the app shows much time they spend at different websites. All of these control options can be set individually for each person or each device in your home. Plus, Circle is teamed with Disney, so you can find great Disney-related content on the app, which your kids are sure to enjoy!

KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE WITH PARENTAL CONTROLS

There are many wonderful, educational aspects to kids using the Internet. Using parental controls can help put your mind at ease and let children enjoy themselves without the stress and worry over age-inappropriate content. It’s nice to know when your child is snuggling with their PawdPet for some downtime, they’re safe and protected


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