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Tech Tools To Help Parents Monitor Child Activity Online

Trust is essential to every relationship, and trusting your child to do the right thing when given access to a device that’s internet accessible means teaching them how to be trustworthy. The bottom line is trust is earned, not blindly given.

Social media influences children to do crazy things. One child poured hot water on a classmate during a slumber party for a Boiling Water Challenge, and other girl set herself on fire, and a third one streamed her suicide live when she hung herself from a tree. Were the disturbing signs there on their feed?

According to police reports, yes. For each of the youngsters, comments were made on various forums that they were thinking of taking action. Watch histories, tweets liked, and even How To videos on YouTube can reveal the premeditated attempts of a child.

It’s important to know what your kids are thinking, and when it comes to social, what type of messages they are digesting, too.

Just because you trust someone to do one thing in a certain scenario, doesn’t mean that they get full trust in all situations. Technology provides an opportunity to teach character, and when it comes to monitoring your child’s use online, you might want to consider apps that help you know what’s going on and to avoid a problem long before it starts.

Here’s the raw truth, even child-friendly programs online can lead to down a path that is not good for your child. I remember when my son was just 6 years old and we discovered a series of Thomas the Tank Engine videos on YouTube. We watched one after the other as he laughed in delight, but then someone with bad intentions somehow managed to score an algorithm and route the children video feed to a series of videos meant to take childhood innocence down a path of no return.

Thankfully, I caught it before the video started to play and reported it since it failed the community standards test. But, if I had trusted things to be well without monitoring my son’s use closely, he might have been exposed to something he’d never forget.

I might never have learned that it happened. Thankfully, there are new apps that can monitor, block and prevent mishaps like this from happening to protect and shield your child from harmful predators or adult content.

There are two top apps highly recommended for parents who want to take charge of their children’s online activity. Digital Trends gave Qustodio a thumbs up and listed it as number one for parent monitoring apps. For around $40 a year, it allows parents to monitor children in real-time with a control app and a web-based family portal, or download it so that it runs in the background on your child’s device.

The app works on most devices and allows parents to manage screen time, report where children spent their time, read all text messages, and there’s even a child locator.

For $50 a year, Norton created an app called WebWatcher which monitors apps such as Tik Tok, Instagram and other social media platforms, including all text messages, photos and deleted content. PC Mag gave it a 4.0 rating.

 

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About Aria Gmitter

Aria Gmitter writes about parenting and political matters affecting the family.

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