How Do Parental Control Apps Help Follow a Healthy Cyber Hygiene?

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( — May 17, 2018) — Why are parental controls a must-haves for parents? Did you know that Tide pods are not just for the laundry? At least, teens participating in the Tide Pod challenge think so. They eat pods, film it, and post on social media. This is how they augment their popularity among peers.

It’s not actually the only challenge that kids take up worldwide. There are also the Snorting Challenge, the Choking Challenge, the Flatliner, the Blue Whale one. The awful thing is that parents have no clue their kids participate in it till they face the consequences.

The most frequent reason is that they didn’t make monitoring the part of their parental routines. In other words, they did not teach their kids the basics of cyber hygiene and do not use monitoring tools which are must-have in the realities of modern online risks. 

What is a cyber hygiene?

These are basic rules that any child should follow in order to stay safe and healthy online and offline. It implies a safe online exposure and an appropriate online behavior.

A safe online exposure means that parents need to communicate to their kid that real names, addresses, phone numbers shouldn’t be publicly shared or exposed on social media or elsewhere.

An appropriate online behavior means, first of all, kids’ understanding that whatever they post, it will go public and viral. It all constitutes their online persona which can influence their academic and career success.

In a nutshell, to help kids follow the cyber hygiene, parents should use parental control software as a part of it. You can find out more about cyber hygiene and its rules here.

What is a parental control app?

It is an application designed to help parents monitor kids’ online activities, check on them remotely by following the GPS location, and manage their screen time.

There are in-built parental controls and the ones that need the installation. For example, YouTube has parental control. Parents can manage the content their kids can watch. Meanwhile, it’s super easy for kids to get around these restrictions. They even do not need to be tech-savvy.

WhatsApp messenger developer claims the app has it as well. Since the app allows sharing the current location with somebody else, parents used to ring alarm bells. Netflix and other content providers usually have parental controls to imply restrictions on kids.

The devices themselves might have in-built parental controls. For example, iPad has five types of parental controls. Each depends on what exactly a parent wants to block or restrict. Usually, parents use it to avoid in-app purchases.

However, parental controls that need the installation are more effective, especially when it comes down to a cyber hygiene. They provide much more opportunities.

Some developers go further and add some extra features to meet completely the parents’ needs. Thus, the Kidgy parental control app allows parents not just keeping tabs on their kids but help them with discipline issues.

In general, parents from all over the world turn to parental controls and the market grows constantly. The latter is estimated to gain $9.50 billion by 2022 (the Market Research Future’s report). 

What do parents need to look for when picking parental controls?

When looking for parental controls, parents should pay attention to those features that solve their primary issues. Usually, these are supervising kids online, restricting their online activities and screen time. These abilities give peace of mind to busy parents.

Besides providing those basic monitoring opportunities, Kidgy serves as a family assistant. Parents can assign tasks via the Kidgy Daily Planner and follow their completion online. Regarding safety, there’s the Panic Button. When a child feels they’re about to get into trouble, they can click it and parents will be informed immediately.

A cherry on the pie for parents?

The app comes in handy when a kid gets the device for the first time. It’s not a secret that the Internet is also misused in many ways. Therefore, kids can encounter cyberbullying, online abusers, invitations into sexting and dangerous online games. To prevent these risks, parents should use monitoring apps like Kidgy.

The Internet is a perfect channel for cyberbullying since it’s uncontrolled and uncensored. So, it’s up to parents to follow their kids’ online activities and check if they are not cyberbullied.  Meanwhile, the stats say that in 2017-2018 13 million teens will suffer from cyberbullying.

There are 750 000 registered online predators looking for children online. They befriend kids on social media and lure them into meeting online.

Child sexting is another sore subject in the US since it’s criminalized. Child sexting is aka child pornography, which involves the punishment of the participants and even their parents.

Dangerous online games like the Blue Whale Challenge threaten kids’ sanity and safety. Its participants end up hurting themselves or even worse.

To sum up, parental control software is an integral part of the child’s cyber hygiene and is called to make parenting easier.