Parental Control:  Exigency or Nuisance


Parental Control is designed to empower parents and guardians to manage, control, or limit their child’s internet activities. It enables you to filter and block apps and websites that contain inappropriate contents such as pornography, promotion of self-harm, suicidal thoughts or eating disorders, edited videos or images, fake news, and hoaxes.

Parental settings guarantee security and privacy for devices. When your child has access to search engines, online games or consoles, mobile phones, tablets, computers, applications, WiFi, mobile data, or home broadband and direct broadcast satellite services (cable channels), controls are crucial. Parental control is a concept many parents are acquainted with, although they seldom apply it. Hence the need to emphasize the importance of using parental controls.

Executive Director of Child Online protection Network, Oluwatoni Falade answers the question, why should parents leverage parental controls? She said, the internet as a fantastic for learning and development; however, it is also haven for cybercriminals such as identity thieves, pedophiles, cyberbullies, online predators, scammers, trolls, and kidnappers perhaps due of the anonymity it presents.

Thus, it is the responsibility of parents or caregivers to ensure their child’s online safety while encouraging exploration of the opportunities therein. Controls makes it easier to manage contents for various users and create filters to prevent applications that might contain inappropriate contents. Although, some people would argue that parental controls can stifle creativity and curiosity, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

Parental control has direct and indirect benefits. For instance, managing your child’s screen time and minimizing distractions during school and bedtime can help the child focus on productive use, which can improve their academic performance. It can protect your child from actions that might tarnish their image online and limit their access to opportunities like admission to school or employment in future.

Furthermore, online activities indicating suicide, anxiety, depression, underage promiscuity, violence, and other internet menaces can be swiftly identified and addressed. In addition, blocking applications and in-app transactions can help prevent unauthorized spending.

When choosing appropriate parental controls, your child’s age, technical aptitude, and parental control features are important factors to be considered. Screen-time restrictions, apps blocking, WiFi blocking, social engineering monitoring, web content filtering, keyloggers to view searches and most-used apps and websites, location tracking, and geofencing are some examples of parental control features. Users can designate some locations as safe zones, such as homes and schools while other as unsafe.

Additionally, some features allow parents to access saved data on the phone, including text messages and chats unnoticed. Other options include restricting changes to settings, features, and password. Most computers, mobile phones, software packages, and websites have some sort of function that enables parents to establish limits.

As the child becomes older, controls need to be adjusted to fit specifics of the child’s development; nonetheless, parents should not give in to pressure or let the child force adjustments.
It is worth noting that parental control may not be 100% effective, however, it is highly recommended for busy and unavailable parents. For parental controls and privacy settings to be effective, parents must understand how it is configured.

If you enable parental controls on your home WiFi and your child’s device, they won’t be of assistance if your child connects to another WiFi with no controls in place or uses another device. Hence, to ensure sufficient internet safety measures, it is important to educate your child on the reasons for enabling parental controls, the risks and need for safety in all online interactions, how to manage inappropriate or offensive contents when encountered, the significance of good and strong passwords, as well as your willingness to talk to them about these restrictions.



Digivation Network

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