Studying, chatting with friends, watching videos or playing games online are some of the activities that are part of children's and young people's day-to-day online. However, they could let their guard down because the digital world feels so familiar to them. Below, you can find advice on how you can help them go about their digital safety.

How to use parental control on electronic devices?

A country's legislation normally establishes restrictions to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate information for their age. One of the traditional methods is to restrict the hours within which certain content can be shared in the media, such as on the radio, on television, etc. But in the digital world, controlling children and young people's access to age-inappropriate apps or websites isn't always so easy.

Parental control is an alternative means that allows you to monitor and limit what your children do online, how much screen time they have, who they chat with, among other options. And it's easier than you may think. Parental control is a tool that can be a built-in feature or can be installed as an app.  It is typically used to manage the use of electronic devices, enabling options such as:

Setting up screen time

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You can set time slots and choose which days the computer, smartphone or tablet is enabled. You can also set a limit on how long the device can be used. When these limits are reached, the device locks itself automatically.

Disabling chat

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Some devices, apps or websites also feature instant messaging systems. Disabling these systems is one way to prevent youngsters from receiving unauthorised content, chatting with strangers or people using fake profiles.

Selecting content

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Parental control allows you to pre-approve which applications, websites or content are authorised for use by minors. 

Restricting purchases

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This option is vital for preventing children from making unauthorised credit card purchases through apps or games. Unexpected charges can be an annoyance to deal with.

Enabling geolocation

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This option is definitely useful to know where devices are located and who is using them, all in real time. This is an additional security measure that can also be used to learn browsing history, receive notifications when children visit a certain website or receive alerts when they access unauthorised areas.

Other protection measures for devices and apps

Social media channels or streaming platforms (games, films, music, books, etc.) typically offer certain features to control and configure privacy settings. It's important that profiles used by minors are only visible to people who know them. If not, their information could be within reach of third parties who could use it for ill-intentioned purposes.

It's also a good idea to review or update privacy and security settings any time a new device enters your home - and to do so before children and young people start using apps or entering their credentials. These options are usually found in the settings menu on electronic devices, apps or platforms. However, instructions on how to establish these specification  can also be found online.

Keeping software and apps up to date with the latest versions is a way to fix any bugs or security vulnerabilities that could affect devices. Downloading apps, games and content in general from official, properly identified, stores also helps to prevent viruses or malware in its tracks.

There are other options you can also employ such as choosing passwords that include special characters, that are sufficiently long and that aren't used on other accounts. Along with that is using multifactor authentication (MFA) login control, such as facial recognition or fingerprint ID, that also help safeguard both devices and users' data.

As you can see, although devices with online access are part of everyday life for the new generations, apps and tools to help them manage their devices properly are essential to ensure their security. It’s an easy way to enjoy better peace of mind while children and young people play, learn and share online. . 

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