The internet has many functions from being a fantastic educational resource for children and adults alike, to being the biggest seedy magazine in the world fulfilling all forms of sexual fantasies and fetishes at the click of a button. Unfortunately, children and teenagers are subject to all this description irrespective of its nature. There are various methods to protect your young ones from such atrocities ranging from moving their computers to the living room to see what they are doing, to discussing the dangers of the internet and hoping they change their social networking and gaming account details. One of the most popular options is that of parental control security programmes or nanny software. ISPs such as O2 Broadband, Sky Broadband, Virgin Broadband and BT Broadband have tools that come with their hosting to help you control the online environment. However, many people will install additional software.
What is nanny software?
Nanny software is a form on online parental control security that manages your child’s internet usage. It acts as a form of PG blocking and masking any inappropriate websites or profanities your child may be subjected to when online. Some of the more advanced and popular nanny software, such as McAfee’s Soft Eyes and Net Nanny, allow for time management of a child’s internet usage. They also offer an alert and report feature which provides the parent with alerts of when an inappropriate website is blocked or when inappropriate words are being masked on a specific website. These reports can be sent to your email or mobile phone via text based upon the settings put in place.
The Net Nanny parental control security software
Various online reviews have indicated that the most effective nanny software to date is that of Net Nanny. While the features offered can be found on various other nanny software programmes, the Net Nanny software is more advantageous in that tech-savvy teenagers have to date been unable to bypass its settings. Furthermore, some of the features are more advanced and present with less ‘glitches’ than other programmes like Family Protector or PC Pandora.
Below is an examination of the different advantageous features of the Net Nanny parental control security software. It should be noted that the Net Nanny software can be used on any browser and any technological device including tablets and Android phones.
1. Internet filtering system
The internet filtering system acts as an online funnel distinguishing the good from the bad websites and allowing on the more appropriate and satisfactory to be displayed. It works on a real time basis giving the parent complete visibility and control over their child’s online activities. This allows the parent to feel more relaxed about what their children are viewing, and more in control of the description or interactions they may be exposed to.
The different types of websites or description the internet filtering system will filter out or block include pornographic sites, sites with mature description, sites with hate speech, sites promoting alcohol or substance use, gambling sites and numerous other sites that may be inappropriate for a young age. It will also block unsavoury chat rooms and online gaming sites. It will also scan the different online games your child may be engaging in to determine whether or not they meet your Entertainment Software Rating Board requirements.
2. Masking profanity
Although one can block different indecent websites with the internet filtering system, there are different legitimate sites which will not contain adult description and may be deemed child-friendly. However, one may find that these sites will be inundated with obscene and vulgar language. In fact, evidence shows that over 45% of all Facebook walls and timelines are filled with profanities posted by Facebook ‘friends’ as part of daily speech. YouTube and Twitter have shown comments and statuses updates displaying not only inappropriate words but also threatening phrases and even hate speech.
The masking profanity feature of the Net Nanny software allows a child to view the particular website or webpage without having to encounter these unsavoury words or phrases. This is done by ‘masking’ the inappropriate speech in some way. The Net Nanny software utilises symbols to hide these words such as &@Â£! for a derogatory four lettered word.
3. Social networking monitoring
One of the greatest online threats facing children and teenagers today is that of cyber-bullying via online social networking sites such as Facebook. The effects of such taunting and threatening emails have caused such emotional stress that teenagers have attempted suicide to escape this situation. Often teenagers and children do not inform their parents of cyber-bullying, however if they do it is important to put some preventative measures in place. In fact, it may be worthwhile looking into some nanny software with social networking monitoring features even if your child has not discussed cyber-bullying with you as a ‘just in case’ option.
The Net Nanny parental security software enforces their social networking site monitoring system by using their online web-based dashboard. This Nanny Social feature is very user-friendly and easy to setup. It supports a numerous amount of different social network sites which your child may be utilising including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. This allows the parent to identify which sites their child has registered with. It also allows the parent access to the child’s photographs, videos and friends lists so he/she may keep track of any inappropriate interactions.
Parents can also activate an alert and reports notification function which sends the parent a notice whenever his/her child has received a harmful message or is engaging in appropriate activities. The activity reports can be sent to the parent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis indicating the activities on their child’s social networking profiles. This allows the parent to monitor the site and keep track of any hazardous behaviours.
4. Time management feature
This feature is a rather frustrating one for all children and teenagers, potentially even more frustrating than the social networking site monitoring option. The time management feature allows the parent to control the amount of time their child spends online setting a particular amount of hours which the child must adhere to. It is impossible to exceed these hours as the internet will ‘shut down’ once the time limit has expired. Online tech-savvy teenagers are able to bypass this service and Net Nanny’s complex interface has made it very difficult to do so.
Final words on the matter
As can be seen, there are many dangers which teenagers and children face when going online. However, the child protection software Net Nanny is able to keep them safe.
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