Taking parental control over child wanting tablet

Parents are taking action to protect their family.


Controlling the use of digital devices for entertainment is such a major concern that various solutions have been introduced to help. Below is a brief overview of the different types of parental control currently available.


Internet Filters

Internet filters control or restrict the information that is delivered over the internet in an attempt to reduce the flow of harmful content onto your computer or device. Their efficacy, level of difficulty and cost vary by product and vendor. Most prevent accidental access to inappropriate content. Some offer useful capabilities like time controls, chat logging, usage reports, social media limits and mobile device filtering. 

Software Filter
A program installed or application downloaded to your computer that sits between the user and the internet. The software monitors what can be accessed or displayed based on settings and limitations you specify.
Hardware Filter
The physical device that connects you to the internet (router or modem) may be configured to filter or control internet access through that device. When the router or modem does not offer adequate filtering, an additional device that does may be an option.
Digital Network Service Provider (DNS)
A DNS provider links with your router allowing you to filter and control content to any device that connects to the internet either by wire or wireless.
Internet Proxy
Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer internet filtering as part of their service and allow some parental control of internet access. For example, Google offers SafeSearch Kids as an alternate browser for children.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN server (rather than your ISP) is used to access the internet. The server provides encryption to protect privacy and typically offers robust filtering controls. 


Investigate different types of internet filters to identify which meets your needs best. Some have very limited capabilities, and all require parents to specify restrictions before use. More than one require technical savvy to install and manage. One drawback with internet filters is they cannot control mobile devices that access the internet using cellular networks like 4G or offline entertainment like video games and tv.


Device Apps

Parental control for mobile devices is achieved through apps. These apps attempt to protect the user of that smart device and are often limited to that device only. To filter internet content, they modify your device’s browser or require you to use a special browser. Many apps are offshoots of internet based parental control solutions, and some are intended for use on a child’s device not the parent’s.

Android Apps
These apps are specific to Droid devices and most perform basic internet filtering and limit or restrict app use on that device. Some allow limitations to be placed on social media.
iOS Apps
These apps are specific to iPhone or iPad, and like Android apps, restrict or filter various activities on the device once installed.


Android apps typically offer more powerful filtering than iOS apps due to Google’s more relaxed restrictions. Some apps are available for both Android and iOS devices, where others may be exclusive to one or the other. Both require you to specify controls or restrictions within the app before use.


Token Products

Token products focus on limiting recreational screen time rather than restricting content from the internet. Thus, they can work alone or alongside internet filters and device apps.

Some token products simply contain tokens while others provide the additional components and operational guidelines parents need. With tokens, parents are spared the technical setup required by other parental control options. But this means, parents must develop their own approach for restricting and monitoring digital content. 


Time Limits and Boundaries

Parental control tools require parents to identify the content, websites and apps that are acceptable and unacceptable for their child as well as establish appropriate time limits and usage boundaries. Once known, these parameters are used to set up the parental control tool. From then on, parents should monitor device usage regularly and then update the parental control tool to reflect any necessary changes or additions. 



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or compare myScreenTime to other parental control options.