It’s the summer, your child is no longer in school for about three months, and they have nothing better to do than surf the internet all day. If left to their own devices, they could end up seeing some pretty inappropriate things.
So how will you keep them from seeing something they shouldn’t see? Parental controls for your home network are the answer.
Through Your Router
This is the easiest way to configure your settings. Your router serves as an entry point for all internet traffic on your network. By setting up web filtering here, you’ll be able to control what your child sees not just on a computer, but on a tablet, their cellphone, and even their game consoles.Some routers come with parental controls that are already built in. Usually it’s shown on the box and explained thoroughly in a manual if the feature is available.
For those that don’t have built in controls, OpenDNS can be used to select what your children can and cannot see. You’ll have to configure the DNS settings on your router so you can use OpenDNS. Click here to set up an account with them and configure your web settings. You can select what type of websites to block, and when one is clicked on your child will be redirected to a “This site is blocked” message.
If you don’t want a device to be configured, just manually change the OpenDNS settings. But remember, now anyone can change the settings.
This program has built-in controls that will allow you to control when your child logs in and what types of programs your child can access. It’s really helpful if your children use different accounts than you do.
It’s useful, but it doesn’t have web filtering. To make up for this, Microsoft does offer Family Safety, a program that can let you set up web filtering through Windows 7.
Windows 8 and 10
Both Windows 8 and 10 have integrated parental controls so that Window 7’s time limits are combined with web filtering from the Family Safety program to give you all the power you need, plus new features.
In case you need a little more help on how to configure parental settings for Windows 8, click here.
Through Third-Party Software
Configuring parental controls through third-party software is just as effective as the following methods above. A good portion of internet security applications have parental control options built in. If one is present, check for the settings.
There are programs of this type that you can pay for, such as the Net Nanny that everyone knows about, but you don’t have to pay to protect your children. The web is full of free web filtering options. One good example is Norton. They offer, for free, a Norton Family application, and it works rather well according to users. If this one doesn’t suit your needs, you can always search the web for others.
Hopefully this guide has helped you better understand how to implement parental controls. If it’s a bit too much and you’re still confused, it’s okay. We can come by and do it for you, it’s not a problem at all.