Choosing Parental Control Software

Because even the best kids don't always listen

We say again: nothing can replace good communication with your children or with employees or students. However, in situations where this is not always feasible (if you have large classes, departments or even a large, busy household) you may want to purchase internet security software or parental control software as a worthwhile precaution.

Some parental control software programs are perfectly suited to other organizations such as a small office where the boss is often away.

Here are a number of things to look for before you purchase any parental security software:
  • Usability . Check with in-store or online personnel as well as other users. Be sure that the software is easy to use, easy to install and easy to operate once installed.
  • Effectiveness . Will it effectively monitor and filter, matching your needs and those of your family (or organization)? Will it allow the material you do need?
  • Controls . How much control do you have over its effectiveness at filtering and monitoring internet use? Or do control measures actually slow down processes? E.g. some programs allow you to create separate settings for each family member.
  • Reporting . How does the software report activity is it in the detail you want, or does it distill information in a way that blends time-saving with effectiveness?
  • Multi-language filters . Some teenagers have been able to bypass filters by typing in foreign language words. E.g. The French word nue instead of nude.
  • Remote management . Can you find out about access while you are at work or on the road? Can you change settings or profiles from elsewhere?
  • Terminology and phrasing . Does the software give viewers the impression that Big Brother is not happy with them or does it let them know that this site may be harmful to you? The difference in connotations may be critical in fostering compliance and understanding instead of resentment and resistance.
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