What Are the Best Ways to Monitor and Restrict My Child’s Internet Usage?

In today’s world, nearly everyone has access to a device with internet capabilities – especially children. Smart device usage by kids is more prevalent now than ever before, as children are growing up with technology that affects almost every aspect of their daily lives. This new wave of technology-focused living is leaving parents scrambling to find ways to restrict their children’s internet usage at home and keep children safe from cyberbullying, scams, and other online threats.

In particular, the wildly popular online game Fortnite is causing concern for many parents due to its platform that allows users from all over the world to communicate with each other freely. This leaves many parents wondering about the best ways to limit their children’s internet time, and what parental control apps and tools are available to do so.

This topic came up quite frequently with customers at NerdsToGo. Franchise owner Kevin Martin was able to share with his clients his best strategies to help restrict screen time for kids, and his Nerds knew exactly how to help parents implement these parental internet restriction apps and tools across all their devices.

Now, we want to share with our customers nationwide some best practices and tools to use to help control how often your children are able to access the internet and restrict the content they can view.

What Are the Best Parental Control Apps for iPhone, Android, Game Consoles, Macs, and PCs?

As technology has evolved, security measures to protect vulnerable people from the dangers that technology can present have advanced too. At a device level, internet parental controls are available both as built-in features on devices and from third-party apps and tools. On a larger scale, you can even invest in global controls to monitor internet access across many different devices that are a part of your networks.

These parental control apps and systems can serve many functions including:

  • Blocking your child from viewing certain content online and specific websites.
  • Add timer controls to limit time spent on the internet and smart devices.
  • Monitor and restrict internet usage when you are not around using a parental control router that you can monitor and control remotely.
  • Install parental control apps that allow you to monitor and control the sites that your child can access on their smart devices.

Here are a few options for built in parental control systems and third-party apps you can use depending on what device your child has:

  • Parental Controls on iPhone and iPad– You can control your child’s smartphone access on their Apple device by changing their settings. If you have iOS 12, simply go to Settings > Screen Time > Turn on Screen Time and you can set restrictions from there. If you have iOS 11 or earlier, go to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions.
  • Parental Controls on Android Phones and Tablets– On Android, you can limit the content your child downloads from the Google Play Store. Go to the Play Store App and tap Menu > Settings > Parental Controls.
  • Parental Control Apps for iPhone, Android and Smart Devices– You can use these parental control apps to limit screen time across your child’s devices. One of the best parental control apps is Google’s Family Link, which helps you set content rules for your children on Android devices. Another great parental control app is FamilyTime, which helps you manage screen time, location tracking, time limits, content access, contact lists, texts and calls, and more.
  • Parental Control Routers– Each router should have a Quality of Service setting that allows you to limit the amount of bandwidth that your child’s device has access to. Your router should also be able to log internet usage, block certain activities, and set a schedule. You can maintain bandwidth control over your child’s internet access with these features.
  • Parental Controls on Web Browsers– You can download browser extensions to limit internet usage and restrict content. Top parental control extensions include Safe Lagoon, Goodnight Chrome, and Duckie Deck. iOS and Windows computers both have parental controls built into their safety settings.
  • Parental Controlson Xbox and PlayStation– Both Xbox and PlayStation have built-in parental controls that you can access to restrict what online games your child has access to. You can also use these built-in controls to limit your child’s ability to access the internet from these devices and interact with other players.

The Negative Effects of Fortnite and Other Online Games

Fortnite is a wildly popular online video game that allows players across the globe to play and communicate with each other in real time. Researchers have recently cited online shooter games like Fortnite, because they can have negative effects on kids due to their addictive gameplay, violent content, and the ability for children to communicate with players much older than them. If you notice any signs your child may be affected by too much online game play such as: withdrawn personalities, isolated behaviors, inability to connect in real world social situations, and changes in eating habits, it may be time to re-evaluate how much time your child is allowed to play online.

Luckily, parental controls are available on Fortnite-capable devices such as Xbox, PlayStation, iOS, and Switch. Here at NerdsToGo we want to not only help recommend the best ways to restrict and monitor your child’s online time, but also help provide tips on how to address online safety to your children.

The Importance of Teaching Kids Online Safety

Teaching your children online safety is crucial in today’s interconnected world. You won’t be able to keep them away from the internet forever – and even if they do not have access to these channels of communication now, they may in the future. Teaching your children how to properly conduct themselves online is very important to keeping them safe from future harm.

Unsure how to talk to your kids about this topic? Want to learn more about setting up router controls, browser settings, smartphone parental control apps, and more? NerdsToGo can show you specific tools and apps to help your children stay safe online and in video games, including when they’re playing Fortnite. We will also guide you through some best practices to talk to your children about online safety.

Contact NerdsToGo today or stop by your local franchise location to learn more about our parental control services and the best ways to keep your child safe online.