Family Security Software – What Programs are Good for Protecting your Home and Children?
We have discussed various ways to make your home, your children and yourself safer. I wrote about the importance of taking control of your personal and family security. Wireless security cameras for your home are important. Using smart devices in your home are helpful in securing your home.
You can have the best locks. You can have cameras covering your home inside and out. Even guard dogs and firearms can be in your home and it is not safe from a new kind of intruder. Predators and others with ill intent can be welcomed into your home through computers, pads, smart phones, gaming consoles and other systems. What can you do to protect your family? What family security software programs should you use?
We will discuss a few here and give strengths and weaknesses of each.
Why Use Family Security Software?
There are over 750,000 registered child predators in the US today. Many use fake profiles on the internet and social media to lure children. A 2015 YouTube video by Coby Persin shows just how easy it is for a predator to lure young girls.
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Parents need to be open with their children, but they also need to monitor their internet activity and limit what sites they can access. Children today have multiple devices that can access the internet. There is no way as a parent you can monitor all of their devices all the time.
Parents need control of what their children can see and do on the internet. That is where family security software comes in. There are software programs that can block undesirable internet sites. These programs also have settings that can limit how much time your child is on the internet. They can find and restrict risky sites. Parents need software that can be used across a variety of devices from computers to tablets to gaming platforms to smart phones.
Almost every software company offers a free basic family security program and they are good. I believe it is better to use some with more features.
Symantec Norton Family Premier
The Norton Family Premier program by Symantec costs around $49 and offers a full range of options for parents. Norton is affordable. The web dashboard is excellent and easy to navigate. Parents have the ability to set it across multiple devices. Today kids have laptops, gaming systems, phones, pads and other devises so this feature is big.
There is no limit on the number of devises or children. This is a great feature for larger families. Parents are given the ability to filter content. One of the great features of this program is an ability to track mobile device locations. Parents have the ability to set time restrictions on device usage. This version also keeps 30 days of activity history, and it also adds the ability to instantly lock a device.
There are a couple of negatives. One is it is not compatible with Macs. A second, is it cannot block HTTP content from an unsupported browser.
Qustodio costs around $55 per year for 5 devices. It offers a full range of options for parents. It is a little pricier than the Norton. Parents can set it across multiple devices but are limited to 5 unless they opt for the more expensive plan. It will work on all platforms including Macs.
The pluses for Qustodio is it has Cross-platform support. It has a Browser-independent content filter which handles HTTPS traffic. Another good feature is it has a time scheduler for internet, device, and application usage. Qustodio offers location tracking and a panic button for Android.
The negatives are primarily costs. Many families will have 10 or more devices when counting phones, pads, computers, gaming platforms and other devices. Costs can go upwards to $135 per year. The social monitoring only tracks Facebook. Most kids today use Snap Chat, Instagram and Twitter more than Facebook.
Content Watch Net Nanny 7
Content Watch Net Nanny 7 starts around 40 per yer for a single license with addition costs for multiple devices. It offers a wide range of options for parents. It works across multiple platforms.
The pluses for Net Nanny start with it does work across multiple platforms. It has one of the very best content monitors available. Net Nanny supports Windows, Mac, Android. It has web-based configuration and reporting. Parents are able to set cross-device Internet time allowance. Parents receive Email notifications. It has app control for Android.
The negatives start with a lack of support for IOS systems. Registering up to ten devices the cost can go as high as $80 per year.
Kaspersky Safe Kids
Kaspersky Safe Kids is very affordable starting around $15 per year. There are some limited features. It works across multiple platforms.
The pluses are there is no limit on devices. There is no limit on the number of children’s profiles. Parents are given flexible control of device usage time. One plus that Kaspersky offers that others do not, is the content filter can block bad sites or just warn the child first. Parents can add a geofence for mobile devices. It has an extensive alert system. Kaspersky has social network monitoring. Parents have the ability to block or time-limit apps. It is very inexpensive.
The negatives are the call and text monitoring is Android based only and not available for IOS systems.
There are other software programs available, but these are the four primary providers. Of these listed here, I believe the Symantec Norton Family Premier provides the most options for the most reasonable cost. All of these programs are good. The bottom line is family protection software is important and necessary in today’s environment.
Our children are constantly at risk and it is our duty to protect them. We wouldn’t allow them to go to some place that could harm them. The same goes for the internet. The internet has thousands of sites that are harmful and threatening. Modern stalkers use the internet to attract children. Don’t become a victim, act today.