“Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It’s about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.” - Ron Taffel
Parental control apps are currently playing and will continue to play an ever increasingly important role in both the monitoring and oversight of the websites, online gaming sites, social media sites, as well as text and social messaging apps that parents are willing to allow their children to access.
The challenge is that teenagers like to think that they are young adults and are capable of making their own decisions with minimal parental input. However, as the quotation mentioned above reminds that parents should not allow their kids’ free reign, especially when considering the potential dangers of the Internet. There is no doubt that the internet is a wonderful learning and exploratory tool; however, it also has a dark side.
Parental control apps: A case study
Possibly the best way to describe how vulnerable teenagers are to the dangers of the Internet is to cite a case study. However, before we look at an example, let’s define what a parental control app is:
What is a parental control app?
Simply stated, a parental control app is specially developed application software that has four essential functions:
- To monitor and log online behaviour, social media usage, as well as phone calls and messages that are sent and received by the different social messaging apps.
- To track the whereabouts of children via the default GPS tracking functionality on their mobile phones.
- To form a virtual barrier which alerts parents to the fact that their children have ended geo-fenced off zones.
- To prevent the mobile phone user from accessing certain sites and apps as well as blocking calls and text messages to and from other people.
A case study
Let’s assume for now that your child was outgoing, sporty, happy, and compliant when asked to do chores around the home. All of a sudden (as most parents have experienced), your child turns into an insolent, unhappy, grumpy teenager. It is important not to overreact here as a certain amount of this behaviour is normal for teenagers. However, if this bad behaviour continues unabated, or worsens to the point where the child withdraws, refuses to go to school, see friends, and stops playing sport, it is a good idea to intervene, especially if your child has unlimited access to the internet.
One of the ways you can intervene is to install a parental control app on your teen’s phone. Once the app is installed on the phone, the next step is to set it up and then to configure the web browser-enabled control panel or management console. When your teen’s phone has an internet connection, the app will upload call logs, text message and multimedia content; websites browsed, apps accessed, as well as chat rooms and public online games that your child has visited.
Ergo, by careful monitoring of your teen’s online behaviour, you will soon pick up any negative trends and intervene before a disaster occurs.