Wednesday, October 20

The best free parental controls for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android | Digital Trends Spanish

If the online security of your company information seems to you something that is worth the investment of software that costs you hundreds of dollars a year, then what is the price of the well-being of your children when browsing the internet for a homework or just fun? We know that it is impossible to be monitoring them all day, for that we present you the best parental control programs that exist in the market.

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That is where technology, through software, comes to our aid. Parental controls keep your kids safe from the dark web, and there are completely free versions available for all operating systems. Keep reading to know more.

Integrated operating system functions

Giving your kids technology designed around their age group is a great first step to keeping them safe online. When they have access to more general computing devices, you can take advantage of the parental control functions built into the operating system.

Parental controls available in Windows and MacOS provide a convenient and acceptable means of restricting web access and chat functionality, along with viewing detailed logs and tracking email exchanges.

Microsoft Family Safety

For Windows 10, you must register to get a Family Safety account. Then you can add a specific child account (or more, according to your needs) to your family account that your children can use.

This approach can be a bit tricky, but it comes with a variety of benefits. You get reports of all the online activities of the secondary accounts and it gives you access to block any application, game or site you want.

Also, you can limit how much time they spend online and strictly control their shopping activity. It has some real-world security features, including the ability to track the location of your children.

Their location can be found through the Microsoft Family Safety app (on iPhone and Android phones) or through the Microsoft Family Safety website if they are using a Windows 10 cell phone or have Microsoft Launcher on their Android device.

Built-in parental controls in MacOS

The hands of a man typing on a laptop to set up parental controls 2
Riley Young / Digital Trends

MacOS touts more than a few options when it comes to parental controls, each of which is accessible through the dashboard. Parental control, located on the main panel of System preferences.

The software includes options to block applications, specific websites and messages with particular people that you consider inappropriate. Parental controls need to be set individually for each person, but once done, users can also set time limits.

There are other options, such as the ability to hide profanity in most source content, and users can additionally ban the computer’s built-in camera and disc burning utilities.

If there is more than one Mac on a single network, users can even remotely manage such parental controls from a completely different computer. It’s a reasonably comprehensive solution, if you don’t mind spending some time in Mac settings making sure everything is correct.

The problem is that you can only manage parental controls per user, so you will have to set up separate accounts for each child.

Applications and extensions

Windows and MacOS offer a decent selection of parental controls, but they can’t do everything by default. Along the same lines, parental controls can be challenging to set up on kid-focused mobile devices.

Here are downloadable programs that may be more suitable for your particular goals.


Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android

A person's hands typing on a laptop to set up parental controls

Qustodio has a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface that allows you to subscribe to the free version of your software in no time. You manage everything from the dashboard, which includes social media monitoring, individual time limits for internet use, games or apps, and the ability to track text messages and calls on allowed devices.

The real-time internet filter can detect pornography and ensures that everything is blocked, even in private browsing modes.

The compatibility options are impressive as the software is compatible with Kindle, Nook, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. However, Qustodio is trying to make as much money as possible from this program, so many features (such as game blocking, location tracking, etc.), are behind paywalls.

You can also use the free version on one device, which limits its applicability. Qustodio has a great set of features; we just wish it had more available for free.



Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and BlackBerry

Kidlogger, one of the best programs for parental controls

Kidlogger is a great option if you prefer to be undercover rather than proactive. Instead of blocking sites, Kidlogger automatically tracks your keystrokes and web history, as well as program usage (and saves screenshots taken on your computer).

When installed on a smartphone, the application also automatically records all phone calls made, by number and by contact name. It’s compatible with popular apps like Instagram and Discord, where parents can pay close attention, and updates continue to add more support for the service.

The free version of Kidlogger is fine, but the premium versions add some oomph, although some of its features are downright invasive. If you want to monitor your kid’s phone conversations and record WhatsApp messages, Kidlogger can do it.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have native password protection, so if you have a smart kid, you could end up getting caught. It is available for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry.

Like Qustodio, a free account limits you to one device, while paid versions offer more protection.



Google Chrome and Firefox Plugin

FoxFilter is excellent at providing users with a blocking filter score based solely on keywords and individual web pages (i.e. Playboy, lingerie, nudes), while also offering solutions for adding trusted sites to a pre-selected list without prohibited content.

Additionally, the plugin’s sensitivity settings can be adjusted to scan the main content of the web page, as well as the title and URL, and users can configure notification and alert preferences detailing the type of post underlying each site. locked.

This preference management is great at blocking a variety of websites and is one of the quickest options to get started, but inexperienced users can stick with the default list of signal words.

Be careful, if you add too many or wrong keywords, you can find almost all blocked websites. FoxFilter offers free email support, so if you have any issues, feel free to contact them.


Whats Next?

If you want total protection for your young children, you should worry about the use of cell phones. Check out our list of the best control applications for your child’s cell phone. We bet some of you are also interested in learning more about game console security.

Also, since you’ve done what it takes to keep your kids safe online, how about protecting your web activities? Verify that you are running a reliable antivirus solution and keep your passwords protected with our favorite password managers.

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