How Effective Is Your Parental Control Software?

parental control software thumb How Effective Is Your Parental Control Software?

The internet has opened floodgates of information. Most of it are unsuitable to young children.

Parents need more control of what their children access in their PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. There are a lot of tools that offer parental control.

Now the question is, how effective is the parental control software tool and approach that you are using?

Some tools

You can either buy your own software or you can just settle for some free ones that can be downloaded online. There are some software that were designed to work on standard computers while others are for mobile phones (either for iPhone or Android-powered devices) and game consoles. lists 5 tools that you can download online – Norton Online Family, Windows Live Family Safety, AVG Family Safety, and K9 Web Protection 4.0.296.

An article in also provides a list of 5 free software for Windows. These include OpenDNS, Kidzui, Visikid, Pikluk, and sites that only allow kids to view filtered videos (ZuiTube, Totlol). There are a lot of other tools available online.

How did these tools fare in the tests?

Different levels of parental control

According to the Safer Internet Programme (SIP) (commissioned by the European Commission, there are three main approaches to parental control:

  • customization of web content filtering (limited content according to parents discretion)

  • blocking the usage (prevent streaming of inappropriate videos)

  • monitoring the application or protocol usage and the web content that is accessed (includes duration when sites were accessed)

How effective, usable, functional, and secure?

There were 4 parameters that were tested by SIP – functionality, effectiveness, usability, and security. A total of 30 tools were examined. These vary depending on which device they were used – computer, mobile phone, or game consoles.

The tools that were tested for computers include:

Free software

  • Norton Online Family

  • K9 Web Protection

  • Windows Live Family

  • SafetyMac OS X

  • Parental Controls

  • OpenDNS home

Needs to be purchased:

  • PureSight Owl

  • Kaspersky Pure

  • Telekom Kinderschutz Software

  • Trend Micro Online Guardian

  • Net Nanny

  • F-Secure IS 2012

  • Profil Parental Filter 2

  • Safe Eyes

  • AVG Family Safety

  • McAfee Family Protection

  • Cybersieve

  • Enologic Net Filter

  • Xooloo

  • Mobicip

  • Cybersitter

  • Whitenet

  • Net-Intelligence

  • CyberPatrol

  • Davide

  • Optenet Webfilter PC


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The test results.

For mobile devices:

  • K9 Web Protection Browser

  • Mobicip Safe Browser

  • Norton Online Family Mobile

  • F-Secure Mobile Security

  • AVG Family Safety (Mobile)

Parental control tools for computers

The results show that no tools reached the complete functionality coverage. The loopholes in some of the tools include the inability to block Skype. Generally, the tools that were tested have low effectiveness level.

Some of the tools are easy to install, and provide clear and simple directions. So the more complicated the installation and configuration process is, the higher the possibility some errors will be committed. Thus, some sites will not be properly filtered out.

Mobile phones

The same study concluded that for mobile phones, the tools are limited as compared to the ones used in PCs. They tested Safe Eyes for iPhone and Mobile Security for Android. Both are already included in the pre-installed software in both operating systems. Furthermore, mobile tools are less complicated compared to the ones used in PCs, however these are are difficult to understand and, often times, not well supported.

Gaming consoles

All the consoles that were tested include an embedded parental control tool. However, these are not able to filter. Wii and PS3, the only consoles that can be used to connect to the web, can also download some external parental control software.

However, most parents are not aware that there are control tools for consoles just like in PCs and other mobile devices. The installation of tools for consoles is the same with mobile phones, easy and less complex.


For parents, there are a lot of tools to choose from. Most of these can be downloaded online for free. But if they can spend extra to get some licensed software, then there’s no problem with that. Having a parental control program in your children’s PC, mobile device, and gaming consoles will not just help you track the sites that they should not visit but more than that you will guide them in making the right decisions.

Author bio:

Parents should use parental control tools in order to track what their children browse online. In this article, Ric explores what are the most effective parental control tools. He’s also writing for a family-oriented law firm in Boca Raton, Florida.

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  1. McGruff SafeGuard says:

    If you are looking for advanced parental control for the iPhone or iPad, check out FREE McGruff SafeGuard.

    You might remember McGruff “The Crime Dog” – Take A Bite Out of Crime – from your own childhood.

    They also offer have a PC-based Parental Control software: (

    McGruff SafeGuard released a Child Safe Browser app which is a look-alike for Safari, but offers a parent with complete control of the categories of websites that can be visited.

    The browser app also sends a summary of activity to the parent via email.

    Look into

  2. Alicedi says:

    I am surprised to see Qustodio from missing from the list. One of the top free software in the parental control apps league. I’ve been using it for some months now and have never seen such a strong parental control program. It tracks data, monitors chat programs, and blocks sites in real time. What more can you ask for in a program. Without it, your list is incomplete.

  3. I read this article and learn how it works. Really this is so good. I like it.

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