Part 3: Building the Defences

There are two aspects to managing and protecting your child’s online environment, the first being online security and content control for desktop and mobile devices and the second aspect being screen time controls.

In this article I will be covering online security and content control and the most cost effective way I have found to achieve this extremely important objective. Why is this so important you may ask? Well, if all your devices are not secured then a hacker may be able to compromise them and exploit an online relationship with your child. In addition, you may want to protect your child from viewing inappropriate content such as porn.

Please note: I am suggesting that parents protect desktop AND MOBILE DEVICES on all software platforms and that includes the Apple IOS & OSX.

The key to doing this cost effectively is to purchase a license for a Multi Purpose Antivirus Application because these products now include many of the important functions that were once part of standalone applications with individual price tags.

Equally, with so many functions now in included within one application the administration process is much simpler and easy to manage.

Multi-Purpose Antivirus Software

Multi-purpose antivirus software should be installed on all devices within the family network because it can do a lot more for your money than you might expect, such as circumvent phishing attacks, filtering undesirable web content and restricting apps via the use of a PIN Code.

“You may think that you do not need anti-virus protection because your PC doesn't get used that much or because you have a Mac, which isn't as susceptible to viruses. However, the analogy is that even when crossing on a quiet road, you should always keep looking both ways and listening for danger, whilst paying particular attention to what the novices are doing.”

The InvolveAll application of choice for doing all this is Bitdefender Total Security for up to 5 devices or the Family Pack for unlimited devices. Both of which can be obtained on the Bitdefender website or via Dealarious.

To specifically protect your mobile devices you need to visit Google Play or the App Store and install the Bitdefender Security app, which you can activate for no extra charge if you already have a Total Security or Family Pack  licence. Just install the app and login using your Bitdefender account. Once the app is activated, you should consider using App Lock for Android devices to lock social media apps and settings with a PIN Code.

The Parental Advisor functionality is managed via the Bitdefender Central website. However, you first need to visit Google Play or the App Store to download and install the Parental Advisor app. Login once the installation has completed. Once you have setup your device you can:

  • Keep track of your child. Simply log into your Bitdefender Central account.
  • Shield your children from inappropriate content.
  • Block phone calls and SMS messages.

Bitdefender Support is provided via help articles and a Chat Service on the Bitdefender Central website and it is very useful and responsive.

Please note that should you want to block access to an online service via Parental Advisor, such as FaceBook or SnapChat, you must block the app and also the associated web address (URL) that could be used via a Web Browser. For example, if you wanted to block FaceBook or SnapChat, you would need to block the app with ScreenTime and the URL with Bitdefender Parental Advisor.

Setup Alerts and Notifications

Alerts and notifications are essential to understanding your child's online activity and for keeping your parental controls working effectively:

  1. The General Settings email alert for Parental Advisor lets you know if (a) your child is attempting to access blocked websites/apps (b) if they have entered a restricted area, and (c) there has been an attempt to contact your child from a blocked phone.
  2. Secondly Bitdefender protects your home network from infected web pages with notifications that cover a few days.
  3. The third notification relates to a thwarted phishing attempt.

We hope that you will find this article to be useful for protecting your child’s online environment. Good luck!

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