Before installing any parental control system on a smartphone or computer, it is important to remember that communication is essential. Making children aware of the dangers that access to certain Internet sites can represent, depending on their age, is an essential first step. Nothing replaces a discussion about the uses of a smartphone, especially the brutal and unannounced implementation of a parental control system. Once again, establishing a climate of trust and dialogue with your offspring is essential.
To regulate the use of a smartphone, it now has three main families of solutions that operate at different levels: in the smartphone’s operating system (Android, iOS), at the level of telephone operators or specialized applications. We have selected different protection systems to compare their performance. Note that the parental controls below offer, with the notable exception of Orange, three essential features today:
- Remote control that allows parents to operate the child’s phone without taking it out of their hands
- A more or less customizable screen time restriction to restrict full access to the phone or to a specific app
- A monitoring of use going through the child’s activity with plural information according to the chosen control. The vast majority also allow you to control the installation and use of apps
By default, Android does not offer parental controls and you must use an application developed by Google: Family Link. The app must be installed on all Android devices to be controlled. Since Family Link uses Google services, it is also possible to monitor Play Store purchases to avoid unexpected expenses. Another interesting feature, the geolocation of the phone to locate its heir, as well as direct information about the terminal, such as the battery percentage.
google family link
Protect the digital life of your children with this app
four hundred ninety seven
Release date :
Internet – Safety – Education
Android, Android, iOS iPhone/iPad
For more details, but also how to install and use it, check out our dedicated article below.
Control under iOS
Unlike its competitor, iOS Parental Control is directly built into Apple devices. It’s not called parental controls, it’s Screen Time and family members must have devices made in cupertino to use it. Parental control is then very precise as it offers a customizable content restriction, to control purchases, even downloads from the App Store. Since September, an update to iOS 16 offers automatic control of offensive or obscene content in iMessages. It is therefore one of the few parental controls that intervene in private messages. The geolocation of the terminal (and of the whole family) is also offered in the app… Locate.
For more information and how to set parental controls, see the article below.
Control by telephone operators
Most of the established operators (Orange, SFR, Free) offer free parental control options in their packages. These offers are quite basic and do not allow fine filtering of the content accessible from the terminals. At Orange, the solution allows you to limit access to certain sites from a 3G/4G connection, but also blocks premium rate calls. From a Wi-Fi connection, the protection is no longer effective. At SFR and Bouygues Telecom, the observation is identical: the protection is provided on 3G/4G, but is overridden and canceled as soon as you switch to Wi-Fi. Please note that Free does not offer protection for your mobile plans.
Operators not only offer basic protection, but also market complete solutions to protect children on mobile phones, tablets and computers. To better understand the proposals of the different operators, consult the article on Digital here.
With specialized applications
If you are still not convinced or want to double the security, you can use specialized applications. They often pay, offer exclusive features. In order not to get lost among the multitude of applications available, the association for the protection of children “e-Enfance” has made a selection of the best.
KidsPlace, while very basic in its range of features, has the advantage of being free, simple, and extremely intuitive. Norton is originally an antivirus software, but along with Norton Family, it specializes in child safety. Available on both Android and iOS, it can also be installed on a computer and allows you to monitor any sites or digital content deemed dangerous. Of course, you will have to pay €40/year to have access to it on an unlimited number of devices.
Norton Family Premier, a paid parental control app to monitor your children’s internet activity.
Release date :
Android, Windows, iOS iPhone/iPad, macOS
Available on Android, iOS, Windows, and Kindle, FamiSafe has some really exciting new features. It allows, for example, to filter web content, but also to block the search for any word chosen by the parents. Finally, FamiSafe offers real monitoring of children’s activity, either virtually with permanent access to their internet history or in the physical world with an accurate history of their movements thanks to geolocation. But the maximum security comes at a price since you will have to choose between a subscription at €10/month, €20/quarter or €60/year.
If all these adjustments seem laborious, the government is working to simplify them. A decree will see the light that forces manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and computers to integrate parental controls from the beginning. The Minister of Digital Transition, Jean-Noël Barrot, specified to the Parisian will be a device “directly in the configuration of each smartphone marketed in France. A simple device to control the time spent on the screen, but also the content visible or downloadable on the mobile Internet”. As soon as the device is turned on, it will be possible to set parental controls. Pending the publication of this decree, the government has compiled all the information you need to know here.
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