Being a parent is never easy, but with the advent of Internet, the job has become even tougher. Now, parents do not only have to worry about keeping their kids safe in the real world, but they also have to worry about their safety in the vast virtual world, which has exposed the newer generation to a new set of dangers.
Fortunately, parental control applications are there to lend a helping hand, offering parents a chance to fight the many evils that threaten to harm their offspring in the digital realm. The technology has made it possible for parents to gain backdoor access to their kids’ activities in the virtual world and ensure their safety.
Visible vs. Stealth
When contemplating parental control, parents often face the dilemma of whether to go with visible monitoring programs or ones that run in stealth mode. In order to reach a decision, there are certain things that need to be considered. These include openness, trust, the effect on the parent-child relationship, the degree of resistance, and whether the kids to be monitored are tech savvy or not.
Since not all kids think or act in the same manner, the decision on the type parental control software should be based on the type of kid a parent is dealing with.
Where Visible Tools Could Work
With a visible parental control application installed on the computer, kids know that their parents are tracking their online activities. Parents who paid heed to the advice of experts may have also talked about it with their offspring in advance. The latter may appreciate the honesty and intentions of their parents and consequently show lesser resentment and resistance. Furthermore, knowing that their Internet activities are being monitored may encourage them to display responsible online behavior.
Unfortunately, there are certain downsides to using visible parental control programs. Many kids, especially teens, may refuse to let their parents peek into their lives perceiving it as a breach of privacy. Ignoring their parents’ intentions, they may put up a very strong fight. Technology has not been around for a very long time, which is why parents do not exactly enjoy a huge advantage over the newer generation when it comes to using it. Tech savvy kids may find a way to get around such tools, while some kids may try to outsmart their parents by using the computer at school or a friend’s house to engage in inappropriate and dangerous activities instead.
Stealth Software as an Option
In certain situations, parents are compelled to track their kids’ online activities covertly using software that runs in stealth mode. Kids oblivious to the safety measure may stick to their routine internet behavior instead of changing it in a bid to hide their personal lives from the latter. This could allow the concerned mother and father to have a better idea of what their kids are up to and if there is need for intervention. Parents also don’t have to worry about any resistance when they use such tools.
There is one major disadvantage of using parental control which runs in stealth. If and when the need to confront the kids arises, the latter would know that they were being secretly monitored. This will not only instill a strong sense of betrayal in them, but can also cause them to turn bitter towards their parents.
With both visible and stealth monitoring applications having their fair share of merits and demerits, parents need to carefully consider everything from necessity to possible consequences before making their decision on which type of approach to adopt in order to protect their kids.
Natalia David writes about Internet and software security for Mobistealth. The writer tweets @NataliaDavid4