Most parents / caregivers and even schools have never even heard of the concept of child protection software or even that it exists.

As the world of social media and the vastness of the internet grow every day, child protection software is a must!

So what is it? Software applications or programmes that a parent/caregiver or school can install to monitor online safety.  Child protection software can be used to block dangerous sites and protect kids from online bullying, set time limits for children’s devices right from a phone or any browser, monitor the child’s communication, monitor the child’s activities on popular social networks.  The software can help parents/caregivers select only the types of website, content & apps that are appropriate.  This ensures that children are not exposed to harmful content, ideas and behaviours online.

There are quite a few applications /programmes available.  The best rated child protection software is Parental control app Qustodio, followed by Net Nanny, Kapersky Safe Kids, Symantec Norton Family etc. South African developed software include VirtueNet and Intertel.

Good child protection software should have the following features:

  1. Be able to monitor and support all the device types in your household/school.
  2. Content filtering, the ability to block access to websites matching categories such as hate, violence and pornography.
  3. Setting time limits for use.
  4. Block applications.
  5. Monitor contacts and messages and keep an eye out for potentially dangerous or harmful situations.
  6. Remote Notification and Management. Parents and schools can remotely monitor and manage children online.  Notifications can also be received of attempts to bypass security settings etc.

Further steps can be taken by adding advanced features to parental software, if a parent/caregiver so requires.

Each parent/caregiver and any school using devices are under a duty to protect under age users online and must therefore install such software in homes and schools.

Parents/caregivers should review the different options available in order to make the right choice as to which particular app or software suits their requirements.