It was worth it: I am a parent and used ESET Parental Control for a month
ConclusionsESET Parental Control is a useful tool for parents who are aware of the dangers of unlimited access to the Internet and various applications. The program contains important functions that enable the use of a system of penalties and rewards. When our lives become more and more dependent on technology and the Internet, it is worth having an assistant and advisor on your side - ESET Parental Control.
Undoubtedly, we have come to live in times when we experience amazing technological advances and communication on a scale previously unprecedented every day. Unfortunately, the digital age brings some threats to our private lives, especially when it comes to our children who may experience disastrous uncontrolled access to content. This problem concerns the majority of parents who are aware and looking for a proper solution. Personally, as a father of a ten-year-old who is a regular user of cyberspace, I realize that even very prudent use of Internet resources and electronic entertainment does not always guarantee security. We are not able to control all the child's actions, and even with appropriate precautions, the young user may simply "get lost" out of sheer curiosity and accidentally encounter messages containing violence, pornography, vulgar language and much more.
So what can we do as parents? A complete cut-off from the Internet and mobile devices is hardly an option. A proper solution seems to be the use of software monitoring and blocking the young user's actions. One of the applications of this type is ESET Parental Control, which was courtesy of the manufacturer for testing.
My daughter was the experimental rabbit, who uses a smartphone and tablet on a daily basis. After a few days, my wife joined in for testing, pretending to be a 13-year-old girl in order to test this solution in practice. The test was conducted on two users with a total of three mobile devices running Android.
When presenting your product, the manufacturer draws attention to the key functions. These are the options to control installed and used applications, just like websites you visit. The application also allows you to locate your child and indicate its location on the map.
Another important function is to introduce a limitation for children by assigning them the so-called time budget to be used during specific hours. The parent can also send a special message to the child, which blocks the device and allows further use, but only after confirming the reading of such information.
How does ESET Parental Control work in practice?
The first and very important thing is the ease of installation, registration, use and configuration of the application. In this respect, the ESET product is difficult to fault. Despite several attempts, I was unable to disrupt the process of setting up an account and program configuration, both on the parent's and child's device.
The whole process was very simple and most importantly intuitive. The application itself suggests how to configure the device of the parent and each child. All activities related to the settings can be performed either through the web portal or directly in the installed application on your smartphone. When creating such a profile, we are asked about the basic data of our child, including the age to which the application matches the predefined access and control settings. Should the need arise, we can switch the application on the child's device to the parent mode at any time and, for example, change the settings and restrictions. This mode is protected by a pre-configured PIN number. Of course, we can freely modify these settings and adapt them to our needs.
One of the most important functionalities of ESET Parental Control is access to rules that determine how much freedom we will allow our children. We have at our disposal the control of websites and applications. For web addresses that have been categorized together with the suggested age group, we can block or allow your child to use this category with just one click. In addition, we can add individual pages to the whitelist of Internet addresses allowed to work or to the blacklist - the addresses of such websites will then be blocked.
A good example of how application groups work is the ingenuity of my daughter, who after spending time using a dedicated application YoutTube quickly discovered that the web browser was in the category "appropriate" and is not subject to such restrictions. This allowed the "young" to watch movies over a set limit. Fortunately, ESET Parental Control informed me about this activity in the daily report. One click added the browser to the entertainment and games group, so my daughter was again controlled.
Time constraints can be configured practically arbitrarily, setting the number of minutes or hours as well as the time interval. What's more, the application recognizes school days and days off from school, so as a parent, I can plan how much freedom I will give my child on weekends and on school days. In addition, it is possible to include the "holiday" mode, which, as you can easily guess, allows you to spend more time online.
What happens when our child in the depths of cyberspace exceeds the set limit? It receives a friendly message from the application and at the same time can ask the parent for additional time for entertainment.
In turn, the guardian receives information about the request, both in the application itself and via e-mail (optional) and decides whether to extend the time of using the device. This also works the other way - the child can check at any time how much time is available to him. This restriction fulfills its educational obligation because it teaches the child to manage their precious time.
ESET Parental Control not only monitors already installed applications, but also informs you that you try to install more, so that the parent can independently check and assess whether the program is appropriate for the age of the young user. However, this decision is not mandatory. The guardian can rely on the ESET Parental Control application, which was prepared by software engineers in cooperation with children's psychologists.
Another important and useful feature is locating the device. The position of the smartphone is shown on the map with very high accuracy. Testing this option in different places and conditions, I had only one problem with the location - it was in a building away from "civilization".
How important it is to know the current location of a child knows that every parent who once worried about the absence of their child, and at the same time could not contact her.
ESET Parental Control has another feature in its arsenal that will help parents save a few gray hairs. It is sending text messages that will be displayed on the entire screen (you can not miss such messages even when you really want to). If the child does not read such information, i.e. there is no interaction between the user and the message, the telephone will be blocked until the message reading confirmation is sent. Unfortunately, the parent is not informed that the sent message was read at the same moment in which it was displayed on the screen. We can only be sure that the child read the message when he confirms reading the message. Forced feedback would be very useful and soothed many angry nerves. The second disadvantage of this function is that it does not support the coding of Polish characters.
As with any monitoring application, ESET Parental Control generates reports on your observation. Reports show in detail how much time a child has devoted to specific applications or how many times and which Internet addresses have been opened.
As guardians we are informing about the category of websites visited and about detailed internet addresses, as well as about launched applications. From such a report, we can block an unwanted online resource or a program installed on the device with a single click.
ESET Parental Control will not replace the parent
ESET Parental Control is a useful tool for parents who are aware of the dangers of unlimited access to the Internet and various applications. The program contains important functions that enable the use of a system of penalties and rewards. Do not kid yourself - today, taking your child's phone or disconnecting it from the Internet can be one of the most severe punishments. On the other hand, permission to play and use the Internet can also be a reward. Sound management of the possibilities of the tested program is an important element in the difficult process of raising a young person to a responsible and reasonable one.
ESET's application is a serious competition for other such programs. The price is not prohibitive, it is quite affordable, especially since Parental Control covers the protection of the entire family regardless of the number of devices owned. The potential of the application certainly encourages you to try it in your everyday life and evaluate yourself. Personally, I am going to use ESET Parental Control still. After a month of testing, it would be difficult for me to give up the comfort and some peace of mind that he provides me.
Finally, it should be remembered and pointed out that even the best and most advanced software can not replace parenting and its common sense. When our lives become more and more dependent on technology and the Internet, it is worth having a helper and advisor on your side - ESET Parental Control.
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