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First Steps for Better Safety Online

We all know that being safe on the internet is important to consider when we use it on a daily basis. For this post I will plan on talking about a few monitoring services that I think might work well for phones and computers/laptops. I am not sponsored nor do I endorse any products. These are simply services I believe that could be useful and maybe they can give you an idea of what you are looking for.



Cellphones

We all use our phones regularly and it is no surprise that most of our daily internet activities come from our cellphones. Most cellphones have built in analytical apps that will update the user about how much time they are spending on their phone, what they are spending that time on, and what they were doing at a specific time. While the basic statistics that phones may come up with are insightful, a monitoring service or app can give you much more information regarding your child's well-being.



  • iPhones/iOS

While iPhones come with built in security, they can also have specific base measures in place that allow the parent/guardian control over what it can be used for. The iPhone's privacy settings allows control over what kind of information apps can use and gather from your device. This can be the start of ensuring safety and privacy for your children when using their phones. I recommend checking the Apple website for further information on changing privacy settings.



I also recommend checking out this link to Apple's page about the built-in security and privacy.


  • Androids

Androids have built in security measures that can help to pick out scam calls, protect against malware, and bad applications. The Android has relatively same features that the iPhone/iOS has. I recommend checking out the Androids website for further details on your specific phone and the security measure it has built-in.




Applications Checklist

An application you should look for should meet some of but not all of the following requirements:

  • It can readily be used and can be easily accessible from multiple devices.

  • The application is easily configurable to your preferences and can be changed from your phone at any given time.

  • You can easily see, configure, and utilize the app anywhere and anytime

Although these are just some of the things you should be looking for in a monitoring service you should not choose your service based solely on these requirements.


Applications for phones

I have found that it is easy to search for what you are wanting in an app through Google. I have found a few websites you can check out if you would like more information.




Bark

Bark is a parental control tool that is available on both iOS and Android. This

app has the ability to monitor "text messages, YouTube, emails, and 30+ different social networks for potential safety concerns." Parents and guardians can set location alerts and restrict websites that a child can go to using the device.






Aura


Aura is another parental control tool that is available on both iOS and Android. This app is similar to Bark as it allows multiple monitoring features along with dark-web monitoring. Aura also provides cyberbullying and predator alerts to the user. A feature that you may want to look into having on your application device choice is the ability to pause the internet. Aura allows this "at the touch of a button". Pausing the internet allows you total control over when and how your child can use the internet and most importantly what they are using it for.

- Aura



While these apps are highly reviewed they are not the only ones available. I highly recommend checking out the links above and seeing if any of the others are a better fit for you and your family.

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