Teary eyed, sleepless nights and failing grades; yet you see no respite in internet usage? With rampant advances in technology and widespread availability of internet 24/7, you often see children hooked to some electronic device or the other to access the virtual world.
Around 4 in 10 young people want to use internet constantly almost 56% of the teenage population goes online multiple times in a 24 hour day. It seems a daunting task to control your children’s internet usage but do not worry; there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Yes, there are parental control software available through which you can control the internet addiction.
The question is how much is too much Internet usage? How will you know that your child is “addicted” to the virtual world?
Do you always find your kids by the computer? Are they always complaining how they are not getting time to finish off their academic work? Do you find them complaining about severe headaches, backaches and general fatigue?
If your answer is yes, then it is a warning sign that internet usage has indeed become an addiction in your household.
What are your children addicted to?
Studies have shown that young girls use social media sites and platforms — especially the visually-oriented ones — for sharing and communicating. Whereas, boys are more likely to own gaming consoles and endlessly play video games.
If your children are suffering from an Internet addiction, first try finding out if they are spending so much time online to escape a problem or avoid a situation. If not then you need to understand that problematic and compulsive use of digital technology is often referred to as an Internet Use Disorder (IUD).
Officially there is no medical therapy to get rid of this addiction but it is a well established fact that internet addiction has taken a toll on an average teenager’s psychology and as a negative impact on familial ties too.
Following are few of the programs available that are exceptionally helpful to parents in limiting the time their kids can spend online.
Available for around $40/year and valid for 3 devices, Secureteen helps parents establish a time limit during which children have access to internet. Children can surf the web during the set time after which the software will automatically switch off all available internet connections. This will ensure that they do not spend all their time on the internet.
Coupled with time limitation is the additional benefit of online content monitoring and screening.
Compatibility: iOS, Android, PC (Mac and Windows)
Similar software available at almost the same price can manage up to 5 devices in a household. (The free basic version does not offer the service of time management.)The software will ensure that the internet connection fails to work unless it’s been approved on the time table.
When a user attempts to access the internet, a notification will be displayed and you’ll see the attempt in the browsing history reports.
Compatibility: iOS and Android
This is a premium product available at a higher price i.e. for almost $59.95 /year for a single PC; each additional device will be separately charged according to the package purchased.
The differentiating feature is the fact that where you specify on what hours on what days a certain user can access the computer, additionally you may also set a ‘maximum allowed’ time for each day and the week as a whole.
Compatibility: Windows OS
All three softwares are easy to use and comprehend. The operate in stealth mode and offer many other multiple features like call blocking, web browsing history and key logs. They all work on real time basis, meaning that the application automatically adjusts to whatever changes are made online and to specific sites.
Internet addiction has become endemic and timely measures need to be taken to divert your children towards a healthy lifestyle. No boot camp or rehab camps similar to that of drugs addicts are required.
Simply download any one of the above mentioned softwares and rest your mind in peace.