(To evaluate this product I was given a Live Demo and will receive a free subscription when released. Familoop Safeguard was not involved in the writing of this piece and all opinions are my own. In the future, I will be working with Familoop as their Digital Parenting Expert. To learn more about Familoop and digital parenting, visit Familoop.com. )
Placing parent controls on a kid’s device may appear like the perfect solution. However, controls by themselves can shift the focus from guiding to simply restricting. This shift can place parents in a policing role rather than a teaching role. . Let’s face it, in order to guide and teach, parents need to know what their kids are doing and encountering online. When using this software in conjunction with a device contract and coaching, it can be an important piece in digital parenting
This summer, I have been researching parental control software packages. Recently, I connected with a new safeguard called Familoop. Familoop Safeguard promotes their software as being part of holistic approach designed to keep parents informed as well as providing tools and support so parents can guide their child’s internet use. Hearing this, I was eager to check it out.
Familoop Safeguard makes it easy for parents to check in on their family’s digital activity. Instead of setting up individual controls for each phone, tablet and PC, Familoop Safeguard allows parents to manage all of these devices under one umbrella. On Familoop’s Insight page, parents can see how long their kids are online, what they are doing, and where they may be running into trouble. By bringing all this information together, parents have a complete picture of their child’s digital life.
Parents can fine-tune these controls to fit their family. They decide what devices to include, how long they can be online, what information they wish to see and what they do not need to see. So, let’s say a parent wants their child to have access to the internet after school for homework but not playing games. Familoop Safeguard allows parents to turn off just games from 3-7pm or only allowing games on the weekends. This limit applies to all of their registered devices.
Families also have the option not to check in on apps or texts. For example, if an older teen has shown their responsible, parents can mark their best friends as “Do not monitor” or exclude their Facebook profile. Families can design a plan that best works for them.
Once parents have it set up, Familoop Safeguard will alert them to potential problems based on the child’s settings. On the dashboard, parents can quickly see what was flagged. They can either dismiss it or drill down to see the actual conversation. As a child grows and show they are responsible parents can ratchet down this settings or the reverse. Parents can enforce a digital time out by decreasing time or blocking apps.
My favorite part is Familoop Safeguard provides digital parenting support. Parental control software is useless if a parent does not know what to do with the information. Providing information on what to do when a kid receives a mean text or even why it is important to set time limits is critical. Familoop Safeguard provides support and recommendations based on a child’s age. Parents can use this information to guide and counsel their children.
No control is full proof. Ultimately, the goal is for kids to learn how to stay safe and share smart online without controls and parents looking over their shoulders. This software works best as a way to support a family’s digital contract. Families should sit down together and discuss what they see on the insight page. These controls work best when used openly and honestly. By using it to kick-start a conversation, Familoop Safeguard is an important tool to help kids learn how to lead a healthy digital life.