The 4 most effective free parental control programs

Parental control

Those parents who want to protect their children when using the computer do not need to spend money on software. There are free security programs that complete the parental control functions included in modern operating systems. Once installed, you need to configure the necessary user accounts. In this way, the smallest of the house are safe from inappropriate content for their age. On this occasion, we have chosen four very effective parental control programs : K9 Web Protection , Qustodio , Norton Family and Windows Live Child Protection .

1) K9 Web Protection

It is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X. It includes the usual functions to set limitations for periods of time (hours and days of the week). Filter searches and block questionable web pages (domains and subdomains), according to more than seventy categories, such as pornography, gambling or violence, among others. Parents can create whitelists with sites that are always allowed, and blacklists with those that are prohibited. Blocking a website can be bypassed by entering a password; that's useful because it doesn't support different settings for each user. K9 Web Protection offers fairly clear usage reports to monitor web activity.

Parental control

2) Qustodio

It blocks websites based on a list of some thirty categories, although parents can also introduce exceptions through a white list. It works with Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP and Mac OS X. It blocks all dangerous web pages, not just the main one. It also filters out inappropriate content during searches. It blocks access to the machine when the preset time limits have been exceeded. It is capable of supervising the activity of several of the family, setting up an individual account for each one. Qustodio reports show time spent on important tasks and entertainment. Likewise, it issues alerts about questionable activities on social networks.

3) Norton Family

With Norton FamilyIt is possible to create separate accounts for each child, and to consult a profile that summarizes the use of the machine, including the sites most visited by the child and the searches they have made. It is available for Windows and Mac OS X. Not only does it work to block web pages, but it also allows setting alerts to teach self-control to slightly older children. If configured properly, you can simply trigger an alert that alerts your teen that you are trying to use the computer outside of the agreed hours or access inappropriate content. Of course, the software includes all that in the parental report. Allows you to block websites by categories such as violence or drugs, for example. It also monitors the use of various social networks, and reports when the child posts potentially dangerous personal information.

4) Windows Live Child Protection

It allows you to limit the websites that children visit and the programs installed on the computer that they can access, including video games. Windows Live Child Protectionit also serves to keep track of the time they spend in the machine and to set the time they can use the equipment. It is an improvement of the parental control included as standard in Windows, it adds a remote administration function to modify the permissions of the children. Parents can view their children's session reports directly from Microsoft's child protection site. It can be installed on all equipment in the house; in that case, it combines the reports of all the teams into one. In order to activate it after installation, you need to open a free Windows Live ID account. It is part of the Windows Live Essentials tools, and works with Windows 7 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2.