By equipping the devices with the appropriate tools and apps, we will be able to guarantee smooth navigation and safe from pitfalls even when we are not careful or cannot control what they do in front of the PC or when they use other devices such as game consoles, smartphones or Tablet.
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1) Enable Windows family options
One of the most effective ways to control and limit access to dangerous or disreputable sites involves activating a web filter on your computer so as to be able to immediately block all sites deemed dangerous and included in a special constantly updated list.
In Windows 10 and in Windows 11 we can use the Windows Family options without installing any programs.
To adjust the family settings or to set a family to be protected, open the Start menu, search for and open the app Windows security let’s get to the menu Family options and press on View family settings to access the Family website where we will be prompted for a Microsoft account to begin setup.
After setting up the parent and child accounts, we will be able to filter content, see sites visited and apps used, detect the location of children or even older children (even on the phone), set a PC usage limit, and do various other checks…
To learn more we can also read our guide on programs to control access on Windows.
2) Apply a DNS filter
In addition to the Web filter, we can strengthen the blocking of sites by modifying the DNS of the computer or of the entire network, applying in place of protective DNS servers capable of blocking requests to dangerous or disreputable sites.
The best secure DNS to be used to protect a child are:
- OpenDNS FamilyShield
- Cloudflare DNS
- Yandex.DNS Family
- Dyn Internet Guide
By changing the DNS on the computer (but also on any other device used by children, such as game consoles, smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets) and using one of those reported above, we will obtain a very high level of protection, since minors they will not be able to access the filtered sites even if the web filter fails (DNS calls do not start, so the browser will report an error).
To find out how to change the DNS on devices, we refer you to reading our guides on how to change DNS on PC, Mac, and routers quickly and how to change DNS on Android and iPhones.
3) Use a search engine for children
If the child is small (under 10 years old), it may be a good idea to add a child-friendly search engine on the home page of the browser, such as the one offered by the Ricerche Maestre site.
This Google-based search engine only offers access to content that is protected and verified by a group of elementary school teachers.
By using this search engine we will be sure that children will only be able to access educational sites, certified game sites, and sites tailored to the child, avoiding browsing the “grown-ups” Web full of pitfalls.
4) Install a security suite
When it comes to minors on the PC it is not advisable to rely on the integrated antivirus or free antivirus but we will have to spend something and rely on full security suites since only with them will we be able to obtain powerful parental controls and very effective filters to protect minors.
The best security suites to protect a PC intended for minors are:
- ESET Smart Security Premium
- Bitdefender TOTAL SECURITY
- Avast Internet Security
- AVG Internet Security
- Norton 360 Deluxe
If we are interested in the security suites available for free, we refer you to reading our guide to the best comprehensive free security and protection suites.
5) Install a launcher for minors on smartphones and tablets
Children are increasingly using smartphones and tablets before learning to use computers. To protect them on these mobile devices, we recommend activating, if available on your smartphone, the Child mode so that we cannot indiscriminately open new apps and open those that require interactions with payment methods or in which we have to enter login credentials (many Samsungs include this mode).
If child mode is not available, we recommend that you try the following apps to provide a safe and secure environment for our younger children:
- Wawa (Kids Mode, Android)
- Parental Control Children’s Area (Android)
- Kid’s Shell – safe kid launcher – parental control (Android)
- Parental Control -Kidslox (iOS)
If we are looking for other apps that can provide valuable help to parents with babies and children, we recommend that you read the guide we have created on the subject and available below.
Surfing the Internet can be very dangerous for minors and, in the absence of parents, it can lead to very unpleasant situations. To make Internet browsing from PC and mobile devices safe, we advise you to use a security suite with parental controls paying to get the required level of protection for our children.
If the problem concerns only the PC, it may be sufficient to configure Windows Family Options but in this case, we will have to create Microsoft accounts for all family members and decide who is the parent and who will have the child account (with active filters and activity monitoring).
To learn more we can read our guides on how to log activities on the PC to monitor the use of a computer and how to spy on a PC and see how the computer is being used by others.