Computers can make our lives easier, but let’s face it, using computers isn’t always easy. The same can be said for using products to protect children against online dangers. Even the best software or apps on the market might not work or install correctly because of the operating system version or condition of your computer or device. These problems can be frustrating, but I encourage you to persevere. Protecting children online is worth it!
Techy parents get frustrated as well, but they tend to enjoy the challenge. For the parents who are not in that category, I urge you to embrace the challenge and work with the tech support people for the products involved. Most of the support people associated with the parental control products are very good and genuinely have a heart for helping parents through these situations. The good news is that after you are finished, not only will you have fulfilled an important responsibility as a parent, but you will have gained some tech skills in the process.
To encourage you through whatever difficulties you may encounter, here is a real life scenario that happened to one parent I know. The product names are excluded because these issues can happen with any product. The mobile application installed easily, but her family had two laptops that also needed to be protected and this is where it got a little complicated. The product installed correctly, but wasn’t blocking the websites according to the rules she set up. Support was contacted via email and responded later that day indicating that there was a patch for the problem. The patch didn’t take care of the issue so support was contacted again and a few emails into the conversation they discovered that the problem was only happening on one of the two laptops and the one with the issue was an older operating system. In order for the product to work correctly, it had to be upgraded to the new operating system. The upgrade failed, however, due to file corruption and the Mac OS message indicated that the hard drive would have to be formatted before the upgrade could continue. Because they didn’t have a current backup and had thousands of pictures on that computer, the computer had to be completely backed up first (more about the importance of a good backup here). After that, the hard drive was formatted and the operating system upgrade completed successfully. After all of that, the parental control product began working correctly. Very few people have that many issues when trying to set up parental controls, so do not lose heart.
I wanted to tell this story because you need to know that it can be challenging but you can get through it. Remember, the alternative is to leave your kids completely vulnerable to dangerous and damaging content or situations. In this story, the issue was not with the product, just the unfortunate condition of the device. However, in other cases, it might be the product has problems or isn’t a good option for your family. Most parental control products have trial periods available. You are the customer, if something doesn’t work for you, choose something else until you find one that works. My website and seminars give information about some of the best options in my opinion or you can contact me for consulting if needed. But, with the exception of router-based controls, I no longer install and setup parental control products for families. Find out why…