How To Effectively Monitor Your Child Or Your Employee Using Technology
However, before an employer begins using GPS to monitor employees, it should consider the related legal ramifications and employee privacy issues. Employers should also implement best practices for complying with the law and ensuring that employee trust is not breached.
How to Effectively Monitor Your Child or Your Employee Using Technology
From eliminating distractions to adding technological automation, there are numerous ways businesses can improve workplace productivity. One method is the use of surveillance and tracking software. Workplace privacy and employee monitoring technologies have become more prevalent in recent years, especially as the rapid growth of digital technology has streamlined the use of surveillance platforms. If you plan to use this type of technology, it is important to understand how federal and state laws affect it and how to best implement these tools in your business.
One category of employee monitoring technology, time and attendance software, is often seen as an entirely separate set of tools. Time and attendance systems give your business a record of when employees work and take paid time off that is valuable not only for payment calculations, but in case a dispute over hours or vacation time ever become a lawsuit. These digital systems also provide an accurate record of when employees start and end their day, which can help you determine productivity levels.
With screens virtually everywhere, monitoring a child's screen time can be challenging. To complicate matters, some screen time can be educational and support children's social development. So how do you manage your child's screen time? Here's a primer on guiding your child's use of screens and media.
By age 2, children may benefit from some types of screen time, such as programming with music, movement and stories. By watching together, you can help your child understand what he or he is seeing and apply it in real life. However, passive screen time shouldn't replace reading, playing or problem-solving.
Consider applying the same rules to your child's real and virtual environments. In both, play with your child, teach kindness, be involved, and know your child's friends and what your child does with them. Also, keep in mind that the quality of the media your child is exposed to is more important than the type of technology or amount of time spent.
At some point your child will be exposed to content that you haven't approved and devices without internet filters. Talk to your child about the situations that could occur and the behavior you expect.
Encourage your child to think critically about what they see on their screens. Ask your child to consider whether everything on the internet is accurate. Does your child know how to tell if a website is trustworthy? Help your child understand that media are made by humans with points of view. Explain that many types of technology collect data to send users ads or to make money.
No matter how smart or mature you feel your child is, monitor his or her online and social media behavior. Your child is bound to make mistakes using media. Talk to your child and help him or her learn from them.
Before you start imposing limits and restrictions though, take some time to learn how your connected kid uses technology. Communicate with your child before implementing any of these options, as it is important they feel you respect their privacy. Otherwise, they'll find a way around any restrictions, even if you put them in place with your kids' best interests in mind. Also, as tech addiction increasingly becomes a problem, it's important children learn the value of good device habits for themselves.
Norton Family encourages parents to talk to their children about online safety rather than just spying on their online activities. Norton Family can supervise an unlimited number of devices and lets you monitor all your kids' activity from the web or from a parent option on the mobile app. We love the program's affordability, easy setup, and handy geofencing tools.
Circle's joint hardware and software solution is easy to set up and a quality solution for parents who want to monitor their children's internet activity. You can manage devices on your home network while also keeping tabs on Android and iOS devices.
Want to keep an eye on who your child is interacting with on certain social networking apps? Mobicip makes that possible, as it is one of the best parental control services we've reviewed that still offers social media monitoring. You can access this feature by signing up for the Premium plan.
Parents who want a more hands-off approach to parental control tools. If you are primarily looking for an easy way to keep track of your child's location or manage their screen time, Locategy is a good option.
Qustodio has just about every feature an anxious parent wants, including web content filtering, robust app blocking, and a detailed activity log. You handle all configuration and monitoring either via Qustodio's attractive and easy-to-use online dashboard or the parental mode of its mobile apps, which means you can set rules and review your child's activity from anywhere.
Check, too, that any limits on the number of child profiles or devices won't be a problem. Large families, for example, will appreciate that Norton Family works on an unlimited number of devices. Most parental control software operates as a subscription service, so pricing tiers tend to align with device limits, though some offer free versions for basic protection on a limited number of devices. If your kids are strictly smartphone users, take a look at our roundup of mobile parental control apps.
If getting parental control coverage installed on each of your family's devices starts to seem too difficult, consider a whole-network solution, such as Circle Home Plus. These systems perform content filtering at the router level, so your settings affect every device on the network. Naturally, you don't get the same fine level of control and detailed monitoring you get with a local agent on each device, but this is a much broader solution.
Most also have the option to permanently enable SafeSearch, though those settings are often limited to Google, Bing, and sometimes YouTube. Your child can thwart most SafeSearch restrictions by using a privacy-focused search engine such as DuckDuckGo. Of course, the most capable solutions also keep a detailed log of your child's web activity.
Access scheduling is another very common feature. Some services let parents set a daily or weekly schedule for device usage. Others specifically restrict the amount of time your kid spends on the internet. Qustodio lets you set time restrictions on individual mobile and desktop apps. This is particularly useful for children who have a habit of playing games or using social media apps when they should be doing homework. The most helpful time-based settings apply to all your kids' devices, so they just can't switch between them to evade limits.
As kids get older, content filtering may start to seem pointless. At some point, you start to worry more about their interaction with the wider world. Sure, if their friends come over in person, you can at least meet them, but what about friends on social media and other contacts your child never mentions? Who are they, really, and what are your kids discussing with them? Although some supervision is acceptable, you still need to respect your child's basic right to privacy and encourage open discussion, rather than using parental control software as spyware.
You can use parental control software to block access to video streaming apps and sites, as well as limit how much time your child can spend using them. However, if you are looking to restrict what your child can watch on Netflix, Disney+, and other video streaming services, none of these parental control tools provide that capability. Instead, you need to dive into the settings of each video streaming service.
The parental control capabilities of video streaming services vary widely. Some do not offer any options to restrict content, while others may simply offer a kid-friendly mode that broadly limits the streaming library to content appropriate for young children. The best services allow you to set rating restrictions on individual profiles and prevent your kid from simply switching to an unmonitored profile without a password or PIN.
Most kids are on mobile devices at least some of the time, and many are almost exclusively accessing the internet on their phones. Fortunately, many parental control services offer a companion app that lets you view your child's activity, set basic rules, and view notifications as they arrive. This kind of companion app is particularly useful for responding to access or time-extension requests on the go. Otherwise, you manage everything online or locally on the PC, where you have fine control over activity reports and restrictions. Any changes you make should propagate to your children's devices when they connect to the internet.
When your child tries to visit a blocked site, makes a post using iffy language, or otherwise bend the rules, the best parental control services send you a notification to your preferred channel, such as via the app, web, email, text, or some combination of those options.
Before settling on a particular parental control utility, you should to make sure it supports all the device types in your household. While all the products in this roundup support Windows and Android, compatibility with macOS and iOS varies. Apple's Screen Time features for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS are quite capable and come with the added benefit of first-party support. Microsoft (Family Safety(Opens in a new window)) and Google (Family Link(Opens in a new window)) both offer first-party parental control tools, too. You should consider using these free first-party options before you pay for a third-party solution.
When you get beyond the basics, parental control systems start to diverge, with many advanced features to help them stand out from the crowd. Among these standout features are YouTube monitoring, geofencing, and remote device locking. Microsoft's Family Safety app even keeps track of your teens while they're driving to encourage better habits on the road. You'll also find advanced versions of standard features. For example, the best content filters don't just use a database of categories. They analyze page content, filter profanity, and allow you to add custom keywords and categories you want to block. We also like those services that support multi-factor authentication for account logins.