TECHNOLOGY

How To Turn on Facebook Parental Controls?

As a concerned parent, you may be looking for ways to monitor or restrict your child’s Facebook activity. The initial step is utilizing Facebook’s parental control. Doing so provides an elementary layer of protection for your child’s account, helping you avert unwanted situations.  

How to Enable Facebook Parental Controls 

Adjusting Facebook parental controls is straightforward. First, you should open the setting page, select Settings and Privacy, and click on Privacy Checkup. Now you can secure your kid’s account in four simple steps 

Step 1: Restricting Strangers from Seeing Your Child’s Posts 

The first step is choosing who gets to see your child’s past and future posts and stories. Pick “friends,” for it prevents strangers from accessing this data.

Step 2: Hiding Personal Information 

As for the next step, you should choose whether you want to limit access to private information like phone number, birth date, home, and email address. We recommend restricting these data to “only me.”

Step 3: Blocking People 

If there are people you don’t want your kid to interact with, you can add them to the block in this next step.

Step 4: Avoid Receiving Unwanted Friend Requests 

By changing this setting to “Friends of Friends,” you can reduce the possibility of unwelcome strangers contacting your kid. 

Is It Enough? 

These steps can be a good start to making Facebook a safer place for your children. However, Facebook’s Privacy Checkup tools are not categorized as parental control, meaning your child can easily change or disable these features. Plus, you’ll have zero control over your kid’s screen time. 

Going Beyond Facebook Parental Controls 

Websites like Facebook offer some rudimentary tools to protect users’ privacy and safety. However, suppose you want to ensure a fully appropriate and safe online experience for your children. In that case, your best bet is to use a content-control software suite. 

Such applications offer advanced parental control features that websites like Facebook don’t. Limiting the kids’ screen time to a certain period or location, granting immediate, remote access to their devices, and preventing the kids from altering your parental adjustments to name a few. 

To help you find the application best suited for you, I will share my experience with various content control software suites. 

Google Family Link is a free application that offers an acceptable yet limited level of control over your child’s account. Ironically, the biggest selling point of Family Link, is that it doesn’t try to sell you anything. It’s free! However, the features are not on par with the more advanced, premium software suites. Plus, your child can easily uninstall the Family Link application from their phone and bypass your restrictions. 

The app’s most prominent issue is that it is powered by Google; the company notorious for collecting far too much of its users’ personal data. And exposing your kid’s private information is what you are trying to avoid in the first place. 

2. NetNanny 

With NetNanny, you access a wide range of premium features that help you monitor your kid’s Facebook activity, features unavailable on free apps like Google Family Link or Facebook itself. 

Via the app’s screen time settings, you can set a schedule for your child’s Facebook usage. Doing so ensures the child isn’t spending more time on social platforms than you like. 

My primary issue with NetNanny is that nothing is stopping your kid from removing the application, rendering all your adjustments useless. The subscription fee is not very cheap either as the service costs up to $89.99 annually. 

1. Safes 

Choosing the best content control app can be a real challenge. Most of them share basic, almost identical features without offering anything unique. At some point, as I was searching for the most suitable restrictive apps for Facebook, I started making a list. It comprised the necessary features most software suites lack. The list had questions like: 

  • Is the app available on all popular platforms? 
  • Can it prevent the kids from uninstalling/deactivating the app? 
  • Does it allow both parents to simultaneously monitor the child’s Facebook activity? 
  • Can I try the app before making a purchase? 
  • Is the pricing reasonable? 

This list led me to what I deem the best, most affordable, and most innovative choice on the market, which is the Safes parental control app. So, what does the Safes app offer that others don’t? 

Actual Free Trial Access 

After installing Safes, you’re offered full access to all its premium features for 14 days without entering any credit card details. And after the free trial is over, you can renew your subscription for the reasonable price of $39.99 per year. 

Uninstall Protection 

Just like the parental control settings on Facebook, the features of a content control software suite are worth nothing if they can’t stop kids from altering them or removing the application. Safes solves this issue by asking for a pin code. Anyone who tries to remove Safes or make any adjustments to the settings must enter this code first. 

Locational Restrictions 

Let’s say you don’t want your kid to access Facebook at school. So here is what you do: Using this feature—called the Geofence—you pinpoint their school’s location on an online map. Then, you set a restriction for the pinpointed zone that blocks the Facebook app whenever your kid is in that area. This way, your child cannot be on Facebook as long as they’re at school. 

Now, let’s say you want your kid to be on Facebook for three hours at most while at home. To do so, you similarly locate your house on the map, then set three-hour restricted access for Facebook while on this location. 

Parent App Family-Sharing 

Providing synced parent app access to both parents is a simple feature that most content control apps lack. Thanks to the family-sharing feature on Safes, you can monitor your kid’s Facebook activities from separate parent applications, on different devices. 

Screen Time Profile 

Setting a daily screen schedule is an elementary feature most content restriction apps have, and Safes is no exception. Now, Let’s say your child has entered an exam period and you want them to focus on their studies. What do you do? Normally, you’d have to change your kid’s screen-time schedule, wait for the exams to be over, then revert the schedule. Safes allows you to create preset schedules—called Screen Time Profiles—for special occasions like this. 

Bedtime Mode 

Suppose you’re a concerned parent who has set a bedtime for your kid. In that case, you probably don’t want them to be browsing on Facebook past their bedtime. Safes’ Bedtime Mode ensures your kids won’t stay up all night browsing on social media, or in this matter, on Facebook. 

Facebook Parental Controls: A Good Start  

All in all, utilizing the parental control settings on Facebook is the first step in maintaining a safer online environment for our kids, but it is not enough. The best way to give your beloved child the protection they deserve is to purchase a content control software suite.