Windows Parental Controls vs. Third-Party Apps: Which is Right for Your Family? 

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Parental controls are must-have tools in any parent’s arsenal in the 21st century. In this day and age, all sorts of content, appropriate and inappropriate, are offered to users of social media platforms. Access to the internet is really a pathway to heaven if someone’s in search of inappropriate content. Unfortunately, children have access to computers, and parents need parental controls to keep their child safe. In the case of computers, there’s Windows Parental Controls and third-party apps. In this article, we’ll try to answer the question of which of these two options is best for families and why. 

Why Do We Need Parental Controls on Computers? 

Here are some reasons why parental controls on computers are essential: 

Keep Your Kids Safe From Harmful Content 

Parental control software allows you to block unwanted content, such as adult websites or violent video games, from your child’s computer. This ensures your children aren’t exposed to inappropriate content that can harm their minds and negatively impact their behavior. 

Protect Your Children’s Privacy 

Children are often naïve when it comes to online safety and may not understand the importance of protecting their personal information. Parental controls can prevent children from accidentally sharing sensitive information, such as their full name, address, phone number, or school name, on social media or other online platforms. 

Prevent Your Children From Being Cyberbullied 

Bullying is a serious issue that can cause a lot of pain and damage. With parental controls, you can monitor your child’s online activities and prevent cyberbullying. You can also teach your children how to use the internet responsibly and to be kind to others online. 

Keep Your Children Safe From Online Predators 

There are many dangerous individuals who lurk online and prey on young and vulnerable children. With parental controls, you can monitor your child’s online activities and block communication with strangers. This ensures that your child is safe from potential predators and that you can intervene if needed. 

In summary, parental controls on computers are essential for keeping your children safe in today’s digital age. They provide a barrier of protection against harmful content, cyberbullying, and potential online predators. Take the necessary steps to ensure your child is safe while using the internet. Now it’s time to take a look at the different ways to put parental controls on Windows

Windows Parental Controls: The Basics 

If you’re a Windows user, chances are you’re familiar with Windows Parental Controls. This built-in tool allows parents to block specific websites, set time limits for computer or app usage, and even track their child’s activity on the computer. It’s a free and easy-to-use option for parents who want to keep a watchful eye on their child’s online activity. 

With Windows Parental Controls, you can set restrictions on web browsing, application usage, and even the time of day your child is allowed to use their computer. You can also block specific websites or keywords, preventing your child from accessing inappropriate content. 


In addition to these restrictions, Windows Parental Controls also allows you to set up activity reports. These reports provide a detailed breakdown of your child’s computer usage, giving you insight into the sites they visit and applications they use. This feature makes it easy to identify any potential issues and address them before they become a problem. 

But what if your child needs access to certain sites or applications for schoolwork? Don’t worry – Windows Parental Controls also allows you to set up exceptions. So, if your child needs to access a specific website or program, you can easily grant them temporary access. 

Overall, Windows Parental Controls is an excellent tool for parents looking to ensure their child’s safety on the internet. By setting restrictions and monitoring usage, you can have peace of mind knowing your child is only accessing appropriate content. 

Third-Party Apps: The Pros and Cons 

While Windows Parental Controls are a great option, some parents may prefer third-party apps for their added features and customization options. Some of the popular third-party apps on the market include Safes, Norton Family, Kaspersky Safe Kids, and Qustodio. 

One of the biggest advantages of third-party apps is the ability to monitor your child’s activity across multiple devices, such as smartphones and tablets. They often come with more advanced filtering options and can even alert you if your child tries to access a blocked website or app. However, these added features often come with a price tag, and some parents may prefer the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of Windows Parental Controls. 

As a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about the safety of your children when they’re using technology. And with so many third-party parental control apps available for Windows, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about which one to use. Let’s explore the pros and cons of using third-party parental control apps for Windows in order to help you make an informed decision. 

Pros of Third-Party Parental Control Apps 

The pros of third-party parental control apps are: 

  1. Customization: Third-party parental control apps offer a wide range of customization options. Parents can tailor the restrictions and rules based on their individual child’s needs and age. 
  1. Remote Control: With third-party parental control apps, parents can monitor their children’s computer usage from anywhere. This provides added convenience and peace of mind. 
  1. App monitoring: Third-party parental control apps can monitor the specific apps that a child is using, allowing parents to block or restrict harmful apps. 
  1. Content filtering: Third-party parental control apps can filter out inappropriate websites and content. 

Cons of Third-Party Parental Control Apps 

On the other hand, there are some cons of third-party parental control apps such as: 

  1. Cost: Many third-party parental control apps come with a price tag, and some require a monthly subscription. This can add up quickly, especially for families with multiple devices. 
  1. Privacy concerns: Third-party parental control apps require access to a significant amount of personal data. This may make some parents feel uncomfortable, and some apps may even sell user data to advertisers. 
  1. Limited effectiveness: Some children are tech-savvy and can find ways to bypass parental controls. This means that third-party parental control apps may not be entirely effective. 
  1. Setup and Maintenance: Setting up and managing parental control apps can be time-consuming and require technical expertise. Parents may need to spend a significant amount of time troubleshooting and fine-tuning the app to ensure that it’s effective. 

While third-party parental control apps offer many benefits, they’re not without their drawbacks. Ultimately, deciding whether to use a third-party parental control app is a personal decision that should be based on your individual needs and concerns as a parent. 

Finding the Right Option for Your Family 

Windows parental controls come pre-installed on all computers running Windows 10. They allow parents to manage and monitor their children’s online activity through a Microsoft account. The features are quite simple and include setting age restrictions for apps and games, web filtering, screen time management, and allowing or blocking specific websites. 

On the other hand, third-party apps provide more advanced parental controls such as tracking location, block calls and texts, and even monitor social media activity. These apps are built with additional features that cater to the modern digital age and offer more advanced control tools for parents. However, they come with a price tag and may require a subscription. 

So, which one should you opt for? It mostly depends on your personal preferences and requirements. If you’re looking for basic control tools and happy with the pre-installed features, then the Windows parental controls should suffice. However, if you’re keen on monitoring your child’s every move and want to block more than just the internet, then investing in a third-party app might be a better option. 


If you’re happy with the basic features of Windows Parental Controls and just need a simple way to monitor your child’s activity on the computer, then it may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want more advanced features and the ability to monitor multiple devices, a third-party app may be worth considering. 

No matter which option you choose, it’s important to have open and honest conversations with your child about online safety. Educate them about the dangers of cyberbullying, online predators, and how to protect their personal information. With the right tools and communication, you can help keep your family safe and secure online. 

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