When it comes to making the Internet as safe as possible for our children, it’s imperative that we use a combination of education and technology. Our older teens are able to better understand the rules of online safety, and the ramifications that their actions can result in if those rules aren’t followed. For many older teens, parental supervision and monitoring software isn’t necessary to help them understand or follow these rules. For our younger ones, however, monitoring software and safety tools, like safe web browsers, can greatly support the education that you’re providing at home.
A lot of parents think software is intrusive, and it definitely can be, but it’s also, in my opinion, responsible parenting in the digital age. I’m in no way a helicopter parent, but I firmly believe in educating my children on what it means to be safe online and then using the technology solutions that are available to support that education. Kid Friendly Web Browser is just one of those solutions.
Kid Friendly Web Browser ($9.99, http://kid-friendly.co/) is a curated web browser that was created with your child’s well-being in mind. In a nutshell, Kid Friendly Web Browser allows parents to determine specific websites that their children are allowed to visit, preventing them from viewing inappropriate websites or content.
What We Liked –
The web browser is very easy to use. Your child can change the background and text color on the homepage to create a truly unique experience for themselves. The allowed pages are laid out in a grid format with screenshots of their homepages, similar to Google Chrome’s New Tab homepage option. As a whole, the browser seems to be modeled after an earlier version of Internet Explorer, which, from an ease-of-use perspective, is a good thing.
Upon opening the browser’s Preferences, parents will have access to four tabs, each of which allow them to set things like time limits and a password for “Kid Mode”. This feature prevents children from closing or minimizing the browser in order to open a web browser like Chrome or Firefox. Kid Mode also limits children from opening any other programs on the computer. Think of a computer kiosk in an airport where you’re essentially locked into the browser.
What We Didn’t Like –
There were a couple of things about the Kid Friendly Web Browser that we weren’t particularly excited about. For starters, some content, like images and videos, wouldn’t display properly. Instead, we would receive an error message like the one in the screenshot below. This problem was inconsistent as some websites showed all their content and others presented us with errors.
In regards to speed, the browser felt a lot slower than regular web browsers. In fact, its speed is very reminiscent of an early version of Internet Explorer, in that some links and images need to be clicked twice before anything happens. Despite the minor errors and speed issues, however, this browser is a nice, safe option for your family. Kid Friendly Web Browser works as advertised and is very user friendly for both parents and children. It’s also priced in line with its competitors, which is a bonus for parents who are looking for a bargain.