I have my kids cell phones attached to my router. What can I install to view what they are browsing and the media they have? I want to make sure my kids are safe

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    No matter what you do, a quick tour on Google and your kids would find very easy and user-friendly ways to encrypt their connections. Honestly, this is a parenting issue. Educate your kids, befriend them, make sure they exercise self-judgment. It pays way better than spying on them. – Adi Jun 4 '13 at 7:27
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    @Adnan: I realise this is way off topic, but "... make sure they exercise self-judgment" is not particularly realistic or sensible. – MrWhite Jun 4 '13 at 7:53
  • @w3d Come to The DMZ and express your opinion about this matter. Everything is on-topic there. – Adi Jun 4 '13 at 8:00
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    Chaps FWIW, I don't think this question should be closed just 'cause there is no perfect technical answer. – Rory McCune Jun 4 '13 at 10:15
  • This is illegal in some countries (at least in the Netherlands, possibly Europe entirely). My parents left me very free in how I use my stuff and the internet, and so far I haven't gotten myself digitally killed yet. Educate them about how to block people online, perhaps ask what they're doing from time to time, but leave it at that. – Luc Jun 5 '13 at 7:04

One thing to realise is that you can't completely block what you kids do on the Internet and probably the best thing to do is to try and educate them on avoiding sites you think they shouldn't visit and also how to recognise dangerous situations (e.g. strangers looking to message them or meet up in real life).

That said there are products which can help to manage and provide basic restrictions on Internet access. They're not perfect but they can inhibit mild curiousity, and could help kids avoid "bait and switch" where a friend sends them a link which appears to go to a safe site but instead does not.

One thing you could look at is Family Shield from OpenDNS, which helps to filter access to adult sites, but there will be other similar products.


Rory's answer is spot on however, OpenDNS is not the only answer. Kids will be kids and they can become curious, some can become tinkerers looking to bypass OpenDNS. This is trivial for say a tween/teen. There are also parental apps for iPhone, and for Android. So you could go a step further and install one of those.

Education is always key and what I have done is, I take the time to speak to my tween at home letting him know that I will be checking on his usage by physically looking at his phone. This puts him on his best behavior as he knows that I will monitor what he does. I always take the time to explain why, and use real news articles to support my arguments. When a child sees the dangers versus what they may perceive as "mom/dad exaggerating" they are more prone to listen.

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