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Track & protect your family’s online activities

K9 automatically does safe search, blocks objectionable content & filters malicious sites (phishing, spyware, malware, automatic downloads).

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Aug 20, 2014, 06.48 AM IST
K9 automatically does safe search, blocks objectionable content & filters malicious sites (phishing, spyware, malware, automatic downloads).
K9 automatically does safe search, blocks objectionable content & filters malicious sites (phishing, spyware, malware, automatic downloads).
Before giving a child his/her first laptop, tablet or smartphone, it’s only natural to worry about how much time they’re going to be spending on it or whether they’ll be inadvertently exposed to objectionable content. Hitesh Raj Bhagat shows you the best way to keep things age-appropriate for the new, natively digital generation


Qustodio is parental control software for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. When you first download and install the software, it asks you whether you want to hide it on the device – though it’s probably a good idea to keep it visible and discuss why it’s being installed – primarily to block dangerous content and keep a check on online predators. However, Qustodio can also be used to manage device time, monitor social network activity and report suspicious behaviour. Qustodio lets you manage your filtering settings from the cloud – the online dashboard provides an easy-to-read graphical interface and statistics.

The free version gives you unlimited access to manage multiple devices plus set rules/time limits. Go with one of the premium plans for games/applications controls (control what can and can’t be used on the machine), location tracking, 30 days report of device and internet usage and a bunch of advanced controls. In case you want to use the software in an organisation, Qustodio has professional plans available starting as low as `590/month. On the mobile device as well, the app is free for basic use. It can monitor and block websites, you can set access time limits and monitor multiple users/devices. With the premium version of the app, you can track the device’s location on a map, check who the user calls/texts the most and lets you control which games/apps they can use (Android only).

K9 Web Protection

K9 is a free web filtering software for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. Designed by Blue Coat, which also makes commercial web security software, it takes the guesswork out of adding your own keywords or websites to block: download and setup on each computer you want to protect and it automatically blocks unwanted websites from over 70 different categories (such as pornography, gambling, drugs, violence and so on).

It can also be used to block certain websites and set time restrictions on internet use. Since the company also runs commercial web filtering software, there is real-time categorization of new adult and malicious websites and real-time malware and phishing protection – useful for anyone using the computer, including you. As a parent, if you’re notified about a legitimate website that’s been blocked, you can override the software using your password. On the mobile device, K9 offers a Web Protection Browser based on the Firefox kernel. It automatically does only safe search, blocks objectionable content and filters malicious sites (phishing, spyware, malware, automatic downloads).

Handy Filter

This small, Windows-only utility is a web filter software with an online dashboard – you can control multiple computers from one account, even remotely. You need to sign up for a free account and some of the features available include website tracking, blocking website access using specifics or keywords, detailed reports on web history/usage per user or computer, automatic blocking of unwanted websites, blocking internet access at specific times and limiting download/upload speeds.


Simple Wall

If you have a few employees and want to do certain tasks – manage bandwidth (allocate more bandwidth to people who need to video chat, for instance), block abusive and unwanted websites and protect your network from viruses – try Simple Wall. The dashboard gives you useful, at-a-glance information such as top users, most frequently visited websites and reports on bandwidth utilisation. The free version does not have a limit on number of days of use or number of users, but there is a premium plan with several extra features that costs US$ 795/year.


A keylogger is typically hidden software on a PC that records every keystroke. Although not recommended for ethical and invasion of privacy reasons (it can record private conversations and passwords too), there may be a couple of instances when the use of a keylogger is warranted – for example, if you suspect someone else of using your machine without your knowledge.

The Windowsonly Free Keylogger Pro does the job – you can keep it completely hidden if you want – it won’t even be visible in the uninstall list or start menu items. Rather than dig through each and every key stroke, you can set which activities you want monitored. You can then access the entire log of the machine whenver you want from the software.

If you are looking for a stronger set of features and don’t mind spending some money for it, consider the following paid software.

1. Norton Family

2. Bitdefender Parental Control

3. McAfee Family Protection

4. Net Nanny

5.CyberPatrol Parental Controls
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