Parental Control Review 2017 for Android – ESET
Parental Control Review 2017 for Android
|Test Period||July 2017|
|Number of Testcases||2000|
|Online with cloud connectivity|
|False Alarm Test included|
Amongst other things, parental control software allows parents to filter out websites that their children can see, in order to avoid the children being exposed to materials the parents consider unsuitable, such as pornography, gambling or weapons.
Parental Control Certification
AV-Comparatives provides certification for parental control software. In order to be certified, a product must block at least 98% of pornographic websites, have no more than a few false alarms on child-friendly websites, and have no severe unresolved bugs(or design flaws) discovered during the review. A certification is valid for one year and vendors can apply for certification once a year.
We tested the effectiveness of the parental control software against 2,000 websites with potentially inappropriate content for children. We chose the appropriate settings for a 9-year-old girl, which would block sites relating to pornography, gambling and weapons.
We have included a short review of the product in this report, so that parents have an idea of what the product is like to use and what other features it has. Please note that certification is not affected by any of the points mentioned in the review, and is based solely on the technical test results described above.
The 2000 URLs were broken down as follows:
- Pornography: 1,600 sites displaying pornographic images and text
- Gambling: 200 sites which allow online betting
- Weapons: 200 sites selling or advertising weapons online
We additionally tested 100 obviously child-friendly websites, such as lego.com, to check for false positives.
ESET Parental Control for Android
About the product
ESET Parental Control is a parental control product for Android devices. To prevent children circumventing its protection, the app can only be deactivated or uninstalled from the web interface.
Which versions of Android does it work with?
4.0 and higher
What parental control features does it have?
ESET make a free and a premium version* of Parental Control for Android. The free version includes application control, control of time(s) for “Fun and Games” apps, and basic reports. The premium version (which can be tested free for 30 days) additionally includes web content filtering, device location, full reports, and parental messages (which have to be acknowledged before the child can continue using the device). There is also an SOS button for children, which sends their location by text message to their parents. The certification section above applies to the premium version.
* A licence for the premium version covers all the Android devices in the household.
What categories of material does it block?
There is a very extensive range of web categories that can be blocked: Adult, Aggressive, Alcohol and Tobacco, Anonymizers, Arts, Automotive, Business and Careers, Chat and Social Networking, Communication, Criminal Activities, Dynamic, Education, Family and Parenting, Fashion, Finance, Food and Drink, Health, Hobbies and Interests, Kids, Lifestyle, Malicious, Miscellaneous, News, Portal and Search, Not Categorized, Online Ads, Pets, Public, Government and Law, Real Estate, Religion, Science, Sex Education, Shopping, Sports, Technology, Travel.
Installing and configuring the product
ESET Parental Control is installed from the Google Play Store. During installation, you have to create an online account for yourself, specify if the device is to be used by yourself (so you can manage the app) or your child, and create a child account (specifying name, age and gender).
Blacklisting/whitelisting individual sites
The only way you can whitelist a site is if the child tries to accesses it on his/her device and it appears in the report of URLs visited, from where you can unblock it. We would suggest that a more proactive way of whitelisting specific sites – i.e. being able to add them in advance – would be helpful.
ESET Parental Control lets parents control the total amount of time per day, and at what specific times, “Fun and Games” apps can be used:
By default, apps such as YouTube, games and eBook readers are put in the Fun and Games category. Parents can change the definition of any app to Allowed, Blocked, or Fun and Games. Whilst device usage time is not controlled, parents could achieve much the same thing simply by putting any apps the child uses into the “Fun and Games” category.
What does the child see when a page is blocked?
You can use the Allow button to unblock a site on the child’s device, while Ask Parents will send you a request to unblock the page.
Tapping More Info at the bottom of the app’s settings page opens the product’s online help.
ESET Parental Control for Android provides a very wide range of website categories that can be monitored and/or blocked, and allows parents to effectively control which apps their children use and at what times. We liked the SOS message feature, and the very child-friendly messages shown on the screen that explain what the program is doing.
Award levels reached in this Parental Control Review
ESET Parental Control for Android reached the above requirements and therefore receives the 2017 AV-Comparatives Approved Parental Control Award.
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