In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of parental control software. It recognizes the fact that online is a dangerous place to be, especially for kids. From identity theft to sexual harassment, there is a long list of dangers the internet can bring. With this, most parents act proactively by monitoring their children. This is an effective tool that can help fight the dangers of the online world.
For parents who are interested in using Net Nanny or Qustodio, which are two top-rated parental control apps, one of the most important questions to ask is whether or not it blocks VPNs. In this article, that is what we are going to answer, with a focus on Net Nanny.
What is a VPN?
According to Norton, a virtual private network or VPN “gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection.” What it does is that it hides your true internet protocol address. This is a way to trick the servers, and the result is that you will be virtually untraceable. It is used for establishing secure networks and promoting privacy.
There are many instances when a VPN may be helpful. For instance, if you are from in Japan and you would like to access contents exclusively available in the United States, you cannot do so without a VPN.
More importantly, a VPN is used to secure your network, making you less vulnerable to cybercrimes, especially data breaches. Because it increases your online privacy, it will be more challenging to hack your accounts. A VPN will act as an invisible shield that will protect the data you are sharing online.
Countless options for VPNs are available online. The best ones offer paid versions, but it is also easy to see a lot of free VPNs that are equally promising in terms of the anonymity that they can provide.
What is Net Nanny?
If it’s your first time hearing about Net Nanny, then we are here to give you an idea of what it is and what it can do. It is a parental control program. It lets parents monitor, limit, and protect their kids, especially when they are online. Below is a quick rundown of some of the notable features that you will find from Net Nanny:
- Screen Time Management: Worried that kids are spending most of their time glued on screens? Then this feature will let you set time limits. This will make sure that they have time to study and spend with their family.
- Internet Filter: Using Net Nanny allows parents to set internet restrictions, such as by blocking age-inappropriate websites based on pre-determined categories. In the same way, you can also block specific keywords, which will limit the search results that kids can see.
- Social Media Protection: From Facebook to Instagram, social media use is rampant among kids. They can talk to strangers, post inappropriate content, and be prone to cyberbullying, among other problems. Good thing, Net Nanny will let you protect them while they use social media.
- Location Tracking: It can be frustrating if you have no idea where your child is. Not to mention, it can make you paranoid. With Net Nanny, that should not be a problem. By accessing the parent dashboard on your phone, you can track the current location of your child. The result will reflect in real-time.
So, Does Net Nanny Block VPNs?
Now, let’s answer the most important question in this article. Unfortunately, Net Nanny does not block VPNs. There is no built-in feature that will prevent you from using a VPN. Perhaps, this is the biggest drawback of most parental control programs. It is frustrating is that it can be easily bypassed when there is a VPN.
Net Nanny has great features that will enable website blocking and filtering. When activated, the app can restrict access to mature content, such as those that are related to drugs, violence, and pornography. There is an option to set Always Blocked and Always Allowed, depending on how kid-friendly a website is. You can choose from a list of pre-determined categories. It uses artificial intelligence to block unsafe content.
In theory, Net Nanny seems to be promising. It is a good thing that it will prevent children from accessing web content that is not right for their age. In practice, however, there is one huge caveat – Net Nanny does not block VPNs. For kids reading this right now, they might have an idea on how to bypass Net Nanny. However, that is not our intention. Instead, we aim to warn parents so that they should be more cautious. They should be aware that there are loopholes in the system.
By downloading a free VPN from a browser extension, one can now surf online without any restrictions. All the limits that have been earlier set will no longer be applicable.
A Promising Solution?
There is one thing that you can do to prevent kids from using VPNs for bypassing the restrictions that can be placed through Net Nanny. It is simple and pretty smart – set a custom web filter. Add the words VPN and proxy to the list of keyword-based filters. Through this, kids will be unable to search for any VPN content. They will have no access to sites that are related to these terms.
So far, it seems to be too good to be true. We heard about some people who have used different browsers and were still able to access VPN websites even after filtering such keywords.
In sum, Net Nanny is one of the most promising and feature-packed parental control software available in the market today. However, as we have talked about above, it isn’t exactly fool-proof. There are easy ways to bypass the system, and one of the most popular is through the use of a VPN. So, be extra-cautious. Be a responsible parent and always monitor your child’s online activities beyond using a parental control app.