Technology is an ever-present feature in our lives. It has improved our education and advanced manufacturing, medicine, and our quality of life. But with dark things on the internet, it comes at a price. People are less inhibited by the absence of face-to-face confrontation. Information—deep and personal information—can be easily hacked, used, or shared. This presents certain challenges as technology use in the classroom grows, especially now that kids are learning from home on computers and might not have an adult in the room. How do we keep students safe from these threats? A kid-safe browser may be the answer.
What Is a Kids Safety Web Browser?
A kid-friendly web browser is like any other browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari), with one exception. The content is usually curated, meaning all searches will avoid the bad parts of the internet. This will keep children from finding adult pages, violent images, and harmful content. Children are able to find the information they need to complete schoolwork, but they won’t discover harmful pages along the way.
A kid-friendly browser is the closest thing to a separate internet for kids. It isn’t just a search engine or web filter that blocks harmful content. It’s a full browser, similar to Google Chrome or Firefox. It’s just designed to protect kids online. Each browser focuses on certain features, such as security or faster download times. A browser for kids focuses on limiting access to specific types of content.
Browsers for kids aren’t necessarily able to keep kids from seeking harmful pages. They may be curious about something they saw on a show or heard in school and want to search for it. All they would have to do is open a different web browser. Instead, a kid-friendly browser keeps their searches locked to child-appropriate pages. It reduces the risk of accidental exposure. But it cannot eliminate intentional exposure altogether.
Best Child Safe Browsers Available Now
There isn’t a single best kid-safe browser. Instead, there are many great browsers. Choosing one for your child’s use is dependent on your needs. Are you focused on learning tools? Or are you solely aiming to eliminate harmful content? Consider what you’re looking for in a browser before you download the software. The below information will help you narrow down your choices.
Kiddle Web Browser
Powered by Google, Kiddle is one of the most downloaded kid web browsers available. The sites that show up in a search are specifically curated for kids. The first three results are content written for use by kids and are hand-selected by Kiddle. Results listed below the first three are still hand-selected by editors, but they are not specifically written for kids. However, all results are from safe and trusted sites free of adult content. After the first seven listings, the pages are average searches, though these are still filtered by Google Safe Search.
There are some additional advantages to Kiddle, such as parental controls. These include features like complete site blocking and keyword filtering. Also, the browser appears in fun colors and designs, and page text is large and easy to read.
Pikluk Web Browser
Pikluk is a kids’ web browser that gives control of content to parents. Uniquely, it is also an email system. With Pikluk, parents filter the websites that they don’t want their children to visit. They are able to block entire sites, pages, videos, and pictures. If there are only a few sites that you approve of, you are able to restrict their searches to those pages. This is also true for email. Want to keep them safe from potentially dangerous hackers, scammers, and trolls? You have control of this too.
Another benefit of Pikluk is that you’re able to restrict access to the rest of the computer. This is a huge advantage, because using another browser is an easy way to get around the parental controls. One disadvantage of this browser is that you have to block each site individually. This means you have to know which sites and content to block. Because there are billions of websites and thousands popping up each day, this can be a challenge.
Kidoz Web Browser
Kidoz is a safe mobile browser for kids that includes some truly impressive features. It comes with an ad-blocker, in-app purchase restrictor, kid-friendly camera, and gallery. There are also videos chosen by the Kidoz team for babies and toddlers to enjoy. To use, you simply approve or block any of the websites the browser allows through.
ZAC Web Browser
ZAC stands for “Zone for Autistic Children” and places its focus on making browsing easier. This means curated websites, games, videos, and pictures for those with autism. There are also lockout functions, such as the ability to close the browser. This is all meant to prevent frustration in the child with autism.
KidRex Web Browser
What first stands out about the KidRex browser is its design. It looks more like a kid’s drawing than a simple browser. In fact, it may very well be a kid’s drawing. There is a section on the browser that lets you search through all the drawings submitted by users.
This browser is a little more restrictive than others. It confines users to child-friendly content. There are no image, music, or video options.
KidzSearch Web Browser
KidzSearch is another browser that uses Google Safe Search. The interface is highly kid-friendly. As soon as they open the browser, options for music, games, pictures, and videos appear on the side. Videos and content for their age group appear first on the browser, where they are easy to access.
The browser also restricts content searches to pages that are age-appropriate. It even offers a voice search option, to make it even easier for young children to use.
Kidzui Web Browser
Kidzui is a kids-safe browser with a huge database of appropriate, curated content for kids. As one of the first browsers for kids, it’s fairly straightforward. The easy-to-use interface gives access to their huge database and filters content based on age group. The age range for content is set by parents. Students thereby have a greater ability to search when needed.
The browser also gives users limited access to communities, such as forums. It limits tagging, friend-finding, and videos, and it restricts chat and email functions.
Maxthon Kid-Safe Web Browser
Maxthon browser for kids allows you to create a white list of sites you deem safe for your children. The browser blocks every other site. Links and ads are also blocked. There are also additional security measures, such as locking the whitelist. When locked, changes are only possible with a password.
KidSurf Web Browser
KidSurf promotes child-friendly browsing with customizations. There is a pre-set list to get you started, but otherwise, you whitelist the sites you deem appropriate. There is also a limited email app to ensure that children are protected from hackers and scams. Ad and pop-up blockers and a usage timer are also included. This is becoming increasingly necessary as technology addiction grips younger and younger children.
KidSplorer Web Browser
KidSplorer is an entire database of kid-approved sites. Parents are able to customize these at will. You can limit which pages your children are able to access. There is also a time limit to ensure they don’t become addicted to the computer. You can also separately limit the time period they are able to use the internet. This gives them a chance to play, free from tech, which is just as important as access to information.
Another benefit is that the browser will block the use of other browsers and programs as well. Because this is a concern when using kid-friendly browsers, this is a huge advantage. The disadvantage is that this browser download is only available with Windows.
Safe Search Kids Web Browser
Safe Search Kids isn’t just a kid-safe browser. It provides tips to combat cyberbullying, promote appropriate image posting, and help with math problems. The browser also prioritizes content that’s most appropriate for kids. Because Google Safe Search powers the browser, it restricts content the same way. It will filter out all content deemed inappropriate for children.
K9 Web Protection Browser for iOS
This kids’ browser blocks content the way Safe Search does. But it also offers the ability to filter against phishing, spyware, and other suspicious content. The browser even allows you to see how many results it blocks. This gives you a visual idea of just how many threats are out there. It may also help identify the types of keywords you can use to block content with other filters.
Problems with Web Browsers for Kids
Browsers for kids sound like the ultimate solution for protecting children, but this isn’t so. In fact, there are several problems with kids’ web browsers. These problems include:
That they only work if you’re using a browser, but most internet usage occurs via apps
Many safe browsers can be easily bypassed
When using a white list centered browser, you have to know exactly which sites to block or approve
The easiest solution is to install web filtering software on all of your devices. Software like GoGuardian web filtering utilizes keywords to block content on school devices or student accounts. You can create a list of keywords that will block all related content. You also have the ability to block individual sites, as well as image and video searches. This ensures protection for children in multiple ways, across all browsers.
Learn more about web filtering and monitoring software, at GoGuardian.