As classes go online, parents seek apps to curb screen time

4 months ago 35
google news

DEHRADUN: Neha Romauld, a teacher in Mussoorie, had strict rules for her 11-year-old boy. He was allowed two

hours

of screen time a day. Then his school shut and the grade 5 student started digital classes, resulting in him spending several hours online. “He had homework to do as well and it was not possible to keep an eye on what he was up to all the time,” said Romauld, the kid’s aunt.
A

parental control application

that Romauld downloaded in May on the laptop the child was using allowed her to monitor sites he was browsing and block those with

sensitive content

. Many other parents are downloading

similar apps

.
Since April 1, parental control app PikaPika has been downloaded 12,000 times, said its founder

Chitranshu Mahant

. “We have seen a 33% increase in our downloads since April,” he told TOI. Between April 1 and May 30, another parental control app, Kids Place, recorded 50,000 downloads in India, its founder

Paresh Joshi

said. Ryan Lexer, head of sales & business development at KIDOZ app, said downloads were up 40% in India since March.
Cyber experts have cautioned that parents should keep in mind that online access comes with risks like exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying and online predators. In April, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, an office within the ministry of electronics & information technology, had issued an

advisory cautioning parents

to keep an eye on online activities of children as schools moved online. The advisory had also suggested parents to set rules such as allowing the child to only browse the internet in the living room or in the presence of an adult.

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