Technology has a growing role in our society and more and more kids have access to technology from a young age. It is important that parents utilise tools to help safe guard their children whilst they use their technology. You can find out more here!
Below you will find a number of tools (free unless stated) that I frequently use and setup for parents:
#1 Device Parental Controls
Pretty much every internet enabled device comes with the ability to implement parental controls! These are a great starting point to restrict explicit content and decide what apps and content you would like your children to have access to. This includes iOS devices, android devices, gaming consoles and more.
Here are a few guides that can help you get started:
#2 Safe Search
When you have enabled Safe Search, sexually explicit video and images will be filtered from results, along with results that might link to explicit content. Whilst this isn't always 100 percent accurate, it will filter out most adult content.
#3 Child friendly browser apps
There are a number of good quality child friendly browser apps available that allow you to have more controls over the sites your children can see.
One app that I frequently use is Mobicip. This allows you to filter sites, set time limits for internet browsing, have white and black lists (where specific sites are allowed/disallowed) and customised keywords/phrases. They have both a free and paid version depending on what options you'd like to be able to choose from.
#4 Adware block (for Google Chrome)
Adware block is a great chrome extension that blocks ads from loading. Not only does it stop those annoying ads from appearing in sites and stream services, it also blocks potentially inappropriate images from a number of sites
#5 Mobile Phone Provider Tools
Phone providers now have a number of services available to their customers (some fees can apply).
Telstra Mobile Protect offers parents the ability to apply internet filters, restrict call and SMS activity, set time restrictions and more when using their mobile data.
Optus Mobile Security offers parents a number of tools to apply parental controls and protect your information on devices.
Vodafone's Guardian App can only be used for Android phones but allows parents to apply filters and restrictions to phones and calls/SMS.
OpenDNS covers devices connected to your home network by filtering the content of all internet traffic. You can use their standard filters which covers most explicit content, or customise it to suit your needs.
#7 Modem Parental Controls
Most modems have capabilities to apply parental controls - often using a service like OpenDNS. By applying these settings to your modem, it will filter any device that comes onto your network!
#8 Email Whitelists
A lot of kids love having an email address that can be used to communicate with friends and relatives around the world - but they can also be a target for spam, scams and unwanted contact. Most email platforms have the option to enable email whitelists, where all incoming emails will get rejected unless the sender is added to the "whitelist" or is a contact. You can also setup rules that auto forward emails sent or received to a secondary email address - these options can be useful particularly for younger children
#9 Family iTunes Sharing
Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. It also allows you to approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device.
#10 House Rules!
Whilst the tools above can provide a range of benefits and protections, there's still nothing that beats having house rules! Some good examples of house rules I've seen implemented include having a centralised location that all devices go into overnight, having computers/laptops remain in common areas of the house and keeping parents informed of passwords set on devices.
The Take Home
You can help your kids continue to have positive experiences with technology by implementing age appropriate tools that help safe guard their online activities. If you are looking for ways to help put some of these simple controls in place, contact our team and we can get you started!