Our full guide to Internet safety for kids
Christine Ottoni • August 12, 2019if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
The Internet has transformed the way we communicate, travel, work and play. It has even changed the way we parent. When we’re talking about Internet safety for kids and the challenges being online can present, it’s wise to remember that it also provides excellent opportunities for learning and growth.
If you have kids, regardless of their ages, they probably have access to the Internet at some point in their day. Whether it’s your middle schooler playing Minecraft, or your teenager chatting on social media, Internet use requires a degree of responsibility. You can’t shield kids from everything and while it’s not realistic to monitor every second of their day, keeping an open dialogue around parental controls and Internet safety certainly can help.
At Ting, we like to think of parental controls as training wheels for learning to use the Internet respectfully and responsibly. Browse our guide of parental controls for platforms like YouTube and Netflix below. These practical steps, paired with an open conversation around Internet safety, can help you raise kids who have a mature awareness of the Internet.
Parental Controls on Netflix
Netflix is a top source for family entertainment. But many parents wonder if there is a way to put parental controls on Netflix. How do you block certain shows on Netflix, or make movie-watching kid-proof?
If you’re the primary account holder, your account will be set to “For All Maturity Levels.” You can then add separate profiles for members of your family and manage what they see according to their age.
For teenagers and older kids, there is an option to set it to “For Teens and Below.” The Kids Account is automatically set to “For Older Kids and Below,” with movies that are rated good for around 12 years of age. If you have a toddler, set it to “For Little Kids Only.”
Parental controls on YouTube
It seems like everyone is on YouTube these days. With other social networks such as Facebook streaming videos all day long, it’s natural to wonder about safety concerns.
Does YouTube also have parental controls? How do you make YouTube kid-friendly, or restrict content on YouTube?
Thankfully, there is a relatively safe space for kids on YouTube. YouTube Kids has customized content for little ones. But you will need to do some presets before giving them free rein to browse.
Sign into the YouTube App, then block the channels and videos that are not appropriate for your child. In the “approved content only” section, sort through categories of your choice. You can choose collections such as “arts”, “DIY”, or “learning.”
For more details on how to monitor your child’s YouTube time, check out this official full guide.
iPad parental controls and iPhone parental controls
If your kid has an iPad, how do you put parental controls on an iPad? How do you ensure that the iPad is kid-proof?
Here is how to set privacy and content restrictions on your child’s iPad or iPhone:
1. In Settings, go to Screen Time. The first time you open Screen Time, you’ll have the option of setting this up as a parent.
2. Follow the prompts until you get to Parent Passcode and enter a passcode. Re-enter the passcode to confirm.
4. Navigate back to Settings > Screen Time. Customize Downtime (hours with no access), individual App Limits, stuff that’s always allowed (like the Phone) and specific Content & Privacy Restrictions.
Now, the only way to override your Screen Time settings is to use the parent passcode.
Parental controls for Android
Another issue many parents have is how to childproof an Android phone, or set up parental controls on Google Play. One option is to set up a restricted profile or, on a shared device, use limited Guest mode. It’s also a good idea to restrict Google Play access so that your child isn’t able to make purchases without your knowledge.
You can also use Google Family Link, to set digital ground rules for your child’s Android use. You can manage what they can see, control their app access and even choose from educational content.
Treat parental controls for the Internet like training wheels
A Ting Mobile kids and cellphones survey showed that 96% of parents said they’d had a conversation with their kids about phone safety. However, 73% of parents still feel the need to monitor their kids’ activity on their phone.
The Internet can be an incredibly powerful tool. As a parent, it’s essential to help your child learn to navigate through it and make responsible choices.
Parental controls are like training wheels. Eventually, they need to come off. And in the future, your kids will have full access to the Internet, no doubt about it.
What can you do to improve Internet safety in your own home? Talk about the topic openly with your kids. Suggest interesting sites and games, and let them know most things are up for discussion. The sooner they learn to browse responsibly, the better off everyone will be.
While talking with your kids about Internet Safety, here are some more things to cover:
- Teach them never to share photos of other people without their permission
- Personal information should never be made public online
- Let them know it’s okay to talk to you about any uncomfortable online exchange they may experience.
Looking for more insights into technology and kids? We conducted a survey of 1,500 parents and asked them all about their kids’ mobile habits. Check out the results.
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