Today’s plethora of online learning tools and information makes it easy to find the answer to nearly any question! So how do you protect young curious minds from being exposed to information and entertainment that isn’t age appropriate? We’ve compiled our top tips to protect your kids in the digital world where just about anything is almost a click away!
All systems are go
- Windows 10: Sign up for a Family Safety account, where you can create child profiles and monitor their online activities – you’ll be able to block games/apps/websites, set time limits for how long they spend on the device, restrict or block purchases pending your approval, and even track the location of their tablet, smart phone or laptop.
- MacOS: In System Preferences you can block your built-in camera, set up a list of allowed content and sites for the Safari web browser, and disable communication tools like FaceTime and iMessage.
- Avoid nasty surprises at iTunes bill time by turning off in-app purchases found in many “free” games.
- Password protect Apple App Store activities to prevent downloads of paid apps, violent games, explicit music, talk show podcasts or movies with inappropriate material.
- Set up restriction passcodes that are different to the passcode used to unlock the device.
- Start with entering Restricted Mode in your web browser, which filters out most of the bad stuff from searches, including anything flagged as inappropriate (note: you can also do this on your device’s YouTube app).
- Encourage the use of YouTube Kids, a family-friendly version of the popular site suitably designed for learning and safe exploration with age restricted content. Just keep in mind an inappropriate video can be discovered by accident if it hasn’t been flagged for review yet.
- Report any suspicious material that looks like it’s falsely marketed as a “kids video” – you never know how many people this could help. YouTube depends on user feedback to improve experience and safety.
Other tips and tricks
- Screen time is ok in small doses, but consider entertainment apps with specific child approved content, like ABC Kids iView or Netflix in “kids mode”.
- There’s all kinds of software on the market to keep you safe and our tech support team can help with installation and set-up. We strongly recommend virus protection software as a minimum, and parenting programs are available for added peace of mind (see Qustodio, K9 Web Protection and Kidlogger).