From laughing at some funny memes to shocking at the news, anything you want to access is right at your fingertips these days. And, children can access it easily even when they are still small. That might make you feel worried if you’re a parent or teacher because the internet is like a two-edged sword. While the internet can help your kid with their homework, it also contains a lot of bad content or cyberbully. So, make sure to protect your kid from online threats by implementing parental controls. They are available on most internet-enabled devices such as computers, smartphones, or gaming systems. And, this is probably the best way to reduce the risk of children seeing inappropriate content on the internet. Read on to how to set parental controls on all of your devices.
What Can Parental Controls Do?
Mostly you can find this in the form of software or device-specific options that allow parents to monitor their child’s internet or app use. And, they prevent children from accessing inappropriate or unsuitable content online automatically. You can find or implement it within your internet service provider, search engines, video streaming sites, and more.
How to Set Parental Controls
Now, we all know parental controls are necessary to protect your kid from any online threats. However, figuring out how to do this on each device can be quite confusing. We explain how to set parental controls on the following devices and services:
- Computer Operating Systems
- Internet Browsers
- Search Engines
- Video Streaming
- Smart Phones
Computer Operating Systems
Every computer operating system contains parental control settings to ensure children are safe from the minute they turn on their device.
Blocking inappropriate apps, games, and media:
- Go to Microsoft Family Safety and sign in with your Microsoft account.
- Set up an account for your kid, if they don’t have one.
- Go to Content Restrictions.
- Choose Apps, games & media
- Turn on Block inappropriate apps, games, and media.
- Under “Allow apps and games rated for”, choose the age limit for your child.
If your kid requests to access a blocked app, you can approve it by going to Content restrictions and add it to the Always allowed list. In case your child downloads something before these limitations, you can still block it by going to the Activity page. Your kid will need permission to use it again and you can approve or disapprove via email.
Blocking inappropriate websites:
Go to Content restrictions > Web browsing. After that, turn on Block inappropriate websites.
If you want to block specific sites, add their URLs to Always blocked list. Plus, you can limit your kid’s access to only a few specific websites by using “Only allow these websites”.
Require permission before purchasing in the Microsoft Store:
- Find your kid’s account and then choose Content restrictions.
- Toggle Needs adult approval to buy things On.
- Approve or deny your kid’s requests through your email or on Microsoft Family Safety.
- Visit Apple’s website and in the menu, click on System Preferences.
- Select Parental Controls.
- Choose the user account you want to enable filtering for. Parental Controls cannot be enabled for administrator accounts. So, make sure your child’s account is not an admin.
- Choose Enable Parental Controls > Content tab.
- Pick one of the 3 modes under Website Restrictions (unrestricted, automatic, or whitelist).
Here are the instructions for the 3 most common internet browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Luckily, Safari parental control is the same as iOS parental controls above.
- Log into your Google account and click on Settings in the top right.
- Choose the People section. Select Add person and create a new profile. While doing that, you need to put a check in the checkbox next to “Control and view the websites this person visits from.”
- Next, click on Add and you will see a new Chrome window.
- Once your child’s profile is created, select Supervised Users Dashboard and click on My Child.
- Add parental control settings in Permissions and choose to “lock” SafeSearch. Also, you can see which sites your child visits in the Activity setting and approve/disapprove their requests to access sites.
Well, Firefox’s Safe mode turns on the safety feature automatically when you install the browser. So, you don’t really need to do anything. And, this feature can only be turned off through password-protected parental settings on your operating system. That way your child will not be able to deactivate it through the Firefox browser.
Video Streaming Platforms
Millions of videos are published every day. Here are the steps to activate parental controls for the most common video streaming sites like YouTube and Netflix.
Yes, you can go straight to YouTube Kids and don’t have to worry about anything because it’s filtered with the content just for kids. However, if you still want to use the normal YouTube app, follow these steps.
Go to Youtube > Click on your profile picture > Select Restricted Mode > Choose Restricted Mode on.
In addition, to make sure your kids don’t turn off parental controls, sign out after you finished using it.
With Netflix, there are a variety of controls that you can choose from. They have hard and soft controls that parents can set up along with maturity levels for each individual profile. Here are 4 types of age-limiting parental controls on Netflix:
- Little Kids: Shows and movies suitable for “All ages” are available.
- Older Kids: 7+ and some 13+
- Teens: 13+
- Adults: All listed media will be available.
Setting up your PIN:
Go to your account and choose the link for Parental controls in the Settings. Enter your Netflix credentials and select Continue. Enter 4 numbers into the PIN field (this will be your PIN). Next, set your PIN protection level from the following choices: Little Kids, Older Kids, Teens, and Adults.
iPhone Parental Controls
Set content & privacy restrictions:
- Go to Settings > Screen Time.
- Tap Continue, then select “Use Screen Time Passcode” to create a passcode and re-enter to confirm.
- Next, choose Content & Privacy Restrictions.
- After that, enter your passcode if applicable, then turn on Content & Privacy.
Prevent web content:
- Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions E
- Enter your Screen Time passcode.
- Next, go to Content Restrictions > Web Content.
- Choose Limit Adult Websites, or Allowed Websites Only.
Android Parental Controls
- Sign in your Google account or use your kid’s account if they have one.
- Open the Play Store and tap the setting symbol on the top left.
- Select Settings > Parental controls and create a PIN code.
- The setting is active now and you can then tap each category to set how restricting you would like each category to be.
Parental controls are highly recommended for your child safe while spending time online. Because of the variety of devices and internet platforms your child may use, it’s important to keep your parental controls up-to-date and active at all times. Also, make sure you and your child’s devices are protected with a trusted antivirus program too.