How To Use Filters To Manage Your Child’s Devices
Almost from the moment your child is able to hold a smartphone or tablet, it’s time to start thinking about online safety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless—and potentially dangerous—websites, games, platforms, and apps your child may be using, there’s good news. You can start by talking to your child about internet dangers and being open about your need to manage their devices to help keep them safe. Then you can maintain their online safety using parental controls.
Here’s what you need to know about parental filters for devices, internet browsers, and apps:
Smartphones and Tablets
Android devices. Android users can use the Android operating system (OS) to share their devices with their children while keeping their own apps safely locked. You can learn how to do this here. To control internet access and the apps kids use on Android devices, you can download the free Google Family Link app and customize the restrictions you want in place before your child uses the device.
iPhones and iPads. Apple features controls and settings that let you restrict your child’s use of social media, games, the device camera, photo sharing, apps, and in-app purchases. You can download instructions for setting up these controls here.
Amazon Fire. The Amazon Kids+ feature offers parental controls and a wide variety of kid-friendly books, movies, games, TV shows, and apps for your child to discover.
Most major internet browsers will offer safety settings that allow you to restrict kids’ access to potentially harmful and dangerous websites. These include:
Alternatively, you can have your child use any one of these kid-safe browsers and search sites.
You can also control your child’s use of various apps. You can do this by navigating into the settings menu in the apps individually. Alternatively, you can use your own parental control apps, which are designed to keep your child safe on a variety of common apps. Three free, highly recommended examples include:
Bark. Bark monitors over 30 social media platforms, emails, text messages, YouTube, and more.
Mspy. Mspy records all calls and messages and supports live GPS tracking.
Qustodio. Qustodio limits screen time, games, and social media activity; it also blocks inappropriate content.
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