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How To Use Filters To Manage Your Child’s Devices

Updated: Mar 22, 2023


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.


Browsers


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.


Apps


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.


Teach Kids Safe Tech Use With Net Positive


The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Utah County is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens and leaders. We accomplish this by providing evidence-based programs with a focus on those that improve academic engagement, build character, and that improve healthy behaviors.


Our Net Positive Program educates K-12 students about digital safety, health, citizenship, and leadership. After participating in our program, students are 97% better prepared to face internet dangers. Contact us to learn more and ask your school to schedule a Net Positive Presentation, or support us with your donation today!




References


“Block and Unblock Websites with Parental Controls on Firefox.” Block and Unblock Websites with Parental Controls on Firefox | Firefox Help, https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/block-and-unblock-websites-parental-controls-firef.


Fowler, Bree. “How to Use the Parental Controls on a Smartphone.” Consumer Reports, https://www.consumerreports.org/smartphones/how-to-use-parental-controls-on-a-smartphone-a4120021016/.


Harris, Mark. “Best Free Parental Control Apps for 2022.” Parental Control Now!, 6 July 2022, https://parentalcontrolnow.org/best-free-parental-control-apps/.


“Kid-Safe Browsers and Search Sites.” Common Sense Media, https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/kid-safe-browsers-and-search-sites.


Körting Klaus. “Fortbildungszentrum Für Technik Und Umwelt: FTU.” Amazon, Kernforschungszentrum, 1991, https://www.amazon.com/ftu/home?ie=UTF8.


LLC, Google. “Google Family Link.” App Store, 13 Apr. 2017, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/google-family-link/id1150085200.




“Talking to Your Child about Internet Safety.” Cyber Security Agency, https://www.csa.gov.sg/gosafeonline/go-safe-for-me/for-parents/talking-to-your-child-about-internet-safety.


Windows Experience Blog. “Introducing Microsoft Edge Kids Mode, a Safer Space for Your Child to Discover the Web.” Windows Experience Blog, 15 Apr. 2021, https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/04/15/introducing-microsoft-edge-kids-mode-a-safer-space-for-your-child-to-discover-the-web/.

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