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Ways to manage and monitor digital devices at home

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Started by Tessa Gray 30 Jul 2014 2:31pm () Replies (2)

More and more parents are asking me about ways to secure their computers at home. Requests have mainly been around restricting access to Internet on a computer and now with iPads, iPods - how to restrict access to apps etc. Here's a little video that sums up parental control at home nicely.


One idea in this video, is to set up different user accounts on a home computer or laptop - whichever device you want to restrict access on. PCs have an option to add and administer User Accounts.

You can go to the computer’s Control Panel>>>User Account, and there are instructions for Managing User Accounts here or you can click on Parental Controls. This has an option to Create a New User Account, where you can set up a separate account with your child’s name and password. Here links will walk you through ways to define time limits, manage access to software programmes as well as game restrictions and more (see screenshot below).

  Screenshot of Parental controls on PC

Mac users have similar options under System Preferences >>> Users and Groups, where you can add a New User Profile (your child) with a username and password, and then apply Parental Controls - such as time limits, restricted access to software applications and adult websites (see screenshot below).

Screenshot of Parental controls Mac

Apple devices (iPads, iPods, iPhones) have restrictions under the Settings feature, go Settings >>> General>>> Restrictions. Here you’ll be prompted to set a 4 digit number, where you can disable in-app purchases, stop the installation and deleting of apps as well as rating for 'Clean' R rather than 'Explicit' and  limit age restricted access to media. Top Tip: Don't let your child know the 4 digit number!

Settings on iPhone   Restrictions on iPhone  

Parents are also wanting to restrict access to the Internet. Most Internet browsers have an option to put settings to Safe Search. But just as easy as this is to apply, it is also easy to unapply. Here's a screenshot of the Safe Search features on Google Chrome.

Screenshot of safe search on Chrome

 

An alternative to browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Exporer and Safari etc could be kid safe browsers.

Kid safe web browsers let your kids surf through approved websites safely. They can block objectionable material with parental control access and pop-up blockers. Kid safe web browsers can can block certain objectionable web content, adware and spyware. They can come with parental control access and pop-up blockers.

Different kid safe web browsers have different control settings, you will need to try and test some yourselves first to see what best suits your needs. Taken from http://ictpd-digital-citizenship-at-home.wikispaces.com/Access%2C+censorship+and+filtering

Some options include: 

  1. Google kids search engine
  2. Maxthon Kids safe browserMy Kids Browser
  3. ZAC Browser
  4. My Kids Browser
  5. Kid Zui
  6. PikLuk
  7. KIDO'Z
  8. Kidoz
  9. Kidsplorer
  10. Kidsonline

There are also 10 Kid-Friendly Browsers for the iPad. Some alternatives to Safari.

What have you tried and applied? Any other top tips on ways to manage and monitor devices?

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