In this digital age, many of us are searching for ways to make sure that our children are safe and responsible when using the internet. Fulton County has internet filters in place when students use devices at school, but how do you keep your children safe online at home?
As a parent, I have been searching for ways to give my children freedom online at home but also to ensure that they use this freedom wisely and safely. I learned some interesting things while researching my problem, so hopefully some of these tips will give you more peace of mind at home as well.
This first thing I wanted was a way to limit what my children can access, because we all know that one wrong click can lead to content that our children do not need to see. If your student has an iPhone or iPad, you can access a number of restriction options from the Settings menu. Tap Settings, then General, then scroll for Restrictions. You will set up a passcode so that you are the only one with access to this menu. You will be able to select appropriate content for your student's age. The iMore.com site provides a comprehensive guide to the options you have. I'm not as familiar with Android, but this TechAdvisor article walks you through some of the options you have with that platform.
These restrictions worked fairly well for my girls, but I wanted a little more control over their online activity. I installed the Mobicip browser and disabled Safari on their devices. Mobicip can be used for free, but I eventually subscribed to the premium plan in order to have browsing reports emailed to me weekly. The premium plan also allows me to set usage time limits, so I can disable the devices at a certain time of night. There are a number of similar programs if Mobicip is not the best fit for your needs. You can explore NetSanity, Curbi, Screentime Parental Control, Kidslox, and many, many more!
A few more simple Apple tricks include setting up Family Sharing so that you are able to approve apps requests and enabling read receipts so you can tell if your child has read your text.
Lastly, if you have questions about what apps, games, movies, music, books, or websites are suitable for your student, be sure to check out the Common Sense Media reviews page. They also have an app you can install to access reviews from your mobile device!
If you have other tips or tricks, please add them to the comments. (Comments require approval).
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Media & Educational Technology Instructor