Internet safety is a relatively new concept for parents to have to worry about, really just evolving over the last 25 years.
However, with the constant advancement in technology parents don’t just have to worry about children getting to problematic sites on the family computer; now you also have to worry about tablets, smartphones and other internet connected devices.
The problem with these devices is that there are multiple ways to access information. Children will quickly learn how to access the browser feature on these devices, which you can set-up to deny access to specific online content just as you can on your computer.
However, apps, which are cloud based, are not able to be blocked in the same way. This means any of your apps can be easily opened by your child and they can make purchases, change information and even access those apps that may not be appropriate for little eyes.
There are ways to allow your children to use your tablets, iPads and smartphones while still keeping the child safe and protecting you from unwanted purchases or downloads. This will vary by device but can include:
• Password protection – with both Android and iOS systems you can password protect specific apps and features. This means that the child cannot access that app or feature unless they first key in the correct password or PIN. They can access anything is not set-up to need this additional information to start.
• App download – on the Android systems as well as the Apple platform devices you can download a parental control app. This provides you with both parental controls that limit the content that the child can access as well as child locks that simply lock out that particular app, including email and online browser access.
• Shut off in-app purchasing – on all devices you also have the option to shut off in-app purchases to prevent those unwelcome surprises. On the Apple products this is located in the parental settings and restrictions area and on the Android system it is found under the Google Play settings. You will need to create a PIN and enter that to make any purchase.
Children and technology are a great match and with the safety options available parents can allow their child to enjoy smartphones and tablets without any concerns.