Most newer upgrades to Internet routers in the home have the inclusion of some basic parental controls to filter out content at home. You can also set up timed Internet allowances by device.
As you can see in the example on this page, I’ve added a scheduled setting to cut the Internet to Bruce’s iPad at 7pm so that no Internet is accessed after dinner. I can make as many of these schedules as I like across devices and if needed switch everything off I could do this via the tick box at the top.
To see if you can access these settings consult your Internet Service Provider or your documentation for the device that brings the Internet into your home. They will give you an IP address to connect to the router in the form of 4 sets of digits separated by a full stop – eg. “10.10.10.10”.
You will then be prompted for a username and password (provided by the ISP or in your documentation) – once you are through you just need to look around the page for parental controls. These will generally be as simple as blocking websites and maybe filtering keywords.
It is always good to remind our community about the use of social media and how it relates to young people. There are some great resources out there for parents to educate themselves about these issues. Previous articles written on here address many of these issues and suggest various ways to manage technology in the home environment.
Some additional pointers for parents with young children.
Keep all technology stored out of reach of young children. It doesn’t take long for a four year old to work out your phone pin and have access to the web.
Place all technology in the home in a central place each night – keep technology out of the bedroom. For example, we store all technology in the study each night where it is charged and out of reach.
Social media sites have a clear age restriction. Users under 13 MUST NOT have an account. This is a legal requirement clearly outlined in their service user agreements. Additionally, in the case of Skype the service agreement states that a user can not accept the terms of service if they are not of legal age to form a binding agreement.
Just because your child is 13 or older does not mean they should have access to social media. Your house, your rules!!
Set clear rules for the use of technology in your home and discuss your family expectations about the use of all online tools.
I would like to suggest a great product I recently purchased for our home network (I promise no paid for comments on this one!!). I recently replaced our home wifi router (the box that shares the internet connection in the house) with the Netgear Nighthawk. This router has some wonderful control features built in. It is simple to set clear policies on your network for ANY device that connects to it. For example, we have no internet access to iPads during bed time. The system also has an iPhone app that allows me to remotely check the usage of each device on my network as well as ban or restrict access.
With the management of mobile devices, I would suggest looking at the parental control settings on any Apple iOS device. This feature allows you to stop the downloading of apps such as skype or apps rated for a mature audience. In the most recent update of iOS, Apple have included family sharing for the app store. This allows you to setup your children on your account and have a setting in place that they must request your permission before downloading any apps. Here is an article explaining this feature – http://www.macworld.com/article/2686049/get-to-know-ios-8-family-sharing.html
Here are a series of iPad management tutorials we filmed a while back that may still be helpful
Our third live webcast will start at 10:30am today! We will be with Brad Huddleston from the US. Brad is an author and speaker, renowned for his incredible work with young people, parents and grandparents. He has some wonderful ideas and tips for parents in this ever changing technology driven society.
This morning we did our first IT webcast for parents. We streamed live just after 9am this morning and had about 8 parents login during the broadcast. You can view the broadcast below. The topic of this morning’s discussion was “Managing Technology in the home – Tips for parents.”
Thank you to parents who could join us and asked questions. We will spend some time ironing out the bugs and host more down the track. Please fee free to offer any feedback and suggestions for topics and appropriate time slots.
During the year we filmed a series of interviews with Pastor Brad Huddleston, speaker and author on the issues of raising young people in a digital age. The entire playlist of these resources are embedded below (series of 8 short videos).
These videos and a series of other material from King’s can also be accessed through our iTunes U channel
The first interview discusses the general approach we should take toward the use of digital technologies. The second interview focusses on raising children and managing technologies in your home. The third and final interview focusses on the spiritual aspect of dealing with technology.
We have provided these videos to help equip parents. Our aim is to utilise technology where it enhances teaching and learning. Like anything, balance is the key. We hope and pray these resources are of use to our parent community.