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Parental Controls

Using parental controls

By tailoring your home internet security and setting restrictions on your children’s accounts appropriate to their age and maturity – you can partially control what they are exposed to and help secure their personal information. Use the points below when considering how to stop your child seeing or accessing unsuitable content online.

Ways to stop your child seeing inappropriate content

  • All computer operating systems have parental controls which allow you to setup user accounts, restrict access to adult or violent content, monitor and report on user activity, set time limits on internet access and filter downloads.
  • Security systems such as Norton or AVG  have useful apps for parental controls and will usually have a “family security package” that you can adapt to your family’s needs. You can learn more about the technical options in our technical advice section.
  • Check with your internet service provider for any safety features specific to their brand. Many companies allow you to control the kind of websites that can be accessed at router level.
  • Many innovative subscription products can be used to monitor and limit device activity such as smartphones and tablets.

Privacy settings and passwords

When your children first start exploring the internet they will get tips (good and bad) from people about the different websites and platforms available for fun, games and education. Whether or not your child can read or write, this is the point to start introducing them to privacy settings and passwords. You could set these accounts up yourself if your child is very young, or you can do it with them. Not enough emphasis is put on teaching young children to respect the importance of strong passwords – and we are trying to change that! Develop a system to create and remember strong passwords with your child so that they do not start off their digital lives with a ‘throw away’ password mindset.

Finding the balance between freedom and restriction

Allowing your child the freedom to explore the internet and benefit from such a diverse and information rich environment is now more important than ever. Many parents read horror stories of exploitation and cyberbullying related suicide in the media and are understandably nervous about their child having unrestricted access to the internet. Each parent needs to find their own balance between controlling their child’s internet access with allowing them to learn and grow through technology.