Did you know that 96% of American kids aged 3-18 have access to the Internet at home? This means a lot of young children can access restricted websites or spend too much time online. Add the fact that people can access the Internet through tons of devices nowadays. It can become quite scary for parents trying to monitor their children’s access to the Web.
Fortunately, there are many ways to enable parental controls. You can do so through your home network, browser, or directly on your child’s device. Learn how to do so through our in-depth guide below.
OS Parental Controls
You can start blocking websites, apps, and specific games directly from the user settings of your PC or laptop. For both Windows and macOS users, you have to be an administrator. Go to the operating system’s specific user menu. For Windows users, you’ll have to access the Control Panel first. Select your child’s user profile and then access the menu for Content Restrictions. For Apple users, there is a specific tab labeled Parental Controls.
From here, you can alter which websites your child can access and which ones they can’t. You can also block apps and games or enable a time limit. The latter is a good option if you want to monitor your child’s playtime.
Home Router Restrictions
You can also enable parental controls via your home network router. However, there is no universal guide for this. It all depends on the router device you use at home. Regardless of your device, you’ll first need to know your IP address. To discover this, simply access the Network menu from your User Settings (for Apple) or Control Panel (for Windows). Once you have your IP address, access your router’s control panel. You can then limit certain websites or put a time limit on WiFi access.
Browsing websites is now even more dangerous than before. Not only do you have to worry about your child accessing pornographic content, but they could also access infectious content. One wrong click and you might have to deal with identity theft or ransomware. Fortunately, you can also manage browsing through specific apps. You can use Focus, for example, to limit which websites your child can and can’t access. Learn how to install and run Focus through this guide here: https://setapp.com/.
Some browsers, such as Google Chrome and Opera GX, allow you to install extensions. Chrome has the largest extension library. You can also access Chrome extensions on Opera and Opera GX with a little tinkering.
Microsoft Edge has its version of extensions, called Add-Ons. You’ll also find a separate library of plugins for Mozilla Firefox. With extensions, you can limit which websites your child can access. You can even find extensions that monitor how long your child spends online. Some extensions will shut off the browser once your child reaches their browsing limit.
Parental Controls for iOS
On your child’s phone, simply go to Settings and then select Screen Time. You’ll have to pick whether it’s your device or your child’s. You’ll have to set up a passcode to prevent anyone else from altering the Parental settings. Select Content and then Privacy Restrictions. You can then navigate the menu to control things like screen time and app restrictions. Use this menu to prevent your child from making purchases using the device.
Parental Controls for Android
You’ll have to follow a similar setup for Android devices. Go to Settings and then select Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls. You can then manually select timers and restrictions for each app on the device. To prevent your child from making purchases, go to the Google Play Store. Go to the store’s settings menu, select Parental Controls, and set up a PIN code. Purchases will now require you to enter the PIN code.
Controls for Specific Apps
A lot of kids spend time watching on apps like YouTube and Netflix. Fortunately, both of these apps allow you to set up profiles specifically to limit what they can access. For Netflix users, you’ll have to make a new profile. Make sure to indicate that it’s a Kids account. Once your child logs in to this profile, they’ll only be able to watch content suited for children. YouTube goes one step further. You can remove the regular YouTube app from your child and instead use the YouTube Kids app. This version of YouTube removes predatory ads, restricts comments sections, and filters out videos not suited for children. There is also a similar app for Facebook Messenger, called Messenger Kids. You can even use Messenger Kids to monitor your child’s contact list.
Gaming Parental Controls
Caring parents allow their children to have fun but also understand that it’s important to monitor their child’s gaming time. After all, while there are games suited for kids, there are also video games rated for teens and adults. You also need to monitor voice chat conversations and controversial content.
For Xbox One or Series X users, press the Xbox button to enter the main menu. Go to the System menu, Settings, Account, and then the Family tab. From there, you need to access your child’s account and then make individual adjustments. You’ll go through a similar process for Playstation 4 and Playstation 5 consoles. Go to Settings, Family, and then Parental Controls. You can then make individual adjustments per account. For the Nintendo Switch, you can follow a similar step-by-step process or use the Nintendo App. You’ll need to download the app through the Google Play Store or the Apple Store. Whichever process you follow, you can make adjustments per age group. You can also adjust settings for voice chat, VR mode, sharing content on social media, and software ratings.
Set Up Parental Controls Today
Now you know how to set up parental controls for different browsers, devices, and operating systems. Following these steps allow your children to still have fun while giving you the monitoring capabilities to keep them safe. But why stop with this guide? If you found this list useful, why not check out more of our articles for even more tips and tricks? We have posts that cover technology, business, and advertising, ensuring there’s always more for you to learn.