Setting Parental Control on Digital Devices

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This time next week Santa will have arrived, delivering many children a new digital device. But with all the inappropriate content out there, bone up on the parental controls for digital devices before your ho, ho, ho’s become whoa! whoa! woes.

To begin with, learn how to turn on app restrictions on a phone and tablet so no apps can be purchased without a code – that is so you don’t get a $200 bill because your enthusiastic son or daughter felt then need to purchased something extra to get ahead in the game. Believe me, there are many opportunities for a child to hit “buy” and not know it, but if in-app purchases is turned off, this stops this from happening. Also teach your child, especially younger ones, to hit the “x” in a circle to get out of any pop up ads that come at them while playing a game.

Many cell service providers also offer parental controls for a specific phone, such as restricting Internet access to inappropriate content, blocking unwanted incoming text messages, blocking content purchases and even limiting camera usage. Most information per provider can be found on provider’s websites.

While iOS (Apple) and Android devices include app restriction controls, there are many parental control apps out there now have “safe-search” features that filter out adult content, restrict app purchases, set time use limits and more. This list of 10 is a good starting point. Many of these also have controls that restrict phone usage while driving (remember texting while driving is illegal and extremely dangerous).

From the very beginning, establish consequences, both positive and negative, for appropriate technology usage.

Digital devices are here to stay, but they are powerful devices that can open up a world of good and bad, but with a few precautionary settings, you won’t be saying whoa, whoa, whoa! about something they shouldn’t see or do.