This toolkit is full of resources to assist you – not replace you.
FAMILY SAFETY CONTRACT This is a great tool to begin discussions.
It’s important to discuss technology with your kids. Have an open and direct conversation with them. Below are some open-ended questions that will get the conversation started:
- “Have you ever seen anything on-line that has made you uncomfortable or curious?”
- “What happened?”
- “How did it make you feel?”
- “What did you do?”
- “Was it accidental or intentional?”
Is this device/app/game/social media site ok? Investgating this may start with these questions:
- Did you have to lie about your age?
- Do you have to provide a lot of personal information?
- Are adults you don’t know able to interact with you?
- Does it have content inappropriate for kids?
- Do people use it to be mean/hurtful to others?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, this network may not be for you.
The following is a list of resources that is by no means all-inclusive, but it’s a great place to start! Links included.
Router – Open DNS Think of this as a first line of defense in your home. *FREE* I listed this first because I consider it a MUST!
Covenant Eyes – Internet accountability & filtering software for computers, tablets & mobile devices. Accountability means that web activity is reported but not blocked, while filtering can be set to block content at 6 different levels such as youth, teen, and mature. The Filter Guardian can block Internet access at certain times of day (however not on iOS). If you’re concerned about porn addiction, Covenant Eyes also publishes some very helpful resources.
Circle – Created by Disney. Lets you set time limits, set a “bed time”, filter inappropriate material via age group, “Pause” the internet, and gives you insight into what your kids are looking at and how long they are on each application. Circle Home connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and manages every connected device in your home. Add a Circle Go subscription to Circle Home or to manage your family’s mobile devices across all cellular and Wi-Fi networks. $99 for Circle Home + $4.99/mo for Circle Go.
Google- SafeSearch can help you block inappropriate or explicit images from your Google Search results. The SafeSearch filter isn’t 100% accurate, but it helps you avoid most adult content. This is a MUST for Google users.
iOS (iPhone iPod, iPad) – Parental controls You can use Restrictions, also known as parental controls, to block or limit specific apps and features on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, including access to explicit content in the iTunes Store. iOS also offers “Find iPhone” location sharing for family members. This is a MUST for iOS users.
Netflix has some parental controls. Your Sphere shares some information about that. They have lots of great articles.
Windows (including Internet explorer) – Family Safety Family Safety is a feature available on your Windows PC’s and devices. With Family Safety you can monitor web site activity, block inappropriate web sites or block all web activity except the sites you decide, set time limits, and see which apps and programs were used. **Note, recent changes to prepare for Windows 10 have simplified these settings, but at the same time reduced the ability to fine-tune settings. To use with Windows 10, you have to create a Microsoft.com account for each family member. This is a MUST for Microsoft users.
You Tube -SafeSearch (a google app) This only works if you are logged in. So searching from Safari, for example, will not restrict it. You can disallow the specific website, though on mobile devices. Be Web Smart has great instructions on this.