As more of our internet use goes mobile, filtering, monitoring and managing time on the internet becomes more difficult. Here are a few products and settings to help:
Apple devices offer basic restrictions, but unless they are password protected, they can be easily changed back. To set restrictions, go to the device SETTINGS (look for the cog icon), GENERAL, RESTRICTIONS, ENABLE. You will be prompted for a password. Write the password down and save it.
You may want to disable Safari and install the free MetaCert for iOS, which offers customizable filtering for the internet.
If you would like to be aware of the apps that are on the device, turn off “deleting apps.” Then your children can’t download and delete apps they know you may not approve.
Look at the ratings for ALLOWED CONTENT and set it appropriately.
Do not allow LOCATION SERVICES. These services can “place stamp” photos or posts your child puts out on the internet.
K9 (mentioned in the last blog post) is a FREE internet filter available for Android devices as well as desktops.
Spectorsoft offers eBlaster Mobile, which monitors and reports on smartphone activity in detail. They also offer products for PCs and Macs.
TeenSafe is another detailed monitoring software that works for iPhones and android phones (not blackberries).
Curbi is a less detailed monitoring software for Apple devices. It works on any iPad except the first model, iPhone 4 and newer, and iPod touches running iOS 6 and newer.
Of course, none of these products and settings replaces conversations we need to be having with our children about making wise choices and allowing ourselves to be accountable for our choices. However, it’s nice to have tools to help guide them toward independence and freedom.