There is very little that prepares parents for what their children will encounter in the digital realm. How do you protect them? How do you even know if they’re in danger? The threats that lurk in the internet shadows are hard to spot and constantly changing and parents want to know where they should start and how they can protect their children.
In this article, you will find some tips and hints designed to give you the best possible start at creating a safe digital space for your children. It isn’t technical or complex, rather it is a guide that will give you the insights you need to feel a lot more in control of the digital situation.
Your first step is to invest into products and solutions that will help you control internet access and who accesses your child. These can be tailored to specific child ages and the different media they consume. You do need to be able to customise access to suit their age. You also want to cut down the amount of time they spend online. This isn’t easily policed and parents all over the world can relate to the ‘I hate you’ or the ‘You’re the worst parent EVER’ when you take away the digital device, turn off the TV or close the laptop screen.
Two solutions tick both these boxes. They aren’t perfect, of course, and each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but both offer you plenty of support. You can select the product that best suits your needs, the ages of your children, their online habits and all the other quirks that make you and your family, well, you.
You can use both products, but some of the features overlap and this can cause more admin for you on setup.Mobicip
The first product is an app called Mobicip that costs around $40 a year to cover five devices and there are packages that include more devices. The app can be purchased for both Apple and Android devices on the relevant stores and is easy to download and use. It has features such as Limit Screen Time, Block Websites, Location Tracker, Supervise Videos, Advanced Internet Filtering, Check Browsing History, and Invite Co-Parent. They also supply an app that supports Microsoft Windows and Apple Macs.
The Mobocip website has plenty of information about the product and what it can do so take a look if you want more in-depth insight. This app really stands out because you can limit app time, it simply removes the icons from the screen until the next day. It’s really good at just closing down the fun when it’s time. It also allows for the devices to remain protected both on your network and on other networks, ensuring kids remain safe at all times.
The app falls short because it can’t limit or control streaming on a TV. Smart TVs all come with Netflix and other similar applications that can eat up a child’s time. So, enter Circle, the next solution worth investing into for your kids.Circle
Circle is a hardware solution that plugs into your router and you then manage it using an app. It is also supported by both iOS and Android, and is even integrated into some Net gear routers. If you already have a Netgear product, you can follow this
to confirm if your product is supported and then simply activate the solution – you won’t need to purchase a separate device. You can purchase Circle from Meet Circle and it will cost you around R1300 including delivery to South Africa.
This solution will manage all the devices in your home network and they offer a subscription that will allow you to buy Circle Go that will cover an extra 10 devices not situated on your home network. Circle can manage streaming time on the Smart TV and keeps kids away from the screen.
Hopefully this goes a long way towards helping you build some online defences to protect your kids, there are still plenty more steps to take, but these are easy and a great way forward. Take a look at our next article
that helps you to boost your Wi-Fi signal and home network performance for when you want to watch Netflix…