How can Parents Control their kids from Android Mobile?

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What are parental controls?

Parental controls are tools and software that allow parents to set controls on their children’s internet use. They are a great way of helping prevent children from the accessing of unsuitable content online.

Internet Matters has developed a web app that allows you to create a personalized check list for setting parental controls in your home and on your family’s devices. This   advice and help on setting the controls for your home broadband and the mobile devices your family may use, including how-to videos and step-by-step guides. 

Types of controls

Talk of ‘controls’ can sometimes be full of confusing. In essence, there are 3 types that parents need to be aware of:

  • Network level controls are set on the router or hub and apply to all devices connected to that router or hub (covering your whole household.)
  • Device level controls are set on the device itself, such as the smart phone, and will apply regardless of how and where the device is  the internet.
  • Application controls are set on the application or plat form that is being used. Examples of this would be the settings applied to YouTube or Google. Check they are set on each device which your child has access to.

What do they do?

There are many types of controls are available, and they allow you to do a number of different things, such as:

  • Filter and block any content that you don’t want your children to see, such as violence and pornography.
  • Restrict, what information is shared.
  • Set the time limits on how long children are online.
  • Control the time of day when children can access the internet.
  • Set the different profiles so that each family member has an access level that is appropriate to them.

Home broadband controls

Most internet providers like BT, Talk Talk, Sky, and Virgin Media offer free filters, giving you control over what internet content comes into your home. This means that any device that connects to your home broadband is subject to the controls that you have set on your home hub or router. These are sometimes referred to the whole home filters.

Internet-enabled devices

Computers, smartphones, and tablets in the UK are usually shipped with controls that are pre-set to restrict access to adult content, in-app purchasing and other content that you might not want your child to access. Check with your mobile provider to see.

‘All the major games Devices and Consoles come with controls’

Most games devices and consoles are internet-enabled, allowing users to surf the web, as well as in-game purchasing and chat with other online players. All the major games devices and consoles come with controls, while online gaming platforms such as Xbox Live have their own settings. Some allow you to set up the different profiles with different rights for each family member.

Search engines

It’s possible that children may sometimes come across things online which are inappropriate for their stage of development and age when they are browsing the internet. The main search engines allow you to set up filters, such as Google Safe Search & kiddle.co, that can help you block inappropriate or explicit images from your results. These filters are not 100% accurate, but they help you to avoid most adult content. You should also consider encouraging the use of child-friendly search engines such as Kiddle, Swiggle and Safe Search UK.

Entertainment Platforms

If you and your family access entertainment content via internet, you should also consider setting Controls on the platforms that you use. iTunes, YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Sky Go all have safety settings available. Each is different and some, such as Netflix, allow you to create the individual profiles with different control levels so that each family member only sees content that is appropriate to them.

Mobile networks

All mobile operator sallow you to set restrictions on what can be accessed via their networks. Most are automatically set to block 18+ content and require the account holder’s permission to give access. It is the worth checking with your mobile provider exactly what is and is not blocked, and if this applies to their pay-as-you go handsets as well as their pay monthly options. We do recommend that Controls are set on all mobile device itself as well as on the mobile network. Mobile network controls will not apply when the device is being used via any wi- fi connection.

So, what should you do?

Controls are not the single solution to staying safe online; talking to your children and encouraging responsible behavior is critical. However, controls are a vital first step to helping to protect your child online, and here other seven simple things you can do:

  1. Set up home broadband parental controls: make use of the controls on your home broadband.
  2. Set controls on your search engine: encourage your child always to use child-friendly search engines lock and activate the safe search settings on the browsers and platforms they use.
  3. Make sure every device is protected: controls should be installed on every device that your child uses: mobile phone, games consoles and tablet (both home and handheld).
  4. Privacy settings: activate the safety measures offered by different sites; social networking sites like Facebook have privacy settings that will help prevent your child seeing the unsuitable advertising.
  5. Block pop-ups: if you’re worried about your children accessing inappropriate content though accidentally clicking on adverts in pop-ups, the BBC Web wise has advice on how to stop these.
  6. Find good sites and agree on them as a family: by talking to your child about their interests you can help them to find suitable sites to visit and apps to use. Review these sites as they get the older.
  7. Manage their access and use: your child may be less likely to let you know they’re distressed by something they’ve seen online if they think you’ll take away their internet access from them but it may be appropriate to do this in some instances. Be aware of this when talking to your child, and let them know they can talk to you or a trusted adult whenever they need to.

Internet Matters has developed a web app that allows you to create a personalized checklist for setting parental controls on your family’s devices in home. The app also contains help and advice on the setting controls, including how-to videos and step-by-step guides. 

Check console parental control settings

The UK games regulator, VCS, has useful information on setting controls on most major game’s consoles.

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