Menu

How to kid-proof your tech

Cell phone and padlock as concept

Sometimes technology and children just don’t mix.

Whether it’s inappropriate content on the internet or kids’ inability to treat expensive devices with care, there are heaps of reasons why you might be afraid of your kids using your electronics.

However, you don’t have to totally cut them off.

Here are some tips on how to keep electronics safe for children and allow them to enjoy the benefits of your devices and their connectivity.

Set a lock code or password

Lock codes and passwords have become commonplace for most devices these days, especially when it comes to smartphones and tablets. Having a simple code or password that your kids can’t figure out is the easiest way to keep them from accessing your tech. For extra safety, consider changing it every few months in case the little ones secretly peak over your shoulder while you punch it in.

child-1183465_640

Set up their own profile

Computers and the internet are important tools in connecting children to the outside world and helping them learn. So it’s a bad idea to keep your kids from using the computer or other smart devices entirely, even if you are worried about safety. Instead, set up a separate profile for your kids on your shared home computer. This allows you to control what programs and parts of the internet they can access and keeps your business separate from theirs, eliminating the possibility of them ruining hours of work or other important documents.

kid compy

Become familiar with filtering options

Filtering controls can be a parent’s best friend when it comes to childproofing tech. Most devices and operating systems let you set controls on a variety of things, including:

  • What programs children can access
  • What websites they can visit
  • What songs and movies they can play
  • How much time they are allowed to spend online

Spam filter concept word cloud background

Set email controls

This goes hand in hand with filtering options. One of the best (and worst) things about the internet is that almost anybody can use it to do almost anything, including sending malicious, inappropriate emails to people that don’t want them. If you don’t think a spam folder or filter is enough online protection for your child, you can actually restrict the email addresses from which they can receive messages to ones that you have specifically approved.

email

Do some research

Getting more information about your child’s browsing habits can help you tailor your filtering and look for specific methods to childproof your tech. Look at search and download histories on your devices to stay on top of what your kids look for while online. If there are sites that you think are not good for your children, block them so they cannot access them.

kids-playing-1253096_640

Equip your tech with protective gear

Youngsters aren’t always the most careful bunch. Clumsy kids have been known to knock things over and drop breakable items. Your smartphone or tablet that you accidentally left out on the counter of coffee table might be next. To guard against this possibility, buy a case or screen guard for your device. While they can’t totally childproof your products, these protective measures can prolong your tech’s life in many cases.

children-learning-888892_640

Photo credit:

Peter Ciz

lculig

Lars Ploughmann

Paurlan

15 comments

  1. Deborah Boffa says:

    We have an iinet Boblite router. I have tried to set parental controls and block various websites on the router. However, the kids are still able to access the sites. The only control I have is the time schedule. I have all the kids gear on fixed IPs in a consecutive range, then schedule them on and off. Trouble is, we all have so many devices now I am running out of fixed IP slots on the modem. I also have a HSC student who needs more access than her 9 year old sibling. Any advice?

  2. Richard says:

    the best solution to protect your family is make use of OpenDNS

  3. Angelo says:

    I have signed myself up for Open DNS free account Deborah, and used this to set content filtering to block most of the undesirable sites across all devices.

    You might want to investigate that path. It costs nothing for home use

  4. Duncan says:

    Setting up their own profile is a good idea, but I would say it only lessens the chance of them losing your work. My son, who was 5 at the time, managed to start the factory reset on our laptop. I have no idea how he managed it as I later read up how to do it and it was a very specific and timed key press you had to do and then click various boxes to confirm. Needless to say I hadn’t backed up our docs lately and we lost a lot of them. The factory reset was in progress when I found out, so I force powered off the laptop, pulled out the hard drive and recovered a few things. I know it should go without saying, but BACK-UP your stuff folks even if you use separate profiles.

  5. Victoria says:

    This article fails to mention one feature that would be very useful to Parents. Under filtering controls the article fails to mention filtering wifi access completely. My BoB2 allows one timed internet schedule rule a day to block access to an individual IP address or a chronological string once a day on a schedule. This feature is very useful to parents as it allows me to shut off my kids wifi access at bedtime. However it falls over because you can only set one rule a day. So I set it from 7:30pm to midnight. This is not sufficient as I then want to carry the rule through till morning the next day. But if I do this then the following day my rule is 00:00 to 6:30am therefore stopping me from having the rule again that night. I have a work around but it’s not ideal. iiNet really need to allow at least two internet schedule rules per day if not more. Saying that many systems don’t offer this option at all. Or if they do it’s an all or nothing shut off.

    As a parent the ability to shut off wifi access to specific devices only, over night is invaluable. If you knew that your kids can access the Internet from their devices under the covers at bedtime or in the middle of the night it would be fantastic.

  6. Tom says:

    Look at Parent Power. There is a charge but it is so worth it.

  7. Andrew Constantino says:

    Hi, we have iinet NBN at home, I would like to control our modem/router.
    I would like to turn off internet at a particular time, and turn on at another.
    I have not have any of my profiles, passwords etc.
    Except for my modem id and password.
    Thanks
    Andrew

  8. John says:

    Can I set router based parental controls on the TG-789? I am keen to restrict my kids’ access to inappropriate content on their many devices.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi John,

      Yes you can!

      There is a facility in the TG-789’s configurations pages that allows you to block sites or IP addresses and set when they are not able to be viewed.

      – Leo

  9. Chris says:

    Like most parents, I’m in the same boat as John and Victoria.

    iiNet’s attitude to family safety and internet control is totally irresponsible. As parents, we have not been given basic controls to firewall certain websites from our ISP network. This is something the iiNet should be providing. We should not need to go to a 3rd unkown party.

    As switched on Parents of ~10year olds, we know the sites to block. Because of a large number of internet acciable devices in the home these days – blocking needs to be on the ISP account side (both NBN and Mobile Broadband).

    Simple firewall control in the toolbox or modem side that can block entirely – or during time limits would be a step in the right direction.

    Today I was trying to block a well known adware website nextoptim.com from our home network. This website runs a script to install fake anti virus – something iiNet should block from all their networks – but no. After trying in both toolbox and modem, I could not see a way to block this website domain from our isp network.

    Tell me exactly where on the iiNet issued Technicolour TG-789 version 16.3 is the page to block websites? (Blocking IP’s is a waste of time as they change regularly – we need to block domain addresses). My other modems did this easily.

    iiNet should be writing an informative page on the tools they have provided for Parents
    (if any) – instead of this rubbish! A page on how to block websites on the modems that they issue homes would be of use.

    If iiNet does not have these basic tools – then you have to question why not.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the feedback! This is something we can absolutely pass on to the relevant teams to be addressed.

      You can establish rules in the TG-789 to block or restrict access to certain sites. Here’s how:

      * Browse into the TG789’s main page.
      * Click on the Time Of Day box.
      * Click on “Add New Rule”
      * In the boxes below, enter the Hostname, whether you want access Allowed or Blocked, the Start & Stop times and what days of the week you want the rules to run.

      Hope that helps!

      – Leo

  10. Mark McClan says:

    @ Leo Yarnold.
    Sorry, but this does not restrict sites.
    It only allows the entering of MAC addresses to block/allow an entire device connecting at certain times and days.
    It is all it will allow me to enter anyway.

Leave a Reply to Victoria Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Menu

Search