I am going to be doing a series of how to protect your child from pornography, based on my experiences mothering 3 boys. Who now range 8-16 years old. Here is the post on iphones/fires, etc.
P**N in your Pocket
Without taking time to set up limitations (which is not “easy”) it is basically giving your son “porn in his pocket”. For real, like giving them access to pornography, which they can bring up to their bedroom in privacy and no real way of knowing what they are looking at.
There are some steps you can do to help prevent this potential pornography exposure to some extent.
Some of these things would be easier to set up when you give them the device, but we have had to go back and adjust some things for our boys and I will let you know how that went in a future post.
Web Browsing -
We took off safari and allowed NO web browsers on the itouch. So if the boys wanted to access the internet they would have to use the computer. Which had the appropriate restrictions set and managed. It is really challenging to do this on an iphone. NetNanny does have an app now, but I am not sure how it works and for us it was just easier to say no internet on the phone.
Downloading Apps/Music/Movies –
Only WE know the password. They can not purchase or install apps without us typing in the password. Our accounts are all linked together, so beware don’t have it do cloud installation, because if my DH buys something it will automatically download to the boys phones. Which is OK, but be AWARE!
Google Search App –
NOT good. Even if they don’t have a web browser on their phone, they can use this app to search. If they have this app or any searching App, they can do a search on inappropriate words and pictures will pop up.
You may think, my son would never look up something bad. The problem is other kids may say, “look up pretty kitty” or something innocuous looking and you would be amazed at the type of things that pop up. My boys have been told to look up things that lead to negative pictures from friends starting in 5th grade.
You Tube –
The videos you can access online are scary. Certainly not something you want your children to have access to without limitations. Delete any video apps!!!
WiFi access –
One way to limit their using apps that require wifi access is to have only you know the wifi password and they have to have you enter it to go on the wifi. So for instance Instagram, they have to have you enter the wifi code to access the internet so they can see the pictures and then when their time is up, they log off.
Or another great tool is http://beta.opendns.com/ Open DNS, is free. You can put some filters on it, though I also have NetNanny on computer, etc. One thing we like is you can set hours that specific devices can access the internet. So my 13 year old knows the code to login to the wifi, but at 9PM his device can’t access wifi. Open DNS shuts it down to his device.
Time Limits –
I am all about limiting screen time. My younger boys go to a Waldorf Inspired school and are not supposed to have any screen time during the school week. My 13 year old does get about 20 minutes of screen time during the week days, usually spent checking Instagram.
The devices are plugged into a specific spot in the kitchen at all times when they are not using them. He knows he can’t check instagram in morning before school. We agreed on that together when he saw how distracting it was and he wasn’t getting ready on time. Right after school he usually checks it and then puts it back on the charger. It isn’t in his pocket tempting him all the time. He will check it other times. He will also have his device to listen to music, etc. But if he isn’t using it, it is plugged in. This is very helpful!
Note*** I think that the Kindle Fire is a better choice for kids, because it has pretty good parental controls you can use. The idevices are not so great for parental control.
Here is a great webinar explaining how do set up some of these things!