**Graphic sexual images are below! They are included because I think we need to understand the reality of what our kids have easy access to.
For the last two years I've been fighting the battle to keep my kids safe on the internet. It can be so frustrating! I've tried a multitude of different safety programs and applications to protect them and found none of them competent. We are now switching to a plan of layered protection. It consists of putting filtering software over our home internet connection, setting age filters with our cell phone company, installing filtering/monitoring applications on our devices and setting up security settings on our online accounts.
First, let me say that none of this is 100% fool proof with a determined child. It needs to be followed up with random checks of the devices and household rules on how and where these devices are used.
I think I am going to be an internet genius by the time all these kids are grown.
I wanted to share some of the resources I am using and how to use them.
I am specifically working with android devices but a lot of this can be applied to your PC or Apple devices. Everything I am using is FREE!
To use this stuff successfully you'll need to set up a Google account. It can probably be done with other services, but Google is what I use so it's what I've learned.
When you set up your child's phone or tablet, set it up with your Google account, not your child's account. That will keep it so that the safety setting can't be tampered with.
(If your child is browsing online on a PC with their personal Google email open, you will have to keep in mind it uses their personal setting. Make sure they are set up and that you have the passwords.)
To start, I want to show you a before and after to this quick safety fix. I'm not blocking out the graphic images on the thumbnails because I think it's important to understand exactly what is on Youtube.
I am doing a search that I think any 12 year old kid would try: "Sex Video"
This is what happens with safety mode off:
Notice the difference. Safety mode is not perfect, but it seriously helps. I clicked on a few of the videos that still come up and I think they would seriously disappoint a kid looking for sex videos, especially compared to the previous version.
Make sure that you've created a Youtube account that is linked to your Google account. (Use your Google email address.)
To set up Youtube on safety mode, log into Youtube on your PC. At the very bottom of the page you will see the button to turn the safety on. See picture.
Keep in mind that your child can turn this off if they think of it, so you need to check it periodically to make sure they have left it alone.
Make sure this is the Youtube account that is logged in on the device your child uses. Check the built in app and the browser. (There may be more than one browser.)
If you are turning on "safety" directly on the tablet, you can find the settings by clicking on the 3 little dots in the corner, as seen below. (On our device anyway.)
This is just a start. I am going to write a couple follow up posts with setting up the security software I am using.
I am also going to do some helpful Google tools that are pretty cool for keeping your kids safe. (This is why I say to set up a Google account, it will not disappoint!)
Everything I am using is FREE!
Let's start a conversation! Please feel free to contact me if you run in to problems with this, I will do my best to get back to you and help if I can.