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AIBU to ask how to stop my children’s internet access?

21 replies

Poorpigletsrevenge · 13/04/2021 19:04

I’ve upgraded my laptop and now have 2 spare laptops to give to my children (DS9 and DD11).

I want to lock down both machines so they can’t access anything age inappropriate but can still use Google, YouTube etc. (But only child friendly parts).

Is there a tool or paid for service I can use? I’d really appreciate some suggestions as I can’t figure it out.

Also AIBU to want to restrict their access when I know their friends probably have unrestricted machines?

OP posts:
Poorpigletsrevenge · 13/04/2021 19:15

Also both are Microsoft machines, not Macs, if that is relevant.

OP posts:
MrsTulipTattsyrup · 13/04/2021 19:15

I don’t have children so haven’t had to do this, but how about googling to see if Which? has one of their simple guides?

1Morewineplease · 13/04/2021 19:17

I agree. 'Which' have loads of online guides to protecting you and your children's online access.

Poorpigletsrevenge · 13/04/2021 19:24

Thank you, I’ll have a look at Which.

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LucysSkyDiamonds · 13/04/2021 19:24

We use Google family link which means apps must be approved by the parent account and access can be set/timed/turned on or off from the prent account. Kids are 9&11 so we're still slightly more tech savvy than them...

OolieMacdoolie · 13/04/2021 19:25

It’s very unlikely their friends have unrestricted machines - most parents apply parental controls or supervise their children’s time on the internet.

There’s loads of advice on the internet about this - have a google and see which service looks like it will work best for you.

NotOnMute · 13/04/2021 19:26

You can google for Microsoft parental controls and net nanny software, plus you’ll want something that filters what they can access through your router, too. None of this is perfect, so you need multiple layers of security so if something slips through one, it still might be caught by another - that’s why ideally you have all three.

As a starting point, I’d google setting up kids accounts on a Microsoft laptop. Then do a comparison of net nanny software (Qustudio is the type of thing I mean), pick one and install it. Make sure it’s installed on any other devices (phones, tablets) they have as well. Then have a look at the guidance for your router.

There are some limitations to this, for example you can have YouTube allowed or not, there isn’t any way of allowing only child suitable stuff, but it should cut out most porn, violence etc. But of course you’ll need a continuing conversation about what they might see, who they might be contacted by, things to look out for.

As you can probably tell, I think YANBU to restrict their internet access. Just as I wouldn’t let a teenage learner driver on to a busy dual carriageway for their first lesson but would keep them to the quiet roads until they had some idea what they were doing, I’m not letting a child on to the internet with no controls over what they can see and who can contact them.

Findahouse21 · 13/04/2021 19:29

The nspcc and o2 have a helpline that will talk you through parental controls

Poorpigletsrevenge · 13/04/2021 19:32

@LucysSkyDiamonds I think mine are becoming more tech savvy than me, or it will only be a year or so until they are.

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Poorpigletsrevenge · 13/04/2021 19:37

Thanks @NotOnMute that’s really helpful.

So, we will set up the kids accounts on Microsoft.

I’ll call my internet provider and get it all switched to restricted.

I’ll look at blocker apps in more details.

From the Googling I did earlier, and as you said, I can either totally block a site or fully allow it. This is annoying, as I want to let them use Google, YouTube etc, but have it block any unsuitable results. But I can’t find anything that does this (or that I understand).

It’s horribly confusing if you’re not very technical. Confused

OP posts:
NotOnMute · 13/04/2021 19:56

Yes, it is tricky with things like YouTube and apps - they can (if you allow them to be installed) bypass net nanny software. So it’s important to make sure that you have to give approval for a child to get apps or other downloads, and that you check the apps out first (commonsense media or UK safer internet will have little reviews, which are helpful).

On YouTube specifically, it’s a pain as school uses it a lot. So I have my own tablet and if they need to look at something on YouTube for schoolwork they ask me, I thumbprint my tablet, they watch it then give me back the device. It’s clunky, but doable. The ideal would be that school didn’t use YouTube links, but I wasn’t going to have that conversation mid pandemic.

Hidinginstaircupboard · 13/04/2021 19:59

Google family link works brilliantly in android mobiles but not so much on laptops

It's free and I love that I can set time limits in my daughter on her mobile and that she has to get me to agree her apps. She uses her own Google account on laptop so that might be the issue foe me, however I regularly admin block her ( child pin login ) in our shared laptop if she oversteps what we've agreed . I set up Google family link when she was 11 before she hit 13 and if she tries to remove it from her phone without my agreement her whole phone locks down!

Hidinginstaircupboard · 13/04/2021 20:06

I love my DD(13 yo) and she often says a sheepish apology if I lock laptop or block her phone as she won't get off it when called for dinner - I'm quite understanding and negotiate everything with her so it's all about the agreements you make

I had to use this - it lets you set so many limits if you want but beat in mind that internet searches can bypass even best of security on nsfw and security settings so you have to keep an eye on younger ones and look at internet search history abs talk safety - they get 24 hour ban each time mine breach my safety rules or longer if they "don't get it"

As I said I'm lovely and an overly negotiating parent as I have teens who would quite easily take me down physically if they feel - in their human rights over entitlement - that I'm - in their view - unreasonable

Start as you mean to go on and maybe get an internet broadband blocker (app in your phone for WiFi connections) that can select out individual devices if late night access to devices becomes a problem

I wish I had been less negotiating and understanding when they were still young and more, devices out of bedrooms to charge overnight etc ... that's my biggest regret

theDudesmummy · 21/05/2021 10:57

I have discovered a very good parental control app for Android phones, it is called Famisafe. Unlike all the others I have tried, it allows you to block specfic YouTube channels, and you can monitor things in detail (including getting alerts if WhatsApp messages or searches have specific words in them).

It doesn't work as well on a computer, the YouTube blocker does not function there because you are on internet YouTube, not the YouTube app.

theDudesmummy · 21/05/2021 10:57

It also allows time limits/schedules to be set.

nosyupnorth · 21/05/2021 11:26

filtering software can be useful but please don't rely on it - many smaller sites will slip past it and can inappropriate user generated content on bigger sites like youtube where most content is only retroactively moderated. Similarly, I have experienced perfectly innocuous sites getting caught in these filters so don't assume the worst if you kids are asking to view blocked web content.
The filter can assist but it should only be used as part of a wider approach of supervision and discussion plus an awareness that as they get older they may be exposed to inappropriate content through other sources and you need to be prepared for that and make sure they have enough awareness to deal with it - especially 11 year old who could well see things on friends computers/phones ect

theDudesmummy · 21/05/2021 15:55

Oh I absolutely agree. You can't really on just the software. There are many videos on YouTube, for example, which pretend to be kids cartoons and which are actually rather nasty (not sexual but just disturbing or modelling bad behaviouirs). The software doesn't pick them up. But with Famisafe you can see every single video he has watched, and block any channels, which I do like.

MelissaVonStressel · 21/05/2021 16:08

We have mesh units which extend the WiFi around the house but also allow me to set up controls. I can see which individual sites the kids are on, and block them. I can set general blocks by type of site like no SM or gaming or downloads. Then I can also set screen limits and bedtimes - by device or by person. It works for anything connected to the Internet so for example DS has his phone, tablet, xbox and I can control all of those together or individually. I can also just pause the whole Internet Grin It's the TP Deco, how many units you need depend on size of house.

VeganVeal · 21/05/2021 16:09

You'd be better off asking your kids to set it up for you!!!! TBH it wont be long before they learn how to navigate around any filters as much as you think they cant

Bathplug · 21/05/2021 16:12

Qustodio software will block most, if not all dubious searches.

Shorthairlady · 21/05/2021 16:32

Google family link has been very good so far. The threat of locking devices, no bonus time etc. has been quite an incentive for good behaviour Wink

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