Remotely Controlling Children’s Internet Use
There are an increasing number of methods and digital products that now enable adults to control and monitor what their children get up to online.
This blog focuses on how adults can block their child’s internet access at key points in the day such as bedtime.
In our house we have tried, unsuccessfully at times, to remember to remove all our children’s digital devices from their bedrooms at bedtime; or on ‘no screen days.’ As our kids are getting older and we become increasingly distracted with balancing family and working life this has proved increasingly difficult.
But ……. hooray…. we have found a solution which has dramatically replaced my forgetfulness and reduced rows at bedtime!
The app ‘Our Pact’ gives parents the ability to block their children’s internet and applications on their devices and it’s free to download from iTunes.
You can currently register on the Our Pact website for the Android version.
I have installed it on all the iOS devices our children use. It was easy.
First download it onto your iOS phone/iPad and register. The app then tells you how to install it onto other iOS devices. You just have to log onto the Our Pact website on Safari and download it. You then go back to your iPhone and add each device. There you will find a ‘Current Schedule’ ‘Grant Access’ or ‘Block Access’ tab where you can control their access.
The one drawback is that, due to an iOS restriction, after your child’s device returns to an unblocked state, their apps will be found removed from their pre-arranged folders in alphabetical order. This can be frustrating for those who have taken the time to personally organise their apps. Our Pact have resolved this problem with another app ‘Prestige’ which you also need to download onto their device to protect this from happening.
If BT are your internet service provider then they run a similar scheme called Access Control. BT Access Control lets you set times when certain devices on the home network can’t connect to the internet. But Our Pact enables you to control your children’s internet access regardless of where they are.
Another new product, currently available to pre-order, is Luma, described as ‘the perfect personalised Wifi network for everyone’. It connects via a private mesh network with other Lumas, thereby creating a massive hot spot around the house. It’s not cheap at £165 for three or £66 for one, but it offers user and parental controls so you can shut down certain devices at certain times.
It’s reassuring to know there are products out there to help us to keep our kids safe as we are all living online.
Written by: Julia Bateson