Allow parent devices to be used, rather than assigning devices to kids (important for families who don’t/haven’t got a device just for the kids)
Give parents reporting on usage history with as much detail as possible
And most important: Be bloody easy to install and manage
Communicating effectively with your kids
Technology products and services that you can setup yourself
I’ve been running my own technology business since 2003 with my business partner, Lucas Hofmann. Together we’ve built a widely respected IT outsourcing & cyber-security company, Rock IT, that service high performing businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
So you’d think, with my background in cybersecurity, that I’d have it all worked out when it came time for my kids to go online? In reality it’s proving quite difficult to control how my kids use devices.
Prior to the kids starting school it seemed pretty easy. Occasionally we’d give the kids an iPad for some quiet time or if we were travelling on a plane. As they couldn’t read prior to school, they were limited to pre-installed apps such as the ABC for Kids app or any games we downloaded.
Once they could read, however, things got tricky.
As the kids were using my iPad, I was logged into YouTube. I could work out pretty quickly what my son had been watching as I was suddenly being served up recommended videos of “T-Rex vs Velociraptor”, rather than my normal list of guitar tutorials and gardening how-to’s (yep, totally exciting!).
The problem with YouTube is twofold:
Check out this interesting article “Why I’m terrified of YouTube“
With the introduction of web browsers to their world, it was then possible for kids to search whatever they wanted. Whilst I did learn about the biggest hole that mankind has ever made, there were also a bunch of searches in my history that left me a little bewildered… such as Animals pooping.
You get the idea.
I don’t want to hide my kids from the internet because it’s going to be a part of their lives no matter what.
However, in the same way that I don’t want to drop them off at the local shopping centre by themselves, I want to make sure that there are boundaries that I control.
Because I’m responsible for them. Some people may argue that this is censorship, however it’s simply guardianship.
I’m responsible for not only the physical well-being of my children, but also their mental and emotional well being. I want them to grow into strong, loving and happy adults – and based on what I believe is true, that’s achieved by establishing boundaries and trust.
And there we find the two parts to dealing with this problem:
I hope you find this site useful and easy to implement at home. There’s no silver bullet, but with some guidance from you and a little bit of tech-wizardry you’ll be better placed than you are now.