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Taking Advantage of Parental Controls

Welcome Guest Blogger, Von Ralls, father to a tween girl, IT guru and owner of

“Dad, did you change the wifi password again?  My iPod won’t connect to the internet!”  This is something that I hear frequently from my 12 year old daughter who will be 13 in just a couple of weeks.  Of course, I do change the encryption key on our wireless router at home every once in a while just so I can make sure that I know what devices she has connected to the internet.  These days everything is connected to the internet.  Computers, televisions, cell phones, media players, iPods, gaming consoles; they are all connected to the internet.  Fortunately most devices have some sort of built in parental controls.  Some you may not even realize this is available, but have no fear because I am going to let you know about a couple of these built in controls so that you can start taking advantage of them.

First up is the iPod Touch or iPhone.  Both function basically the same way, and I see a lot of kids running around with them.  If you go into the Settings on the iPhone, under General->Restrictions, you will come to a screen that will allow you to turn on and off certain features of the device.  When you turn the restrictions on, it will ask you to enter a PIN number so that only you can modify these settings in the future. 

These settings allow you to filter out explicit music from the iPod, turn off web browsing with Safari, disable YouTube, and a few other options.  On my daughters iPod touch, I turned off Safari because I didn’t think there was any reason for her to be browsing the internet on her iPod, and if that is off, it cuts out the possibility of her seeing content on the internet that she doesn’t need to be seeing.  There are a lot of different settings to choose from, so take the time to look through them and decide if your child needs these options or not. 

Next, I have a lot of people ask me how they can control the time spent on the internet on their home computer.  Like the iPod above, Windows and Apple computers have built in controls that you can configure to let you decide what kind of internet access your kids have as well as how much time they spend on the computer.  If you have a Windows Vista or Windows 7 based computer, look under your control panel for “Parental Controls”.  If you have an Apple computer you can find the parental controls under “System Preferences”.  Take some time to go through these settings and decide what is best for your child. 

These are just a couple of things that you can do to start making sure you and your children are safe and comfortable with regards to the internet and technology in general.  We will get into some other things you can do in future articles as well. 

If you have any questions or even suggestions for future articles, send me an email at!   

Posted by Kristen Posey-Russell at 11:22 AM


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