Securing Your Child’s Online Experience

This term is used quite a bit in cyber security, it is the use of multiple security principles and countermeasures to protect information and assets within a organization. I think this same thought can be used for parents, we can use multiple tiered counter measures to help secure our kids safety online. Let’s start at the perimeter of our home’s Internet connection, the Router that was provided by your Internet provider. One way to keep all the devices safe is to use a Kid friendly DNS service, such as Open DNS’s parental control offering, basically we setup the OpenDNS servers on our router, and the settings will be effective for every device in our network, such as computers, tablets, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii etc.


This service will also block adult Web sites without messy configuration changes. Let’s move further down the chain. For our computers, we definitely want to use a “smarter browser” such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and add key free plugins that will block any inappropriate sites to our kids. If your home computer is a Mac or Windows, create a separate account for your kids, and enable parental controls on that account, this way you can limit the time they spend on the Internet, filter a list of words you do not want them to see, filter the sites that your kids can visit and a lot more. For personal devices such as iPads and android tablets, turn on restrictions on the devices so you can disable safari and YouTube, turn off app downloads, and turn off In-App purchases.


And incase you do need to install a particular app for your kids, install them via iTunes instead of on the device. On a android tablet or phone, I generally use a restricted profile (kitkat 4.4) or “Kid’s Shell – safe launcher” and create a separate account for my son, this way I can add specific apps that I want him to have access to and remove any that are not suited such as settings, notifications or any social media applications. Another really solid application that I rely on is called Mobcip, It is known as a parental software for all mobile devices as well as our computers. We create user profiles for our kids using their online interface and a management login that we use. We can monitor what apps are being used the most, view browsing history, set time limits, and custom filters, it is a really robust piece of software.


I hope these quick tips help you childproof your devices and computers, please check out other Cyber Security Tips for Parents

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Photo Courtesy of: Kheinz