Homepage: Parental Controls for Mobiles, Apps, Consoles, and PCs

PARENTS: Discover how to safeguard your children by setting up mobile phones, tablets, routers, gaming consoles, computers, games, and apps.

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On the site «Kids and Media» we give information and tips for fresh immigrants and language minorities in Norway.

Settings include access to websites, spending money, gaming time, and more. While these settings aren’t foolproof, they should be complemented with trust and open communication.

With numerous devices and apps to inspect, start with three today and gradually review three more on another day.

Securing safety settings for gaming consoles:

Manage gaming time, set restrictions for games with higher age limits, control chat features, and monitor and control in-game purchases.

Safer settings for popular apps and games

Our reviews often include specific tips on settings:

Safer settings on PC with Microsoft

Block inappropriate websites, set screen time limits, and prevent children from installing games, apps, and programs without your permission.
Smart settings for computers running Microsoft

Securing iPad and iPhone

The iOS operating system on Apple’s mobile devices offers a range of features to control purchases, screen time, access to apps with age restrictions, and privacy settings.

The menu option «Screen Time» is beneficial to explore. Use a passcode to lock these settings. Here, you can:

  • Limit spending.
  • Disable app downloads.
  • Block unwanted apps, such as open browsers.
  • Monitor and control screen time.
  • Adjust privacy settings.

Set limits for screen time, for example:

  • Determine a daily maximum screen time, also for individual app categories.
  • Specify that the tablet should not function during certain periods, such as bedtime or during meals.

Considering an Apple ID for your child?

To create a separate Apple ID in the child’s name, the child must be 13 years old. However, it is possible to create a user account for children. With Apple Family Sharing, a parent can be the administrator of a family group that can share apps and content (you can then create an Apple ID for children under 13 years old). Parents can also approve all purchases.

Learn more about Family Sharing:
Apple: Family Sharing (external link)
Article: Family Sharing with iPhone and iPad

Parents can also manage the child’s device from their own Apple device. This enables the creation of a «child user» on the child’s mobile device, which can be overseen and administered from the parent’s mobile device.

How to set up iPads and iPhones for kids

Securing phones and tablets on Android (Google)

Google’s Android operating system, adopted by a range of mobile phone and tablet manufacturers, often comes with unique customizations and extensions. As a result, there are variations in settings and setup procedures across different models.

For the best configuration, it’s worthwhile to spend some time navigating through the specific menu options of your purchased phone.

Creating a user account:
To make a user account on an Android phone, you must have a Google account. According to Google’s rules, you should be 13 to create an account. However, Google offers solutions that let parents create user accounts for their children. This can be done using the Family Link app or on Google’s website.

Using this solution, parents can oversee screen time, passwords, apps, and content filters for their child. Just like in iOS, Google also lets you form a family group. As the family administrator, you can:

  • Manage your family group.
  • Create Google Accounts for other children in your family.
  • Add another parent to help manage your kids’ accounts.
  • Enter a payment method and approve or deny purchases that children make on their own phones.

Learn more about choosing right settings on your Android device: How to set up tablets and mobiles for children

Other safer settings and layouts

Make your phone less intrusive

The mobile phone can easily become time-consuming with constant pings and notifications. Instead of letting your mobile phone decide when your children should give it attention, take control by turning off notifications from bothersome apps and setting individual time limits. Read our eight tips to make your phone less intrusive.

Porn Filters

Surveys show that many children have viewed pornography.

You can read more about this in the Norwegian Media Authority’s  survey “Children and Media 2020”, and in the international survey EU Kids Online.

Parents may have various reasons for restricting access to pornography, such as concerns that it may give children a distorted view of sexuality. The same advice is consistently provided by experts regarding children and the topic of sexuality: start early by discussing this with your children.

It’s essential to be aware that no filters can completely prevent exposure to everything one doesn’t want children to see, and there are always ways to bypass restrictions. However, there are numerous settings and options available to limit access to pornographic material.

Read more about useful settings here: How to protect children from pornography

Safer settings on YouTube

Check our dedicated page about YouTube: Everything parents need to know about YouTube

Do you have children who upload and make YouTube videos? Read helpful advice: Here are some tips for settings before your child starts their own YouTube channel.

YouTube Kids

With the YouTube Kids app, you can control what videos your children can watch on YouTube.
Review of the app YouTube Kids
How to set up YouTube Kids for different children

If you don’t use the YouTube Kids app, you can restrict content on the YouTube website. Link to Google’s page on how to restrict content on YouTube.

Create a filter with a Home Box

Internet use at home can also be controlled via a wireless router. With this box, you can manage all devices in your home.

School filter

Schools have a duty to prevent seriously harmful content from appearing on students’ screens. In practice, schools must install filters. Read more here: School filters.

Also, find out what parents can sometimes do with school tablets.

Bank cards in games

Are you worried that your children might make purchases in games and apps without you as a parent having control over them? Here’s how to prevent children from emptying bank cards in games. We have specific tips on settings related to spending.

Children have an increasing right to privacy

Some adults may become control freaks, closely monitoring everything their children do online. However, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children’s Act state that children have the right to privacy. At the same time, they are also entitled to protection and guidance. Some links:
Is it okay to peek into your child’s mobile device?
Are you breaching your children’s right to privacy?
Over-control may lead to distrust

Webinars on Safer Settings

You can also purchase recordings of our webinars about safer settings. Or, check here if we have an upcoming webinar on exactly what you are curious about.

 Illustration photo:
(This article was originally published in Norwegian on 23.08.2019  and has been updated later. Translation: Ratan Samadder)