Parenting / 13 March, 2019 / Leo Bamford
I have been wanting to safeguard my devices so that my children can use them safely for a long time and I have hit a brick wall. With this latest scare from the MOMO Challenge, I am making it an absolute mission and need some help.
My children want screen time and I take on board all the experts’ advice. For example, keep the computer in a family room, but I have three children and it’s just not realistic for me to be hovering behind them watching their every move.
Your devices constantly want to connect to the internet; they want to update, they want to share to iCloud, I could go on and on. I want to be able to ring fence them, but it seems to be impossible.
One example, my son listens to story tapes at night on my iPod. I have hidden Safari as far back as I can, but my son, who is not even ten, is far more tech savvy than me and can find it within seconds, giving him access to anything he wants and in particular, things that he may have heard about in the playground.
When I was a child, my parents used to look at the rating of a movie before letting me watch it and if you went to a cinema, you wouldn’t be allowed in if you weren’t the right age. The internet has broken this and I blame the devices we use!
I really think that they should make it easy to select proper parental controls. “Family share” might help, but I am talking about safety and making this easier for us, the parent. Everyone seems to have these brilliant looking parental controls but it’s not as straight forward as it should be. I spent hours last night watching online safety tutorials to no avail.
I am literally begging you, the Big 4 and I know there are many more, but Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon, why is there no simple way? You tell us you’re spending billions protecting our personal information, but why are you not protecting our children?
It may seem naïve because as soon as our children leave our side, they have access to other children, who might not have safety controls, but surely there should be a simple way, a simple age rating switch! I would love to be able to log onto my computer and input my children’s ages, so that when they’re using any particular device, they are unable to access inappropriate material.
This is a subject I have been trying to tackle for My Baba readers and more recently, due to my son’s age, myself and I would love some advice. I have been speaking to some of the biggest experts over the past few weeks and they all seem to have the same thoughts. They say there are too many different devices and there is no simple way. There seem to be some really interesting apps out there to help give parents a solution to these risks including cyber bullying, pro anorexia, sexting. The list could go on but why are the companies who supply these devices not helping us? The experts’ main advice is to teach your child how to be safe online, but we have all been teenagers and I know what I would have done if my headmistress told me not to look at something.
This must be a challenge for all parents out there, and I am just asking for help. On one final note, if any of you have Alexa at home, try asking Alexa “Alexa, show me porn”.