Remember Reena, from my previous blog, who was so concerned about monitoring her son Veer online without antagonizing him? She just loved the idea of setting up parental controls that allowed her to mentor Veer and then gradually giving him more freedom online, as he started showing a sense of maturity and responsibility.
Reena turned up again, very soon, within a few days in fact. She had a cousin of hers in tow.
“I have been singing praises about the parental control feature to my cousin. She has two ultra-geek tweens at home. Can you guide us on how to set up this feature on our devices?”
“With pleasure Reena. It’s no problem at all. All you need is some basic computer operation knowledge, and then you can help protect your child’s online safety.”
“But there is one thing you must do first, and that is to inform your children what you are about to do and why. Supervising with their full knowledge is always advisable, otherwise children will think you don’t trust them and are spying on them. So, talk to them about the need for cyber safety, why you worry about meeting strangers online and how you would like to keep an eye on their digital life, just like you do offline.”
Both Reena and her cousin agreed that it was the best way to approach.
“Well then, let’s get started on this. I will take you through this step-by-step.”
STEP 1: Create Individual Windows User Account
Go to your Windows settings and create an individual user ID for each user at home. If there is a general ID for all, then kids will never log in with their own. Even parents should have their separate IDs. Keep your passwords secret though.
STEP 2: Create Admin password
Open your comprehensive security product. You will find the icon usually at the bottom right of your screen. Then, look for parental controls tab and click on it. (Click where the hand icon is.)
Select Parental Controls, then click the Parental Controls link.
In the Administrator Password section, click Set.
Enter and re-enter your password to confirm it.
Type a password hint in the Enter Password Hint fields, and click next.
In the confirmation dialog box, click OK.
“Both of you must keep in mind that your kids should not know your admin password. Only the admin can make changes to the settings using this password. So, if your child finds out the password, they can easily change settings to their account.”
STEP 3: Set up Protection for Specific Child User:
Click on the Protect button next to a name.
Select the age range for the specified user account. Your options are:
- Under 5 years
- 6 – 8 years
- 9 – 12 years
- 13 – 15 years
- 16 – 18 years
The protection and blocking obviously differs for each age group. If you want to manually define allowed and blocked website names, then select Custom.
After you finish making your selection, click on done.
Now go to Optional Settings.
Note that the option to Block websites that contain potentially inappropriate images or language from appearing in your user’s search results is selected by default.
Type URLs and mark them as Allow or Block for additional protection.
Next select Online Schedule.
See the grid? It allows you to set time limits in intervals of thirty minutes. You can select by day and hour and plan when each child can go online using this.
- Green portions of the grid represent the days and times during which the user can access the Internet.
- White portions of the grid represent the days and times during which access is denied.
Select the times and days you want to specifically allow your child to access the web. This means, if a child tries to access the net during a prohibited period, McAfee notifies them that they cannot do so. They will get this message:
“And you are done!”
“Remember Reena, these settings are only there for the safety of your child. It is just like how you make him wear a helmet and knee caps when he goes for skating. It is an online safety measure. Also, it prevents children from becoming net addicts and/or accidentally stumbling upon inappropriate content. As they grow older and wiser, you can simply allow more websites and longer net hours as appropriate for the child.”
Readers, to recap:
- Talk to your child first and explain everything
- Listen to their concerns and clarify that you love and trust them
- Decrease controls as they grow up and show maturity
- Use incidents and reports and talking points for safe digital behaviour
You can also watch this YouTube video tutorial.
Stay safe online!!