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  • Kirra Pendergast

Parental Controls and Politics


This week, in the middle of his election campaign, the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison announced,


"Under a re-elected Morrison Government, tech companies will have 12 months to make it easier to set privacy and location settings, website blockers, filters, privacy and location settings, app store permissions, and screen time limits. If they fail to comply, the companies will be forced to do so under government regulations. Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the reforms as part of the Coalition’s policy on online child safety aimed at radically improving the power parents have over the way their children use their devices."


You can read the full article here: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/federal-election/scott-morrison-promises-stricter-parental-controls-for-smart-tech/news-story/d10b40b62b13a4f7037711ce348d6220

This was a big call by the PM. Whilst we 100% support it, we didn't hear or read the "how" this will actually be done. Just that he will if re-elected. What will happen if they don't? Is this just politicking parent fears? We need to realise that the whole of Australia has a smaller population than California. Will they actually listen to us? I hope so, but I also doubt it. So as parents we need to step up and understand what we don't.

All of the apps and devices we have ever come in contact with already have parental controls in place. People just don't have the time to look for them. So we are here to help you. Starting with Netflix and Youtube. You can access these through the link below.

We would love to hear what apps and devices you actually need help with and we will research, write them in an easy-to-understand way and publish them for you here.

NETFLIX

Netflix has easy-to-use parental controls, which will allow you to block specific movie or show titles, change the ratings of the titles your children are offered while watching Netflix, and you can even remove the title from the menu options altogether.

Setting up parental controls and blocking specific movie/show titles will take some of the work out of trying to keep on top of what your children are viewing and supervising their content.

To do this:

Go to Netflix.com on your device & sign in to your account.

Click the ‘manage profiles’ button and click on which profile you want to edit/restrict.

Click on the edit button under ‘Maturity Settings.’

Enter your Netflix password.

Set the maturity rating for the programs and films you want to allow in that profile. (G up to R18+)

Under ‘Title Restrictions,’ type in the movie’s name or show you wish to restrict or block and select the title from the drop-down menu.

The title will now be listed in red and will be blocked. You can unblock it by going back through steps 1-6 and clicking on the X to remove it from the blocked list.

Click ‘save,’ and the movie/show title will now be removed from their profile.


YOUTUBE


YouTube also has some restrictions that you can enable to help manage what your child can view and what content is recommended to them. You can also see what videos your children are searching and viewing while using YouTube and delete the history to stop irrelevant YouTube recommendations.

To do this, you will need to sign in to your Google account on YouTube. If you don’t have an account, you should create one as you won’t be able to manage their viewing selections without it.

NOTE: YouTube is owned and managed by Google, so you will need a google account or use one you already have. You will use this account to log in.

To do this:

Go to Youtube.com on your device and sign in to your account.

Click on the icon on the far right of the YouTube toolbar (top of the screen/open window), which should have your account user name or photo (if you’ve uploaded one), and a drop-down menu will appear.

Click on ‘Restricted Mode’ at the bottom of the menu. (This helps hide potential mature videos but is not 100% accurate but will certainly help)

Click on the ‘Activate Restricted Mode’ toggle button, so it’s switched on.

Restricted mode will now be activated on that browser only. You will need to go and sign in on any other devices (including your home TV) to turn the restricted mode on all the devices in your home.

Click back on the icon at the top right-hand corner of the YouTube toolbar, so the drop-down menu appears again, and then click on ‘Your data in YouTube.’ A Dashboard with multiple options will appear.

You can see the content that you have posted on YouTube, your YouTube watch history, and everything you have watched using this account, your YouTube search history, which shows everything that has been searched for while logged into this account and; further options around how and what data YouTube/Google collect and use.

We highly recommend looking through these settings and familiarising yourself with them to enable greater control over your data, as many of the settings can be restricted or switched off.

You can also alter and restrict what recommended videos are shown to your children by deleting the history, as the YouTube algorithm uses search & watched history to present and recommend further videos whenever they go onto the app.

To check and delete the YouTube watch history, do this:

While in the ‘Your data on YouTube’ section, click on ‘Manage your YouTube Watch History’ (follow the same for steps to ‘manage YouTube search history’)

A pop-up will ask you if you want to enable extra verification. Enable if you have tech-savvy children and you want to stop them from going back in and changing or deleting search histories they don’t want you to see. If you enable it, it will mean that anyone attempting to enter this part of the menu will need to put in a password to go further.

Once you are in the ‘Manage your YouTube Watch History’ window, all of the YouTube videos watched on this account will appear by date order from most recent to oldest.

There is a search/filter function available if you want to filter the selection, and also, you can set an auto-delete function so that all watch history is deleted after a specific date or automatically, depending on what you would like to set up.

To delete a video from the list, click on the X on the right-hand side.

Any videos deleted will alter YouTube’s algorithm and should stop those types of videos from being recommended to your account in the future unless someone searches them again.

You can also use auto-delete options matching specific parameters by using the ‘Delete activity by’ option or turning off the ‘saving activity’ option altogether. Turning off the ‘saving activity’ option will make it harder for YouTube to recommend videos and potentially suggest random and maybe inappropriate videos, so consider your child’s age, maturity, etc., and what outcome works best for you.

We always recommend the YouTube Kids app for children under the age of 13yrs.



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