How to Set Parental Controls for the Internet

steve How to, Tip and Tricks , , , , ,

This one is for all the parents out there. If you have kids that spend way too much time on the internet (you know who you are) there is a way to fight back, or at least stay in control of what they are doing.

All routers have advanced configuration items that will let you take control of your family’s internet usage. There is, however, an easy way that doesn’t require technical knowledge. In either case, I’ll show you how to set up parental controls for the internet.

From one parent to another, it is important to monitor how our kids are using the internet. Sometimes, alright most of the time, kids don’t listen. It doesn’t really matter if you told them to go to bed or not to go to a certain website or to avoid certain people. Kids do what they want to do and as parent sometimes it’s helpful to have extra items in our tool box to keep them doing the right thing.

Turn off the broad cast

Your router is broadcasting signal called an SSID. If that signals isn’t broadcasting then no one can get on the internet. It is possible to his your signal, but a hidden signal is still broadcasting. Your router doesn’t have to broadcast. You can turn the broadcast off.

This means that when you’ve told your kids to go to bed, and they’re in their room playing on their phones or other internet connected devices, you can disconnect their WiFi.

This will leave them connected to their data. You will need to make sure that you have limited their data. You don’t them doing anything they want on your data connection or your phone bill is going to go up like crazy. To set a limit on data you’ll need to contact your carrier.

Turning off the SSID will not affect wired connections. If you have a computer that’s plugged into the router, then it will continue to work perfectly fine. This works out great if you have a smart TV, or another computer that want to have internet after you bring the network down.

You’ll actually want a computer that is either hardwired, or a laptop that you can later plug into the router to turn the signal back on. You can access the router while connected to your WiFi, but once that WiFi is gone the only to bring it back is through a wired connection. If your router is in a hard to connect a computer to area, or you use a tablet or phone as your main computing device, this might not be the best option for you to try.

To do this you’ll need to get to your router. Check out my other post https://taylorstechtips.com/how-to-setup-router-WiFi to learn how to get to your router. My router is a D-link DIR-605L. Your screen will look a little bit different from my pictures (unless you have the same router).

  1. Go to your router and sign in as an admin
  2. Click advanced
  3. Select Wireless Connection on the left menu
  4. Uncheck the box titled Enable Wireless under Wireless Network Settings
  5. You’ll need a wired connection to turn the WiFi back on by clicking the check box again.

Block Certain Site

Routers also have the ability to block certain web addresses. This is called black listing. You can black list any website… But preferably not this site.

Once you black list it, no one can access it until you’ve taken the black list off. If you black list a site, you’ll want to make sure that nobody in your house needs that site.

  1. Go to your router and sign in as an admin
  2. Click advanced
  3. Select Parental Controls on the left menu
  4. Change the drop down box
  5. add websites

Block Everything

Okay so maybe your kids have really done something to really screw up their freedom. Instead of a blacklist then what you need is a whitelist. The difference is a whitelist only allows a list of approved sites. If it’s not on the list then they don’t get to go there.

This will be especially handy if your kids have failed all their classes or they’ve done something really stupid that you told them not to do. Whatever it is they’ve done, this is definitely going to be a big stopper to the internet.

Now you can say, “You can get to this website for school because I will allow it.” This will give you the ability to keep them off YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and all that other stuff that kids waste time on.

Devices with data can get around this by just using data instead of WiFi. Talk to your carrier to see if you can get certain websites blocked. This is another thing that will affect you as well as them. This has the same steps as above.

A Better Way

There is a better way to go about providing parental controls on the internet. While it isn’t free (but it is inexpensive), it’s a lot easier to set up and can also be installed on mobile devices.

Kaspersky Labs offers there parental controls in a stand-alone program. I’ve tried to get around it just to get past it. It’s not possible to break it. They do offer a free version, but the free version doesn’t allow you to control mobile devices.

This program will track usage, monitor how long as are used, block websites and games based on content, and limit the amount of time the device can be used. You still have the control to as exceptions to the block. You can even set rules based on who is logged into the computer. Best of all, if you know the magic password, you can still do whatever you want.

Take a look at the free version and see if you like what it offers. The paid for version contains a lot more, but the free version is functional. You can get a copy at here.

You can also look at my post https://taylorstechtips.com/kaspersky-total-security-review to learn about more the parental controls offers. You will need to scroll down to the parental controls section.

If there is another way to help keep it children safe from the dangers that lurk on the internet, leave a comment below and let us know about that option.

 

 

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. Hi Steve. This information is powerful. When raising my children, I felt like their motto was…Always better to ask forgiveness than permission. Now they are raising their children and are facing some of the same problems that they put me through. I will certainly lead them to this site. You are doing a valuable and needed work. This could literally save children’s lives. I’m happy I found this article.

    1. I know the saying well that boys will be boys. I think it’s human nature to push the boundaries of the rules they have. We all pay taxes, but we all try to minimize the amount that we need to pay.

      Kids are no different. We tell them not to eat the candy and they’ll see if they can sneak it. We tell them not to go to a website and they try going when we aren’t around to know. Things like Kaspersky’s Safe Kids help us to stay connected to them better and to know what they are doing.

  2. Hi Steve,
    Thank you so much for this interesting information. I think it is something every parent should know. I didn’t know that there were so many ways to prevent children from being able to access the internet.
    It must be a great concern for parents, especially if they are out at work and the teenagers are home alone. One doesn’t know what or who they are seeing on the web.
    These are such good innovations and I hope that many parents check this out and act on it.

    1. When I was a kid 20 years ago the internet was new. There were still risks, but people my age didn’t live on the internet back then. These days things are a little bit different. Kids are online constantly. Not everything on the internet is bad, but parents should do everything they can to try to keep up with what their kids are doing. This is just another tool that will help parents raise their kids in the way they feel is best.

  3. We have a nephew & niece who frequently stop with us nowadays however they’re getting to that age where we are becoming worried what information they are reading & viewing. Parental controls assures peace of mind, stops our constant nosy monitoring therefore is a must for an Aunt & Uncle’s concerns.

    We’ve started to turn the broadband off late on an evening, that did not go down well albeit they never admitted playing on their mobiles in bed but if we didn’t limit their time, they’d never get up in the morning.

    Thanks for introducing me to Kaspersky Labs, I will definitely give this a try after reading your review. We don’t want to completely restrict, we want to limit their time – Kaspersky Lab features sound the ideal solution for our concerns.
    Thanks again Steve,
    Simon.

    1. This is going to help you tremendously. You can set controls based on time of day and on how long they have been on the device. I haven’t tried the mobile and don’t know how well it works, but the computer version is great.

  4. Wow, this is such an informative article! Now I am armed with a few tricks, which I will put into practise when I find my kids on their devices too much. Now they are still rather young, and not exactly ‘addicted’ yet.

    1. Sometimes as the parent we just have to take what we can to stay one step ahead of our kids. My oldest is 6 and he spends tons of time playing games on old tablets and phones. He isn’t really on the internet though. Kids this young can’t really be addicts, but the habits they establish now will carry through their teenage years.

  5. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for a great article and some good advice. I have “unplugged” my router several times (my kids get enough youtube at school) and always it seems like I am the one suffering. I did not even think about just plugging in my laptop. So, today I am wiser. And so are my kids, but at 17 and 15, what do you expect?
    Thanks, again
    Sanders

    1. Kids can be very persistent on how they get around parental controls. You can pick up a a 50′ cat6 cable (network cable) from Walmart for $7. If your modem is separate from your router then you continue unplugging the router and connect your cable into the modem.

      This option won’t stop them from using data on a cell phone though. I’m not saying all kids are dishonest, but I do know that most people aren’t willing to volunteer any loopholes they’ve found.

    1. There are a lot of things out there on the internet. Somethings are great and help us to learn more about the world we live in and we should encourage everyone to seek after these things. Others only promote violence, discrimination, prejudices, and objectification of women. Sometimes we need to help our children avoid some of those things.

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