You just bought your child a smartphone or tablet for Christmas but your duty of care doesn’t end there because you need to monitor what they’re doing at online. That’s where Family Zone comes in.
Family Zone allows parents to filter content on any connected device at home and on the move and is an ideal safety platform to ensure their kids are not exposed to inappropriate content.
Smartphones were a popular gift for children this Christmas but a parent’s responsibility includes keeping their kids safe online.
Only a parent can decide the appropriate age to buy their child a smartphone.
And while that age may vary, something that is constant is a parent’s responsibility to set the rules for appropriate use of the device.
Here’s what leading Australian cyber expert and educator Pete Brown suggests:
– Use parental controls to set boundaries on access and content
– When buying a mobile device put a digital contract in place outlining rules and expectations
– Avoid using mobile devices as a babysitter or stimulant
– Don’t buy mobile devices for kids who are too young.
“It’s difficult to prescribe a precise chronological age when it’s safe and/or appropriate to give a child a phone,” says cyber expert and early childhood research Dr Kirsty Goodwin.
“But I definitely recommend delaying the decision until you feel your child is emotionally mature and responsible (these are expensive devices!).”
Children are naturally tech savvy and parents can easily be fooled into thinking they’re ready for the responsibility of a smart mobile device.
But other things need to be taken into consideration.
“Do they understand the permanent consequences of posting a photo online, or sending a message?” asks Dr Goodwin.
“Giving your child a smartphone is giving them a powerful communication tool that does so much more than make and receive phone calls.
“With a phone, they can create and receive text messages, images, videos and these can be easily and quickly distributed online, screenshot or uploaded onto other websites.
“When you give a child a smartphone they can potentially post, or distribute embarrassing or incriminating photos/videos/messages.
“You’re giving them a device that can access the Internet anywhere, anytime – unless you install tools like the Family Zone which can restrict what kids can access and when devices are used.”
Parental control solution Family Zone makes all of this easier to manage.
It includes a box that sits on your home network and an app that can be used on a device anywhere.
It allows parents to remove adult content for safe searching, manage the use of social media apps, control in app purchases and also manage screen time. It can even disable the camera on the mobile device.
The Family Zone box works when the child is device is on the home Wi-Fi network and then the Family Zone app kicks in once they are out on the cellular network.
The platform is already being used by more than 180 Australian schools and by more than 200,000 families every day.
Family Zone is maintained by industry specialists who are constantly updating the platform with the latest apps sites and trends that parents need to watch out for.
There are also custom-designed settings designed for children of various ages.
Parents can login to the Zone Manager to access settings and set routines for what their children can access and also set sleep times for their devices.
And Family Zone works across all platforms including iPhones, Android devices, Windows PCs, Macs, smart TVs and even gaming consoles.
Here’s what Family Zone can do:
– Block access and adult content
– Auto schedule screen time
– Restrict social media access
– Provide family usage reports and alerts
– Disable the camera
– Restrict app installations
– Restrict iTunes
– Restrict explicit iTunes content
– Restrict in app purchases
– Provide cyber expert advice
The Family Zone is priced at $89 which includes the home zone box and six licenses for the Family Zone mobile app.
For this price, customers receive protection of unlimited devices at home, secure guest Wi-Fi, unfiltered parent Wi-Fi, three months plan access, full parental control and advice from cyber experts.
After the three months introductory period, customers can move to the monthly $5.95 plan.
There are no locking contracts and users can cancel or change their plans at any time.
Customers can kick off with a free one-month trial.