Where do you begin with rules and online safety?

"Hi there! I have been a lurker in here for a while, but I have not yet taken any action with all of your great advice. I’m super overwhelmed with all of the products available as well as all of the different things that I evidently need to be worrying out. We have 3 girls, ages 5-10, who have iPods that they are allowed to use. We have a no social media rule (currently the rule is in place until age 18, but I am open to discussion and I’m sure they will ask for social media before then!), but they do play Roblox together. Our family rule is that as long as they live in my house and/or I am paying for their devices/internet/cell service (when that time comes), the devices belong to the adults, but they are allowed to use them. This means, we have full access to them.

Right now, we have no issues and no real concerns, but as my oldest ventures into middle school, I know this will change, and I want to be preemptive. I was told by a friend that there is a way to prevent kids from deleting apps, so that way they can’t secretly load and then delete apps, and it also allows for a discussion because I know what they are downloading. Currently, they only text each other, us and grandparents, plus just a few close friends, but I suppose it would be smart to set up some sort of monitoring on texts at some point. They also watch dumb youtube videos, and I do worry that they will come across something inappropriate.

My question is, where do I start? What can I do now to keep them safe and pave the way for the coming years where they will be getting into more dangerous territory? I don’t want to spend a lot of money yet, because we just aren’t there yet with their usage.

Thanks in advance!!"

:star: Original post: https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentinggeeks/permalink/197402564223125/

“There are so many options! You can start with what’s built into the iPod, themselves. If you go to settings/general/restrictions, you can enable a lot of restrictions right there. For example, you can put a lock on privacy settings, which stops your kids from sharing location (for example) if you don’t want them to. You can also set it up so they can’t download an app without you giving permission on your device and you can lock their apps so they also can’t be deleted. The restrictions built into the iPod aren’t enough (in my opinion) but it’s a great place to start! We’ve found we needed to both limit our kids access to the internet (both time and content), hence we use circle, and then we use Bark to monitor their communications. They don’t do social media either (it’s blocked through circle and we don’t allow it on their devices), but they do text, email and use google hang outs and docs, especially through school. Bark monitors all those social interactions as well. Nothing is perfect, but you’ll probably need a few tools to most thoroughly cover your bases! Good luck!”

:star: Original post: https://www.facebook.com/groups/parentinggeeks/permalink/197402564223125/

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