If your home is anything like mine, devices are readily available and screens are used for everything from reading books, to playing games to doing homework (though not without protest!).

So the big question is this…'How do you manage multiple people, of varying ages, with multiple screens in the age of wireless internet and portable devices?' Sounds exhausting and time consuming, right?

Well it doesn’t have to be. Along with the technology to access everything, comes that ability to restrict, filter, refine or block particular types of content. From pornography, to gaming and beyond, parental safeguards and controls come in many shapes, sizes and devices.

But how do you know what is out there, how it works and the best ways to set it up for you and your needs?

Researching your products is the best piece of advice I can give and this is where the online world comes into its own. Whether you download, stream, game or simply browse, there is a solution that will work for you.

Each individual platform or device is slightly different and most of them come with built in safeguards, ready for configuration. 
In addition to device—level safeguards, there are a number of commercial products that can be purchased and downloaded onto multiple devices. Many of these products are also effective at protecting against viruses and malware.

Some products allow you to set up varying access for each member of the family to ensure that the level of device protection and content management is both age–appropriate and able to be released or restricted further depending on the individual level of access granted.

When researching suitable products, it is also worth looking at the hacks and workarounds that can be used to bypass filters/parental controls…trust me, the internet is full of 'helpful' videos like that!
I'm not suggesting that your kids will use them, but it's always best to be well informed about possible flaws in the system.

In addition to understanding how these products work, it is important to make sure that any software or filter that you install is properly configured. There's no point in putting up a fence if you forget to close the gate.

The iParent portal has an entire Online Safeguards section dedicated to pointing parents in the right direction when it comes to device–level, software–based and Internet Service Provider (ISP) filters.

If you have any specific questions about filters, safeguards or managing devices, you can email us at enquiries@esafety.gov.au and we'll get back to you with an answer.

Author: Marianne Doyle

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