We know that the Internet can be a crazy, insane and dangerous place, not only for kids but for adults too. Therefore, it is understandable that many parents find the need to control what their kids and their friends can and cannot access through the Internet while they are in their house.
Most Netgear routers have basic controls to help parents filter content and specific keywords or websites including a free and easy solution: Netgear Live Parental Controls. It is basically a content filtering solution that enables you to protect your family from cyber predators and unwanted content.
Netgear Live Parental Controls is a free feature that you can easily set up on your Netgear router. You can even control it remotely when you are not around to constantly monitor what your household is searching, watching, communicating and playing on the internet. With an alarming number of cyber crimes and cyberbullying recorded these days among children, it is good to protect them wherever possible.
Here is a guide to install and set up Netgear Parental Control using the Genie app. You will need a computer that is connected to the Netgear router.
1. Lauch the Netgear Genie app and click Parental Controls.
2. Login into the system by using the default username and password which are admin and password respectively. Of course, if you have changed the password, you will need to use your current password.
3. The Parental Controls window will pop up. Click the Next button.
4. You will then need to set up your Netgear Live Parental Controls screen display. Click “No, I need to create a free OpenDNS account”. Click the Next button.
5. Fill in all the required fields to create your new OpenDNS account and click the Next button.
6. Select the level of filtering you want. Most parents with curious children often opt for High to block access to adult-related sites, video sharing, social networking sites, and phishing attacks. Click the Next button.
To ensure that it was successfully set up, access content or website that you have blocked. You should be able to see the screen below.
If none of the filtering levels suits your needs, there is a way for you to customize your Netgear Parental Control settings. It is also a great way to teach your children boundaries of what they can and should be looking at on the internet as they grow older.
Some parents also use this as a trust test to see if their children have developed a sense of responsible and safe internet use.
1. On the Netgear Genie Status window, click on “Change Custom Settings”.
2. This will bring you to netgear.opendns.com where you will need to log into your OpenDNS account.
3. Click on the Custom option.
4. Check the boxes next to the categories that you want to block and uncheck those that you want to enable access (only selected content are blocked). Once you are done, click the Save Default Filtering Level button to save your selection.
Now that you created a firewall for your children, does it mean that you will not be able to access these sites as well? Of course not!
Other than customising the levels of filtering and types of content, you can also set the controls within a time limit. If you do not have multiple computers or simple find changing the settings everytime you want to use the computer, the time limit feature is a great tool that you can use to ensure that your children (or their babysitter) cannot access unwanted content while you are out.
Here is how you can create a bypass account so that you will not be restricted by the parental control settings.
1. On the Netgear Genie window, click on the Change Custom Settings link.
2. This will bring you to netgear.opendns.com where you need to click on the Add a bypass account link.
Do note that you will need to install Netgear Genie on each PC and mobile devices that you want to use the Bypass account.
3. Create the username and password for each bypass account that you want to create. Click the Add account button.
4. Choose the filtering level associated to the account and click on Save Filtering Level once you are happy with your selection.
5. To start adding the time block, open the Add a time block tab to start setting the time and the filtering level. Click the Add Time Block button.
6. Return to the Netgear Genie window and click on Bypass Login.
7. Double-click on the bypass account you want to log into. Enter the password and click Login.
You can now access the internet without any restriction outside this time with this Netgear Live Parental Controls feature.
The internet is one of the greatest inventions of our time. Sadly, as much good as it benefits us, it is also a platform filled with negative content that could adversely affect the development of our children. While it may be a paranoid move to some, restricting what your children see and absorb from the internet is one of the ways to protect them from physical and mental harm. Services and tools like Netgear Parental Controls are great in monitoring your children while you are out of your home. It even protects them while you are home because, after all, the internet is a boundless teritory. They are also great tools to teach your children to be responsible and safe while using the internet.
There is no better time to invest your effort and time when it comes to cyber security for your children---and to some extent you and your partner----because anyone can be a victim of a predator these days. Precaution is better than cure.
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