The ultimate
parental control guide

These days, you’re more likely to find a child at home browsing the internet than you are pretty much any other activity. This cultural shift has left parents wondering how they can protect their children from online threats and how to even identify what threats are out there. Luckily, internet search engines, social media sites, service providers and operating systems have equipped their devices and platforms with parental controls that can filter out inappropriate content before it reaches your child’s screen.

parental control is the key

What are parental controls?

Parental controls are settings that put you, the parent, in charge of what your children see on TV and online. These settings can often be your first line of defense when it comes to harmful online threats and behavior.

Why set up parental controls?

0%

of the 95% of teens with smartphone access say they’re online almost constantly.

0%

of parents use some sort of parental control feature to manage and monitor their child’s internet use.

0%

of teens say they would change something about their online behavior if their parents weren’t watching.

How to set up parental controls:

devices

Devices

entertainment

Entertainment

provider

Frontier Internet

Xbox

Gaming Consoles

Playstation

Gaming Consoles

Apple iOS

Operating Systems

Apple MacOS

Operating Systems

Android

Operating Systems

xbox instructions

Xbox has a variety of family features that help you control the types of games your children play and what types of content they can access.

To access your Xbox parental controls:

  • Press the Xbox button on the controller to open the menu
  • Select Settings and then select All Settings
  • Select Account and open Family

From here, restrict your child’s access to content by age, limit their access to websites on Microsoft Edge and restrict app purchase and download decisions.

playstation instructions

PlayStation users can set parental controls at the system and at the user level to ensure the youngest gamers in the household are protected.

To access your PlayStation’s parental controls:

  • Choose Settings and then select Parental Controls/Family Management
  • Select Family Management then either enter and pick a user to set restrictions on

In the Family Management setting, set monthly spending limits on other accounts, choose whether or not a user can communicate with other players and view their content and set age rating levels on games. You can also disable the use of the Web Browser application and the PlayStation Virtual Reality headset. To lock in parental control settings, set a 4 digit passcode to restrict settings edits and prevent unrestricted guest account creation.

ios instructions

The new iOS 12 release comes with upgraded iPhone parental controls to limit screen time, app viewing limits and more.

To access the new Screen Time settings:

  • Go to your phone’s general Settings and select Screen Time

In the Screen Time view, see how much time kids are spending on their phones and what they spend the most time doing (Reading & Reference, Entertainment, Other). Schedule time away from the screen, set app time limits, block content and put privacy restrictions on any user’s phone. Share these settings across devices or set kid-only settings that apply to the youngest iPhone users in your home. Set Screen Time settings in stone with a passcode that only you know.

macos instructions

Monitor and control the time your child spends online with parental controls specifically designed for your MacOS. Be sure to make an account for each new internet user in order to place restrictions on some family members and not all.

To turn on and edit parental controls for an existing user account:

  • Choose the Apple apple logo menu and select System Preferences
  • Click Parental Controls and unlock the lock icon lock icon by clicking on it. You may be prompted to enter your admin name and password or Touch ID

Select a user to edit their restriction settings and enable or disable access to the internet, apps and the iTunes Store. Set time limits by day or bedtime and block apps and services from accessing your child’s data. Copy parental control settings from one user over to other accounts to set restrictions on multiple children.

android instructions

Although the Android OS is used across multiple devices, you can follow a few simple instructions to access the user security settings on any Android device.

To set up parental controls on an Android smartphone:

  • Open Settings and select Users. There should already be a user account for the owner of the phone and one for a Guest
  • Click on Add user to create a profile for a child
  • Click through the Set up new user disclaimer and connect to a Wi-Fi network
  • Name the profile something adult members of the household can remember

From here, install age-appropriate apps on the new Android home screen and switch back and forth between user profiles.

To edit the parental controls on Play Store:

  • Open the app and select the main menu
  • Click Settings and go to Parental Controls

Toggle the Parental Control option on and set content restrictions on apps, games, movies and music. Block apps, movies and games by age rating and choose to restrict music marked explicit by content providers. You’ll be asked to set up a content PIN to secure access to these settings.

Google

Search Engines

Bing

Search Engines

Yahoo

Search Engines

Netflix

Streaming

Hulu

Streaming

Amazon Prime

Streaming

Twitter

Social Media

Snapchat

Social Media

Facebook

Social Media

Youtube

Social Media

google instructions

Google is one of the most popular search engines and therefore, a great place to start when it comes to your child’s internet safety. Start by setting some boundaries on the kinds of things that they can search.

To filter explicit search results on Google:

  • Find Search Settings and click SafeSearch filters
  • Check the box next to Turn on SafeSearch and select Save

SafeSearch blocks explicit content from the Google search results on a phone, tablet or computer. Be sure to edit the settings on each device with your child’s Google account as settings may vary from device to device.

bing instructions

If you’re partial to Bing, there are tools that restrict your child’s content to varying degrees.

To set up search filtering:

  • Open Bing and select the Preferences gear in the upper right corner
  • Under SafeSearch, toggle the selection from Off to Moderate or Strict filtering
  • Click Save to save your new search settings

Moderate filtering will only block adult images and videos from your search results and leave explicit or adult text. Strict filtering will block explicit images, videos and adult text.

yahoo instructions

Yahoo is another major browser with the capability to set restrictions on your child’s search results. However, you won’t have the option to create a kid-centric profile as you must be 18 or older to have a Yahoo ID. You’ll have to set restrictions on the Yahoo IDs that your child uses to access the search engine.

To access Yahoo SafeSearch:

  • Sign in to Yahoo and go to Search preferences
  • Choose Strict (No adult content) and select Lock
  • Click Save to save your restrictions

If your family uses the Yahoo search engine on multiple browsers or devices, you’ll need to enable this feature on each browser in use.

netflix instructions

Netflix has a couple of ways that parents can restrict content on the streaming service, primarily at the account and profile levels. At the account level (hard controls) you can set a 4-digit PIN to play TV shows and movies above a selected maturity level. You can also set a PIN for a specific TV series or movie.

To set up a Parental Control PIN :

  • Sign in to your Netflix account via a web browser and access the Account page
  • Choose Settings and select Parental controls
  • When prompted, enter your Netflix account password and click Continue
  • Enter a four-digit PIN code that will serve as your password to these settings

Once you’ve set up your PIN, you can set content restrictions based on the assigned maturity level of the content or specific content that you’ve already identified as inappropriate for your child. If you’re looking to set restrictions at a profile level (soft controls), you can set a maturity level for your child’s streaming profile.

To set the maturity level on an individual profile:

  • Sign in to your Netflix account via a web browser and access the Account page
  • Choose Manage Profiles and select the profile on which you’d like to set restrictions

Select the Allowed TV shows and movies setting and choose a maturity level to restrict content that’s unsuitable for all ages, older kids or teens. The primary account holder’s profile can only be set to For Teens and below or All Maturity levels, so you must create a viewer profile separate from yours for kids viewing.

hulu instructions

If you’re a Hulu subscriber you can create a Kids profile that only lets your youngest viewers watch content from the Kids hub category of Hulu. This is the easiest way to restrict your children’s access to mature content

To create a kids-only profile:

  • Open the app and select + New Profile under the prompt to select a profile
  • Name your kids-only profile and toggle Kids mode to On

Only viewers that are streaming on the kids-only profile are limited to Kids hub content, so be sure that your youngest streamers are viewing on the restricted profiles and not on yours or another member of your household’s.

amazon instructions

Amazon parental controls are similar to Netflix in that they require a PIN to disable age restrictions. Setting up your personal PIN is also the first way to go about setting your purchase and viewing restrictions. These restrictions can help you block the playback and purchase of videos that have been rated as inappropriate for younger viewers.

To set your Amazon restrictions:

  • Open the app and go to Prime Video Settings
  • Select Parental Controls

From here you can require your PIN input with any purchase and place viewing restrictions on selected categories. Once you’ve select categories to restrict from your children, you can select additional devices to apply the restrictions on. When the restrictions are set, users will see a lock symbol next to content that’s been restricted and will be prompted to input your PIN if they try to watch these titles.

snapchat instructions

Snapchat is one of the most difficult social media platforms to monitor since it requires constant access to your child’s phone to set and keep restrictions in place. If you’re able to work around this issue, you can control who is able to see your story and locations.

To edit these settings:

  • Open the Snapchat app on your child’s phone
  • Open the profile page and select the gear icon in the upper lefthand corner

Here you can select who can contact your child’s profile, view their story, see them in the Quick Add function and see their location on Snapchat’s location updates. You can choose to enable certain users, like yourself, to be able to access these features to keep an eye on your child’s Snapchat behavior when you don’t have access to their phone.

youtube instructions

If your child frequents the popular video-sharing site, YouTube, you’ll want to put restrictions in place so that your child isn’t searching and viewing content that’s inappropriate. Luckily, YouTube has put a few tools in place to assist with content filtering or cyberbullying where YouTube’s classic content restrictions fail.

To enable YouTube restricted mode:

  • Log into your child’s YouTube profile and click their profile picture in the upper right corner of the home page
  • Select Restricted Mode at the bottom of the menu and toggle to On
  • Choose Lock Restricted Mode on this browser below the toggle to prevent your child from turning off the safety mode

Once you have activated Restricted Mode, your page will reload and YouTube will restrict content that’s been deemed by the platform as inappropriate for children. If you feel like your child is being cyberbullied via YouTube video, visit the Reporting and Enforcement Center to have the content removed and report the user for offensive content.

frontier instructions

With Frontier internet, you can set up parental controls using a computer, and can even give each Frontier account its own individual parental settings. It’s important to note that you cannot change parental controls on a Mac computer.

To set up parental controls on Windows computers:

  • To change Parental Controls: Access the account of the Windows User whose settings you want to change.
  • Select Parental Controls, then choose Turn On.
  • Select Settings.
  • To filter content: Select Content Blocker and toggle the switch in the right-hand corner to green. Select the checkbox to block content.
  • To activate the Search Result Filter: Click Search Result Filter in the menu on the left and toggle the switch in the right-hand corner to green.
  • To limit browsing time: Select Time Limits in the menu on the left and toggle the switch in the right-hand corner to green. You can also adjust the amount of time available for browsing.
  • Select OK and close Settings.

To set up parental controls on iOS devices:

  • Open up the Frontier Multi-Device Security app. Tap the menu on the left.
  • Tap Parental Control.
  • Change the Parental Controls toggle to the On position.
  • By checking boxes, you can change features like browsing time limits and browsing content. Content can be seen if a box is checked.

To set up parental controls on Android devices:

  • Open the Frontier Multi-Device Security app.
  • Enter your Security Code if asked.
  • Choose Parental Controls.
  • Change the Parental Controls toggle to the On position.
  • To limit browsing time: Slide the Time Limits toggle and change daily limits.
  • To limit browsing content: Choose Web Content and edit categories shown.
  • To limit app access: Choose Apps and edit available apps.