Once upon a time, it was easier to keep an eye on what our kids were doing. If televisions and computers were kept in the living room, there was less temptation to look at “naughty things” since everyone passing by could see. However, the insurgence of personal mobile devices has changed all of that. Parental controls for iOS and other devices is a must these days.
Kids can now look at and send photos and videos in private, without anyone being the wiser. Snapchat is very popular among teens for that very reason. They can exchange media with others and it disappears after being viewed. That means no logs for parents to check for the mental, emotional, moral, and physical health of their children. Then there’s tumblr and Youtube, both of which make it all to easy to stumble onto undesirable territory. Normal parental controls just can’t seem to cut it any more as some have found ways of getting around those.
Level Up Those Parental Controls with Curbi
Now there is an iOS app which puts the power back in your hands when it comes to the iPhones, iPads, and iPods in your house. Curbi is a paid monthly service that was created with this generation of kids in mind. Instead of just restricting certain web site domains, all internet traffic is filtered through the Curbi servers. No amount of browsers or looping tricks will allow kids to bypass these servers to get to blocked sites.
You can also remotely shut off internet access on your kids’ devices right from your smartphone.To use the app and control devices remotely, you do need to give a couple permissions but those won’t impact your phone’s security. I checked with Frans, my tech guru, just to be sure. The camera can be blocked while they’re at home alone in their room so avoid compromising photos from being taken and shared.
With Munchkin being fourteen, we’ve already seen our share of issues to address. Most have been very innocent but the hardest part has been controlling how often she uses her mobile devices. Curbi allows you to set “rules” with specific times to block internet usage. I set up a Bedtime Rule so she can’t go online from 9:00pm to 7:00am. This has had immediate results as she doesn’t get “distracted” from getting ready for sleep any more. Well, at least not as much.
Curbi – Parental Controls iOS App for iPhones, iPads, and iPads
Initial set-up is very simple but you do need to wrangle your kids’ devices for a few minutes. After signing up for a Curbi account, go to http://www.curbi.com/enrol (one “l” or two, doesn’t matter) on your child’s device. Put in your login information and hand the device back. Now you can set up everything from your smartphone using the app or online site. What if your child needs their iPhone or iPad to use during school? You can set up a school mode as well.
To use Curbi, it is $6.99 for up to five devices. Is that reoccurring premium worth it for the features that Curbi offers? That’s up to you. With only one child who is homeschooled, it seems a bit on the expensive side for our needs. However, I encourage you to take advantage of the 14-day trial period to try it out and see if it’s right for your family.
Do you use parental controls for iOS devices?
I receive compensation for consideration of this app. All opinions are my own.