Although being a parent is a wonderful thing, from time to time it can be quite stressful. However, most parents grab some free time for themselves by giving their child a smartphone or a tablet. The truth is that kids find it very entertaining and even educational and, in most cases, there is nothing wrong with it. However, leaving your child without supervision while browsing the Internet can lead to problems like accessing inappropriate content, being cyberbullied or becoming a cyberbully, meeting strangers they have become friends with online, and soon.
With a little help of your wireless router you can regain some control over the websites your child visits, over adult content, and even control how much they can be online.
What can you do with the Parental Controls?
In the next few paragraphs, we are going to see what can you do to you keep your child safe online using your Wi-Fi Router and the built-in Parental Controls.
Login to your router first
In order to access the Parental Controls and start modifying them to the best interest of your child you will have to login to your wireless router first.
So, letís presume you are already connected to your home network. Now, launch the web browser you use most frequently on your device and type the default router IP address in the URL bar. The most common IP addresses used to access the router settings are 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.1.1. This IP, as well as the other router login details, can also be found in the userís manual or on a label on the sticker. However, if the IP addresses we have mentioned donít work or if you want to feel more like a techie you can also find this IP on your own using the Command Prompt on Windows and the ďipconfigĒ command. The default IP will be listed in the results as Default Gateway.
After you type the IP in the URL bar, you will be asked to enter the router username and password. Check the manual or the label on the router we have mentioned before or you can visit RouterCtrl for some step-by-step instructions on how to login to different wireless routers.
After you enter those details you will be able to customize the Parental controls. To illustrate what can you do in the router Parental Controls we will use the TP-Link Archer A9 wireless router.
So, after you login to your router select the Basic tab in the top menu and the Parental Controls in the left-hand menu. Now the real fun begins.
With the + Add button you can add specific profiles with separate limitations set by you.
Here you can select your childrenís devices since they are already connected to the network.
Some other router models let you add the devices manually. In order to do that you will need to know the MAC address of the device so we recommend adding existing devices since itís much easier. After you finish adding the devices you can continue.
Block Websites Containing a Specific Word
This feature allows you to block content based on specific keywords. In the Add a new keyword field just type the sites you want to block like periscope, aks.fm, facebook, youtube, or adult sites and anything else you find inappropriate for your kids. You donít need to type in the complete URL of the unwanted website, just its name. This will keep your child from such sites.
Set Time Limits
Most outers have this option and itís quite useful if you need to limit the time your children spend online. After you enable it you will see the options you can control.
Time Limit is an option to limit how long your child can be online during the day. There are separate settings for weekdays and weekends so itís up to you how you are going to set them up.
Bed Time is another option in the Time Limits where you can set the time period during which the device wonít have internet access. The TP-Link router has made this handy since it divided the settings for School nights from Sunday to Thursday and Weekend (Friday to Saturday)
Donít forget to save the changes after you set up your Parental Controls.
Insights and Pause Internet Access
The Insights feature will give you information about the websites your child has visited and the total time spent on each of them. You can even look at the details for the last seven days by selecting the day from the drop-down list. If you notice something suspicious, it takes only a click to block that website.
Right next to the Insights column there is the Internet Access column. Just a click on the Pause button will stop every Internet access for the selected profile. You can reenable the Internet access later, whenever you want.
To Sum Things Up
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. We have to say that although you are using the Parental Controls feature on your router this type of protection is not 100% secure. Sometimes it will block something good, sometimes it wonít block something bad. And you have to be aware that this type of protection works only in the wireless signal range of your router. Beyond that there is no control. Therefore, it is much more efficient to teach your child how to be responsible and stay safe on the web.