Home is Where the Tech Is – How Router-based Parental Controls Simplify Digital Parenting

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The rapid, global spread of the Coronavirus has turned everyone’s life inside out, upending our daily routines in the process. Instead of commuting to work, we will be working from home for the foreseeable future. Instead of sending our kids off to school, we must now attempt to educate and entertain our children while balancing the demands of digital work. Instead of going out to eat or seeing the latest blockbuster in the theaters, social distancing has changed the way we entertain ourselves.

In this regard, we are very lucky to have a plethora of streaming content at our fingertips. BUT – especially for parents with kids stuck at home – it’s also a double-edged sword. During these unprecedented times, it’s tempting to relax digital boundaries and screen time rules out of necessity. Now that home is serving as the workplace and family safe haven for the foreseeable future, striking a healthy balance is essential to remain productive and ensure family-friendly digital habits.

Children's usage of video streaming apps has exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many of the features of Smith Micro’s digital family safety solution are location-driven and were designed to address challenges inherent to mobile lifestyles, our SafePath platform also adds value in the home as well. Let’s have a look at how the SafePath Home router agent helps to simplify digital parenting during these tough and uncertain times.

  • Parental Controls Most kids in 2020 have multiple connected devices. With SafePath’s profile-based content controls, parents can set age-level restrictions, Internet time limits, and age-based content filtering to control each child’s digital activity across devices.
  • Set Bedtimes/Homework Times – Setting and sticking to a schedule tops most of the “working from home during the Coronavirus outbreak” articles and for good reason. All of us (adults and children) live healthier lives and are more productive when we have good habits and routines on which to rely. By enabling parents to schedule screen-free time, SafePath Home-enabled routers help to enforce and maintain family schedules.
  • Awards – When it comes to motivation, everyone knows that the carrot is more effective than the stick. With SafePath Home, parents can award kids with more screen time once all homework and chores are finished.
  • Pause the Internet – For parents that embrace a more fluid approach to family schedules, this SafePath Home feature allows parents to “hit pause” on all Wi-Fi enabled child devices in the home.
  • Safe Search – It’s happened to every parent in the digital age. One minute your child is watching age-appropriate content on YouTube and the next they’ve stumbled onto something they shouldn’t be watching. Parents can easily solve this problem with Safe Search from SafePath Home, which will automatically filter out inappropriate content when enabled.
  • App Control – Though not officially recognized as a disorder in the DSM-IV (yet), tech addiction is a very real problem that many parents struggle with on a daily basis. With everyone in self-isolation due to Coronavirus, addictive apps like Fortnite, Snapchat and YouTube can wreak havoc on family schedules. If they are brave enough, parents can use SafePath Home’s App Control feature to completely block access to any app they choose.

In conclusion, comprehensive family safety apps – like SafePath® – that combine location tracking, parental controls, and device security functionality in one, easy-to-use interface provide value to connected families. Whether we’re out and about or stuck at home, ensuring the physical and digital safety of family and loved ones is always top-of-mind.

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