Smart TV’s are appearing in homes everywhere. You might have one. We do. I know that I don’t need to tell you that they are internet enabled. We can stream content through services like Netflix, use apps like YouTube, access social media accounts like Facebook, download and play games on the big screen and talk to family and friends with Skype – all from our living room.
Great! So many options at our fingertips! But now I want you to consider what all of this wonderful functionality really means. It means that we have another device in our home that can potentially expose our kids to inappropriate content.
Luckily, there are a few steps that we can take.
Setting the Parental Controls on your Smart TV
- You should locate and refer to your Smart TV’s manual. Generally, there is a section dedicated to Parental Controls and how to set them on your specific model. In most cases, the Parental Controls will cover settings for program ratings, downloading apps and restriction of apps.
- If you already use a program to filter content in your home (such as OpenDNS), then you should also refer to the section in your manual for changing the DNS settings. This way, when your TV is connected via wifi, and the browser is being used, it will fall under the existing content filters.
- Family Zone is a Cyber Safety Solution that you can connect your Smart TV to (as well as devices and gaming consoles.)
- Certain apps such as Netflix and YouTube have built in restrictions. Look into the settings section within each app to determine what built-in restrictions or parental controls they have.
- Smart TV’s have an internet browser so you should enable Google’s SafeSearch function.
- If you have Foxtel, you can also navigate to their Parental Controls section and set them as necessary.
- YouTube is a great source for finding tutorials for your specific TV Model.
Creating Codes & Passwords
Please note that the setup of most parental control settings will require you to create a 4 digit code. Do not use your birthday, a family member’s birthday or a pet’s birthday – the kids will guess it! And don’t worry. If you need to access content that has been restricted, you can do so by entering your 4 digit code but if you do make changes then don’t forget to go back and reset them to how they should be!