Ideas to Manage Technology in the Home

  1. Teaching Correct Principles
    • ‘I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.’ (Joseph Smith)
  2. Family Rules / Customs
  3. Technology Tools

 

1. Teaching Correction Principles

The first time a child is making choices about how they use the internet should probably not be when they leave the house.  While helping family members use the internet responsibly teaching the growth mindset (repentance) is important.  We all make mistakes, that is not the concern, it is if we look to grow from them that matters.  

 

2. Family Rules / Customs

Family rules can only be established effectively by thoughtful parents.  Only you can decide what will work best for your family.  Here are some ideas that you may consider for your family.

  • Technology In Private Rooms
  • Time Limits
  • Required to Ask Permission for New Content
  • Charge Devices in Central Location
  • Age Requirements for Personal Devices
  • Limits on TV/Movie Ratings

 

3. Technology Tools

As everyone already knows parents can not rely solely on technological tools to keep their children safe from the ills of the internet.  They are just that, a tool that can help.  However, they can be an effective tool if used wisely.  

Device Management Tools: These are software apps that are installed on computers, tablets and smartphones.  

  • OurPact
  • Qustodio
  • Net Nanny
  • Norton Family
  • Kaspersky Safe Kids
  • Screen Time

Cons: May not work for non-traditional devices (e.g. Raspberry Pi) and usually require a monthly fee ($$)

Firewall Device / Appliance

This is a device that sits between all your devices in your home and the internet.  All devices are managed from one central location; this is what businesses and schools use to manage their users.  It is incredible powerful but can be complex to setup and manage.  They are not bullet proof by any means but can be effective in the home as well.  Some modern Wifi routers have basic tools built into them now, which are designed to be easily used by home users.  While not as powerful as full on firewalls, they offer a free fairly good solution if the option is on your wifi router.  

  • Untangled
  • Ubiquiti
  • Sonicwall
  • Firewalla
  • pfsense (free)

 Cons: Encryption has become common for almost all websites which limits what firewalls can see.  Can be complex to setup and manage, it ranges from free to a yearly fee ($$)

OpenDNS

It is fairly simply and free (cheap).  This is pretty easy to setup with someone who has a moderate amount of networking knowledge.  While not as powerful as a firewall it will block the majority of sites dedicated to pornography.  

Cons: - Limited ability to customize to your needs.  It is a one sized fits all.  You can pay a small yearly fee and get some ability to customize it. 

 

Help Available

If you would like to setup a technology solution in your home but don't know where to start, there are several experts in the ward who can help.  Please reach out for help!