With social media and the internet, the world is at our fingertips, but having the entire web easily accessible to our youngsters could understandably be worrisome for parents and teachers. Most of our kids are online from a very young age, but do you keep up to date with what your child is doing or looking at online?

Parental controls help to reduce the amount of inappropriate content that your child may be exposed to. Most devices, social media platforms, websites, apps and even browsers now have built in parental controls, allowing us to have a certain level of authority over what our kids are accessing. Parental controls can help protect your child by filtering out inappropriate websites when presenting search engine results, preventing children from using certain services, controlling, or blocking certain video games and filtering the types of media they can view.

Accessing parental controls can be tricky from device to device, so we’ll go over how to set up limitations on Windows 10, Mac OS and Google Chrome.

To set limitations on games, apps and media on a Windows 10 device, head to this page and sign in with your Microsoft account.

  1. If your child already has their own account, choose it, and select “Content restrictions”. If they don’t already have an account, create one for them.
  2. Go to “Apps, Games & Media” and turn the “Block inappropriate apps, games and media” setting on.
  3. Under “Allow apps and games rated for”, choose the age limit you’d like to apply for your child.
  4. When your child requests to access a blocked application or game, you can approve it by going to “Content restrictions” and adding it to the “Always allowed” list.

To block inappropriate sites on a Windows 10 device, sign into your Microsoft account and select your child’s profile.

  1. Select “Content restrictions”.
  2. Scroll to “web browsing” and toggle “Block inappropriate websites” from off to on.
  3. To block specific sites, add their URL under “Always blocked”.
  4. To limit your child to only browse specific websites, check the box next to
  5. ‘Only allow these websites”.

To set the Internet Content Filter on a Mac OS device, select “System Preferences” from the Apple menu.

  1. Select “Parental Controls”.
  2. Select your child’s account or create one for them.
  3. Select “Enable Parental Controls”. Once selected, you will be able to manage “Apps”, “Web”, “Stores”, “Time”, “Privacy” and “Other”.
  4. Select the “Web” tab and choose one of the three safety modes under “Website Restrictions” (unrestricted, automatic, and whitelist)  

To enable parental controls on Google Chrome, sign into your Google account using this page.

  1. Whilst signed into your Google account, you can visit google.com/preferences
  2. Click on the box beside “Turn on SafeSearch” to enable the filter.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Save”.

Although there are many additional ways to protect our family, it’s imperative that we take it upon ourselves to learn how to effectively use these controls as it provides an extra layer of protection and a safe space for our kids to begin exploring the online world.