Q: My pre-teen wants an iPad or Kindle Fire for Christmas. Are there good Internet filters available for these devices? -Karen
Hi Karen, great question! Yes, with kids bogarting our tablets and quite a few getting one for the holiday, we think it’s super important that they are sufficiently protected while browsing. There are lots of great security options out there for tablets, which interestingly, a lot of parents don’t think about.
Net Nanny, still probably the best recognized name in Internet protection, has an Android-based Net Nanny mobile app that will work on the Kindle Fire. After downloading the app, you can select Internet filters to put in place (for profanity, inappropriate content, and more) and enter keywords like alcohol, mature, drugs, to block.
Another nice feature: if you have multiple kids using your device, you can create profiles for each to customize the settings based on their ages, while managing which apps kids are blocked from on your Fire. It’s pricier than your standard app at $19.99 because it’s more like software. The fee protects one device for a year and considering the security you get with it, it’s worth it.
If you end up with the iPad, the Mobicip mobile app is an option I like a lot. For $4.99 as a one-time download fee, you get a whole range of options like age-based filtering and safe browsing. The customization features make it flexible enough for kids of all ages who are using the tablet. Similar to Net Nanny, you can designate categories that are off-limits, and with Mobicip, you can also filter YouTube videos.
However if you already have a security solution in place for your home computer, be sure to check the manufacturer’s website for mobile options as well. For instance, there’s a free mobile app from Norton for existing account holders, saving you the expense of having to buy a whole new bunch of software. -Jeana