little girl learning on tablet - kids mode

Kids Mode: Why It’s Vital Against Online Threats

With kids’ prevalent use of gadgets for online classes, it’s only imperative that you know how kids mode work. Kids mode on your devices and apps can protect your kids or students from harmful content on the internet.  

No matter how much you warn your kids about the dangers of the world wide web, some malicious people will find ways to harm them. This is the ugly truth of using the internet. It’s not just safe for younger children. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Just arm yourself with important information and insights about online safety. 

That is why we created this blog post. Start protecting your kids by studying kids mode on your devices and most used web platforms. Below, we discussed the basics of kids mode and why it’s vital against online threats. 

Kids mode: The basics 

mom and child learning on tablet - kids mode

Let’s first define kids mode and parental controls before we discuss their importance.

What is “kids mode?”

When talking about kids’ mode, we’re referring to the child-friendly viewing modes on devices and web applications. That means they can’t access inappropriate content for their age when you turn on kids mode. Please don’t confuse it with the native app by Android with the same name.

Where can you find kids mode? 

In devices like tablets and smartphones, you can find kids mode in the settings. It can also be a built-in native app in your device. For instance, Android devices have an app named Kids Mode. With this, you can set a PIN to prevent your children from exiting Kids Mode and browsing other applications.

Meanwhile, kids mode is also available on popular sites like YouTube. This is an array of viewing settings that allow you to block content and channels you deem inappropriate. You can also curate content based on their age group: preschool (aged 4 years old and below), younger content (5–7 years old), and older content (8–12 years old.) They also have a special, safer app for kids called YouTube Kids. 

What are Parental Controls?

Parental Controls is an umbrella term for settings such as kids mode. It includes the changes and settings you apply to your router, device, and apps. In the U.S., your internet service provider (ISP) may give you filters that allow you to block inappropriate content. You can block images, videos, and sites regardless of the device your kid is using, as long as they’re connected to your internet service. 

Now, just like any vitamin supplement being taken without proper diet and exercise, parental controls won’t work in the best way without your guidance. You should still brief them about responsible use of the internet, even if they’re browsing the web using kids mode. 

Read: Tips for Supporting Parents in Managing Distance Learning

Why is kids mode important?

It’s not hard to see the logic behind monitoring kids’ browsing experience, right? But the challenge lies in executing that. That challenge is even direr today now that more kids are staying online longer to attend classes. Besides, you can’t hide your kid from the online world forever. This is why you need to take hold of kids mode in your devices and apps. 

1. Kids mode creates a barrier between kids and the chances of seeing harmful content. 

1 in 10 children, as young as eight to ten years old, have seen worrying content online. Now, while you can’t eliminate every harmful piece of content on the web—and even the risks of seeing them—you can create a barrier between them and your kids. One of the easiest ways to create that barrier is by using kids mode. 

By restricting your kids’ access to inappropriate or unnecessary content, you can lessen the risks of them seeing harmful content. This may not be adequate on its own, but it’s the first step to protecting them against online threats effectively. 

For example, as we’ve mentioned, you can block the channels and videos on YouTube that contain inappropriate or irrelevant topics. You can also let your kid use kid-friendly search engines if they need to research for assignments. Some good ones are Kidtopia, DuckDuckGo, and KidRex. 

Read: Homeschooling 101: Things You’re Doing Wrong While Aiding Your Child in Learning From Home

2. It can lessen the risks of cyberbullying. 

cyberbullied girl - kids mode

With the recent school closures and unclear opening schedules, kids can’t socialize with their peers without using the internet. So, while you can’t restrict them from talking to their friends or meeting new friends online, you can protect them from cyberbullying by getting more involved. Take action when you notice that your child’s behavior has been changing.  

Studies have proven that your involvement is the most important pillar in preventing cyberbullying. This makes sense because kids aren’t always vocal when they are feeling threatened or dissed by other kids online. That’s why you should take the first step by being involved and using kids mode. 

By using kids mode, you can monitor their online activity and filter curses and swear words. Those are good initial steps you can take. Of course, you can go above and beyond those by investing in an anti-bullying software. 

Mobicip, for example, is a smartphone app that helps you track your kids’ activities online. It can mass-block websites that might contain harmful content and aggressive users. It also has three levels: elementary, middle school, and high school. Through this, if you have older kids, you can still protect them without nipping their independence in the bud entirely. 

Read: Internet Safety For Students: Teach Your Children About Internet Security

3. Kids mode protects your kids against predators. 

Besides bullies and trolls, there are even more dangerous threats online—predators. Unlike cyberbullies, predators are sneakier because they “groom” children. That means they pretend to be nice and respectful until they can manipulate the child into doing what they want. And what do they want? They want kids to trust them so that they can sexually harass them. 

Horrifying, isn’t it? Predators are more dangerous than you could anticipate. So, dealing with them can be tricky. How can using kids mode help you? By being meticulous with kids mode settings, you can hinder your kids’ exposure to these predators. Grooming can happen anywhere as long as these predators can talk to kids in an inbox. So, use security software and apps that have kids mode to monitor your children’s accounts and conversations. 

It’s also crucial that you sit down and talk to your children about this subject. You can’t hide this from your kids forever. So, the earlier you make them understand, the better. You can try telling them news about groomers or teaching them about the stages of grooming. 

4. It can prevent kids from being susceptible to scams. 

Because of their ability to use gadgets and connect to the internet, children and teens have become the most susceptible to online scams and frauds. Even child identity theft has become a problem in recent years. Indeed, luring kids to online scams is as easy as stealing candy from a baby. 

Considering they might use emails and messaging apps to communicate with their teachers, avoiding scams could be tricky. What can you do to protect your children? As always, it starts with you. You need to educate yourself about phishing scams if you haven’t studied it yet. Plus, make it a habit to diligently check your financial records.

Next, use the device or program’s kids mode to filter potential scams to kids. Some of them might be in the form of email links or pop-ups about winning a gift for online games or a scholarship. Scammers can even go far as pretending to be kids, befriending children, and then manipulating them into sharing their personal details. This is where monitoring their accounts using kids mode comes in. 

Moreover, don’t forget to warn them about sharing info with their online friends—even if they have been talking for months. You could never be sure about people online and their intention unless you know them personally or you have plenty of mutual friends.

Read: Top Picks For The Best Screen Time Apps To Manage Your Screen Time On Android And IPhone

5. Kids mode can help them focus more on learning. 

boy playing lego with his tablet and robot toy

Lastly, using kid mode is important because it helps your kids focus more on learning. It’s not a secret that the internet is full of distractions. However, by using kids mode on their device or browser, not only will you avoid those distractions but also turn them into tractions. 

For example, using kids mode, you can include entertainment but kid-safe and education websites when you’re curating the sites they can access. You can also try testing different time limits in a week so that you can both figure out what works best.

The key here is that using kids mode should not be a punishment. Instead, find ways to use it as a positive reinforcement for being responsible online and doing well in school. 

Conclusion 

With the new normal, you have to start accepting that kids will have an online life. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to protect them from online threats. Start by using kids mode on your devices, apps, and websites. As we’ve mentioned, they may not be adequate—but this prevention step is a hundred times better than cure. 

Related questions

Is there a kid mode on iPhone 7?

Yes. You can find it in the Accessibility settings. Just go to General > Guided Access > Toggle the “Guided Access” on. 

What is the child mode time limit on iPad? 

You can set the time limit from a minute up to one minute to 23 hours and 59 minutes. 

Learn more about online safety here on All Digital School. 

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Do you have some tips on managing kids’ online safety using kids mode? Let us know in the comments below!

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