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Unread 04-03-2017, 01:32 PM   #1
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Arrow Parenting Advice - Technology

If you are a parent, does your child have an iphone, ipod, ipad, tablet, or other electronic device that connects to the Internet (either through cellular, or through wireless)?

If the answer above is "yes", how do you control it:
1. access to browsing naughty things (p0rn)
2. limitations for use (how often they can be on it)
3. control what they are doing with it (ie. sexting)

Open discussion. Thanks!

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Unread 04-03-2017, 02:43 PM   #2
and you were wondering??
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I am eager to hear how people work through this sort of thing.

Pulling up a seat with popcorn, as they say on the internetz
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Unread 04-03-2017, 04:51 PM   #3
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Since I'm not a parent, and probably won't be for quite a while, I can't answer yes or questions 2-3, but for question 1:
- I'm currently using OpenDNS at home which can block stuff at the router level (but is easily bypassed by changing DNS on the device)
- Specific sites can be blacklisted through Hosts files (and need admin privileges to edit)
- At my parents' house my brother setup a proxy server using Squid and DansGuardian which was pretty good at blocking ads, and sites and stuff (although the keyword filter was a little too good sometimes and there was a Microsoft document I couldn't access once because the random string of letters in the URL happened to form a naughty word somewhere)
---- I *think* it also didn't block HTTPS stuff properly
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Unread 04-03-2017, 05:57 PM   #4
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My oldest is 7. She's not really into computers and what not yet, so we haven't really thought too hard about it.
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Unread 04-03-2017, 09:05 PM   #5
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I have four kids 18-28 so we're pretty much past this. How did we deal with it? Not very well. It's a struggle. I'm glad it's over. At the time our kids were on the family plan we could pay AT&T an extra $5 a month per phone for some parental controls. We had their phones pretty much disabled between 10pm and 6am and set data limits. We also thought it was reasonable that we have all the passwords to their devices.

A personal rant: It has been damn hard for the last 5+ years to find simple phones with no internet access. We thought it was reasonable for our kids as they entered their teen age years to be able to call us when they were out with friends or on school trips but didn't like the idea of free internet access. They should still make the old Nokia phones for kids.
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Unread 04-04-2017, 03:06 PM   #6
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I got a recommendation for one piece of software to monitor phones, have started testing it on an ipad. appreciate all the feedback from here and elsewhere.

that to say, keep it all coming.
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Unread 04-04-2017, 04:33 PM   #7
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FYI I'm pretty sure there are apps available for parents to see every little thing a kid does with their phone.
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Unread 04-04-2017, 07:03 PM   #8
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there are. and some actually might work, though I haven't found one yet that does. the latest one I'm testing right now looks promising, though.
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Unread 04-04-2017, 10:30 PM   #9
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you should still be able to get a phone line with restricted/no data.

i don't have kids and i grew up mostly before cell phones (finally got a smartphone at 24 so i could kick comcast out of my life), but you could try some of the original technology tactics--family computer in an open area, go phone for when kids are out and might need to call, no personal devices, etc.

although i don't have kids, i was a hs pastor, so with that hat on...i would practice the difficult practice of trust and letting go, as appropriate by age. unfortunately disgusting content is everywhere, including supposedly harmless sites like youtube or instagram. i would have frank conversations about choices, and why we shouldn't seek out that kind of material, or ingest it when it is thrown our way. i would talk to them about how we are free to make choices but we are not free from the consequences of our choices, and how guidelines aren't because God or parents want to ruin the fun but because guidelines help maintain a healthy attitude about other people, ourselves, healthy behavior and healthy sexuality.

obviously there is a good deal of trust involved, and there is risk that kids will cross the lines. (it's part of the deal, isn't it?) i had a great kid with great parents who was caught looking at adult content--it was on his computer, but it didn't start there, nor did it start on his phone. it started with some other boys at school and their devices. his parents couldn't control what other kids showed him, but they could control their response. his father reminded him forcefully but lovingly, man to man, that that was not who he was. since his parents had been teaching him about who he was and demonstrating their trust his entire life, his repentance was quick and the right-tracking swift. that won't always be the case, but that is because humans have free will. i think the act of granting your kids trust is extremely difficult, and it is something i worry about when my time comes, but i think it also speaks
volumes to the young person, and can make them more receptive to correction and instruction.

like i said, i was a hs pastor but not a parent, so i say all of this from observation, not experience.
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Unread 04-05-2017, 08:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
you should still be able to get a phone line with restricted/no data.

i don't have kids and i grew up mostly before cell phones (finally got a smartphone at 24 so i could kick comcast out of my life), but you could try some of the original technology tactics--family computer in an open area, go phone for when kids are out and might need to call, no personal devices, etc.

although i don't have kids, i was a hs pastor, so with that hat on...i would practice the difficult practice of trust and letting go, as appropriate by age. unfortunately disgusting content is everywhere, including supposedly harmless sites like youtube or instagram. i would have frank conversations about choices, and why we shouldn't seek out that kind of material, or ingest it when it is thrown our way. i would talk to them about how we are free to make choices but we are not free from the consequences of our choices, and how guidelines aren't because God or parents want to ruin the fun but because guidelines help maintain a healthy attitude about other people, ourselves, healthy behavior and healthy sexuality.

obviously there is a good deal of trust involved, and there is risk that kids will cross the lines. (it's part of the deal, isn't it?) i had a great kid with great parents who was caught looking at adult content--it was on his computer, but it didn't start there, nor did it start on his phone. it started with some other boys at school and their devices. his parents couldn't control what other kids showed him, but they could control their response. his father reminded him forcefully but lovingly, man to man, that that was not who he was. since his parents had been teaching him about who he was and demonstrating their trust his entire life, his repentance was quick and the right-tracking swift. that won't always be the case, but that is because humans have free will. i think the act of granting your kids trust is extremely difficult, and it is something i worry about when my time comes, but i think it also speaks
volumes to the young person, and can make them more receptive to correction and instruction.

like i said, i was a hs pastor but not a parent, so i say all of this from observation, not experience.


I am also not a parent, but I have been raised in a family that suffered both sides of the spectrum. Half my life I had no access to Internet and only had a flip phone, but then when I turned 14, I was given all access to Internet without any serious "talks" or warnings. To be completely honest, this began a very dark season of my life which I had to turn away from on my own.
But personally, I think that having a life guard is better solution than replacing all the deep ends with kiddie pools. Trust the kids, and they will respect you, but keep a close eye on them so that when they fall (and believe me, they will) you're there to do what parents are supposed to do and help them back up.
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Unread 04-11-2017, 07:49 PM   #11
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after some testing of SecureTeen, I have come to the conclusion that it's garbage.

the caveats:

I installed it on my two teenager iphones. immediately my daughter's ability to check email and do things for legitimate school were inhibited. things would run incredibly slow, or not connect at all. the tracking function stopped working after first connecting upon install - it hasn't updated the phone's location through this product in five days. in addition, any ability to log or monitor sms or similar doesn't work. you are supposed to enter the icloud account info, and it ties the phone to the SecureTeen service. this does not work - every time I enter the creds, it gives a message that "there is error". no description or additional info. garbage.

and for my son, the technically savvy one, I did a phone check to make sure all was running and well on his, as the same issues were present on his iphone as with my daughter's. he just turned the VPN service off, so none of the traffic was going to their service. what kind of product gives the teen the ability to just turn it off? garbage. he just created a new ipsec VPN profile pointing to a bogus website, and it no longer tried auto connecting to the SecureTeen VPN. this effectively turned off the service altogether. garbage.

I'm considering requesting a refund and cancelling the yearly service. before I do, I opened a few tickets with their support. we'll see how it goes.
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Unread 04-12-2017, 07:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
after some testing of SecureTeen, I have come to the conclusion that it's garbage.

the caveats:

I installed it on my two teenager iphones. immediately my daughter's ability to check email and do things for legitimate school were inhibited. things would run incredibly slow, or not connect at all. the tracking function stopped working after first connecting upon install - it hasn't updated the phone's location through this product in five days. in addition, any ability to log or monitor sms or similar doesn't work. you are supposed to enter the icloud account info, and it ties the phone to the SecureTeen service. this does not work - every time I enter the creds, it gives a message that "there is error". no description or additional info. garbage.

and for my son, the technically savvy one, I did a phone check to make sure all was running and well on his, as the same issues were present on his iphone as with my daughter's. he just turned the VPN service off, so none of the traffic was going to their service. what kind of product gives the teen the ability to just turn it off? garbage. he just created a new ipsec VPN profile pointing to a bogus website, and it no longer tried auto connecting to the SecureTeen VPN. this effectively turned off the service altogether. garbage.

I'm considering requesting a refund and cancelling the yearly service. before I do, I opened a few tickets with their support. we'll see how it goes.
Props to your son for finding a quick way around it. Unfortunately with most apps, unless you can hide the app (to where you can only access it by dialing a secret number) or lock it out with a password (applock is good for this), it's easy to get into the apps and change settings. If this were on a computer it'd be much easier to find a service (and if all you wanted was to snoop on what they were doing, I could help you out for free). But on mobile OS? Not exactly my strong suit.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 02:30 PM   #13
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I requested a refund and cancelled their service. turns out, it doesn't make the cut on several levels, on an IOS device. but the exact moment I knew I was done with them was when their support tech emailed me and said they needed my Apple User ID and Password. Um no.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 04:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
I requested a refund and cancelled their service. turns out, it doesn't make the cut on several levels, on an IOS device. but the exact moment I knew I was done with them was when their support tech emailed me and said they needed my Apple User ID and Password. Um no.
I'm not entirely sure what's wrong with them having such details....
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Warning: This journal may contain diary

But He was pierced for our transgressions
He was crushed for our iniquities;
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And by His wounds we are healed.
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Unread 04-25-2017, 05:00 PM   #15
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I wouldn't give out that info, either. Why would a product need that? If there's a legit reason, then okay, but that sounds off.
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