Keeping The Tablet...SAFE!



So those of you who are privy to FB know that I have recently added some kid security to my Nexus 7.  Why? Because I have older kids now who like to peruse the web and wind up places little kids shouldn't. Then there is the old, "I need to look up something for school.", but instead there are online games being played.

I decided that instead of me buying a whole new computer and then installing software on that (a computer is coming, but not right this second), I could just up my Tablet game.

The first step was restricting the websites they can go to by creating a Whitelist.  This was done by using Mobsafety.com Ranger Pro.  I am using the free version right now which allows me to do what I need, create a list of sites they CAN go on and blocking out ALL other sites unless they are part of the main site.  This can be changed from any web browser, so if a site needs to be added, I do not have to have the Tablet on hand. I can just log in and add it to the list.  With that done, I needed a way to kind of monitor them when they are using it for entertainment.

The next step was to find a way for me to limit the amount of time they can play and the amount of time they could use it for studying...this way folks aren't dilly dallying when it comes to homework.

KidRead.com offered me a cool way to do this.  First thing I did was create an online account (FREE) and then added the kids.  I then created restricted profiles on my Nexus which only allowed them to access certain games. Once I had that together, I then added them to the Entertainment List.  Why is this needed? Well the way KidRead works is that there are points given when the child access an app that you deem Educational (Books, Apps, Etc.). Then those points are used toward being able to use the app on the Entertainment List.

I used a different profile because the Nexus seems to shut Ranger Pro down in any profile but mine.  So though Ranger Pro is on the Educational List (since they can only access Educational Sites) it is registered on my profile.

In KidRead, each profile looks like a new device.  So for example, on MY profile, they each have an account that allows them to ONLY access the apps that are Educational i.e. Ranger Pro and Google Earth. That is ONE device. It shows up on the KidRead website and you can name it (Mom Profile or something).  The next step is to create a profile (restricted to using only the Entertainment and a few Educational apps) on the Nexus for one of the kids. Make sure you make KidRead available on that list so you can access it an run it on the new profile. Access the new profile an run KidRead. Log in with the information and then you can place all the apps in their proper category! Then do the same for any other children you have starting by creating a profile for them each.  I would say go to the website and name the devices as you install them or it can get confusing as they will all have the same device name before you rename them (mine was asus Nexus 7). Also make sure you create the unlock password so you can switch between the profiles of your kids if needed as well as get back to your regular Launcher.

What will happen is this:
Child needs to do homework.
You log into your profile and run KidRead.
Activate their KR profile and then they can can use the Ranger Pro
(I but a sleep timer so that if they are inactive too long, it will go back to the lock screen which means they aren't using it and they have to come to me to unlock it...which causes me to ask...uh...why where you just sitting there and nor researching like you asked...)

Now they wanna play:
They can go into their Profile (no password needed)
KidRead runs automatically when they go on
They can only access the apps you placed on THAT device/profile
Points get deducted when they play games and such, but get added if you put some educational stuff on there for them

The KidRead let's you create a timer that will not allow them access when the time for that category is up.  It will also not allow them to play the Entertainment apps once they run out of points!

Ranger Pro has a paid option that gives you the Web History and such if you need this and would like to give your kids a bit more freedom.  There are levels of blocking available (about 5 or so!) and a Blacklist.

Overall, I like this combo and have tested it myself...so far so good...Let's hope it holds for the school year in the battlefield.