Putting a new iPhone under the tree for your kids this year? This is for you!
Many of you are planning on gifting a new iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your kids or teens this year. Today we will take a closer look at Netsanity’s most popular features, showing you just how easy it is to block porn, block social media apps, disable internet during bedtimes, prevent removal, and much more.
So take a few minutes to see how Netsanity provides parents with peace of mind and could be the best gift you give YOURSELF this holiday season.
Before I begin, I should let you know that I’m a dad of three great kids. They are all are old enough to have their own iPhones, but managing device level rules and regulations in our house got to be too much! My wife and I realized that one solution did not fit all – each child needed their own custom settings and a mix of parental restrictions. With nothing on the market even close to what we were looking for, we created Netsanity.
I invite you to try our premium service 100% free (you can explore the features as you read).
( You can also use our interactive demo of our main features to see if we are a good fit for your family in about 60 seconds. Take the demo here.)
Below, I will discuss what your goals might be when considering parental controls and how we have worked hard to help you achieve them in the simplest way possible.
Goal #1 – Block Porn
When we launched Netsanity, it was with the goal of blocking adult content and porn for our own kids and teens. We initially launched our Catblocker feature to let parents choose which categories they felt were inappropriate for their kids, and block them. By the way, we created Netsanity in such a way that parents can do all these changes remotely, and quickly. We also did not want parents to download special browsers and realized early on that most children access porn via apps like Tumblr, Reddit and others.
So, we created Catblocker in a way that it worked with all mobile browsers, hidden-apps that mimic browsers, and all internet-enabled apps. We even added Safesearch so parents could restrict web search results from Google or Bing in a safe way.
Many parents think that having a safe browser is all they need. Remember that there are hundreds of browsers, many hidden as other apps.
Not only does Netsanity block millions of adult sites, but we also made adult content filtering included in our Lite service. Now, parents can protect their kids for just $1/month or $10/per year for up to 2 devices. We did this as we know how important it is to have young children have access to a safe internet. We don’t make any money offering this, but it’s our little way to give back.
Goal #2 – Stop the madness with a Timeout
Sometimes kids need a quick reminder. That is where our Timeout feature comes in. When a gentle reminder does not work, and the homework is left unattended, kids will certainly start reacting when their iPhone or Galaxy suddenly stops working!
You have additional options for Timeout as well. By default, Timeout just blocks internet access. However, for more stringent enforcement, parents can optionally lock the screen or hide all the non-Apple apps.
Timeout works slightly differently for our Samsung customers, but both provide the same benefit and address the ultimate goal of giving parents options to get their kids to listen or finish up their chores. You can issue a Timeout while at home, or on a date with your spouse when the babysitter calls and complains! A simple toggle in your dashboard and that’s it!
Goal #3 – Bedtime and Limiting Screentime
No matter if I talk to a parent from Los Angeles, Dubai, or Dallas, this one seems to always be near the top. We as parents realize that kids and teens are attached to their iPhones. The excuses are endless – “I need it as an alarm clock.”, “I can’t fall asleep unless I listen to music”, “I like to watch Youtube before I fall asleep.”, or my favorite: “Dad, you are so lame, every OTHER parent has no issues with me sleeping with my iPhone!” Any of those ring a bell? I suspect they do.
So Netsanity pioneered our Timeblocker feature back in 2013 for Apple, and for Samsung in 2016. Timeblocker is simple on the outside and complex on the inside. Netsanity will block access to the internet when you enable it via Timeblocker’s scheduler. It lets parents set a schedule and choose, in one-hour increments when the internet will be blocked.
Ok, so who cares? What is so cool about that? Well, for one, there is no app on the child’s iPhone or iPad. That means that we can enforce an internet scheduler by integrating with Apple’s core iOS. We are not hiding browsers or apps.
The other neat thing about Timeblocker is that it is network based. Huh? Well, it means that it will work regardless of whether or not you use any mobile browser, any internet-based app, or over WiFi or cell data. It works in any time zone, even if your child thinks they are clever and change the timezone on their iPhones or iPads.
So, parents – you can finally let your teens have their iPhones, iPads, and Samsung devices in their bedroom – free to use as alarm clocks or listen to music, without the fear of surfing the internet all night. Of course, you can further restrict access to more than just internet, but its all up to you now.
Goal #4 – App Blocking with one click
Another request that parents had was the ability to block social apps and other internet-based apps with one click. They did not want to physically have access to their child’s iPhone to do this, but instead, they wanted to be able to disable them remotely. So, Netsanity created remote, internet app blocking.
Appblocker is one of our favorite features that parents use daily. How does it work? Well, the guts are proprietary and complex, but for the parent – it’s easy. First, they pick an app from one of our profiled apps, which our engineer’s research and test. Then, it’s one-click and done. Within a few minutes, that app will stop working. The app is still on the home screen, but it will not work since Netsanity disables the way that app communicates.
We have over 50+ apps that are on the Appblocker list, and we are always listening and talking with parents to add new apps to our catalog. Appblocker does not block all apps, but we block most of the apps that parents request, like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc. We also block other apps like YouTube, Netflix, etc.
Goal #5 – “Please make it hard to remove.”
Its one thing to use mobile parental controls, but if the child can remove it in 2 seconds, what good is it? So we went to work on trying to figure out ways to secure our service to make it hard for kids to circumvent it. Apple is a closed operating system with access granted by Apple and Apple alone. Because of this, software developers and service providers have limited options. However, our protection methods make it much tougher for kids to defeat.
We have a unique way to lock Netsanity down for Apple devices making it nearly impossible for kids to circumvent them. Nothing is 100% foolproof, but with proactive notifications as well as how-to guides and videos, Netsanity gives parents the best chance of staying ahead.
Lastly, our Android customers who are protecting their children’s Samsung devices, have even more protections in place, making it virtually impossible to remove without a code.
Want to learn how kids can circumvent traditional parents controls? Read our blog on the topic here.
Goal #6 – “I want to talk to a human if I need to.”
We get parents. We are all parents and have the same struggles that all parents have with tech-savvy kids. We understand peer pressure, while at the same time, value our roles as parents.
We also know that parental controls are an emotional burden on some parents – especially ones that are not very technical. While we strive to make Netsanity easy to install and use, providing videos and guides, that will never replace a friendly voice.
We have staff that speaks your “parent language”. We can chat, email, or even call you. We even recently launched a new free service called Netsanity Concierge – to help parents who are new to Netsanity activate their children’s Apple or Samsung devices. It has been great talking to new customers as they activate their devices for the first time and seeing just how easy it is.
Note: When considering a service to install on your family’s devices. find out if you can speak to a real support agent if they are BBB+ rated, have offices, etc. Do your homework as there are many unscrupulous companies trying to get access to kids’ info.
Give yourself some Sanity this Holiday Season
If you are considering using parental controls or thinking about the best gift for parents you know, Netsanity could be the answer.
I am very proud of what we have built and what is still to come. We built a great company with great people. We have so much more to do and much global opportunity to help millions of parents protect their kids and get some peace of mind. Internally, we have a slogan:
We start at the impossible.
We will continue to innovate, listen to our wonderful customers, and keep kids safe.
I am always looking for advice on new features and ideas – feel free to email me and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
/Carl – CEO