Blocking websites and adding restrictions to my kids iPads

Last Christmas, we bought both kids iPad minis. My husband set the up with backgrounds, apps, music and movies each kid would like before we wrapped them.

The kids were thrilled with their gift and quickly learned how to use them, including downloading new apps and watching YouTube.

Now when my husband said that he set them up, I assumed he had put safeguards and restrictions on them. Imagine my dismay when my mom reported to me that the video my 7-year-old mentioned the f-word.

A brief search online told me how to check/set-up restriction on their iPads (which I learned my husband hadn’t done.)

iPad-allow-changes_thumbYou basically got Settings -> Restrictions. It has you enter a four-number password, and then you can select the settings you want applied such as Movie ratings and age limit recommendation for the apps.

Now many of the sites talk about restricting access to many things – Safari (web browser), Facetime, iTunes, disable app downloading and even turning off Wifi. While I don’t think all these things need to be done for my kids (ages 7 and 10), I can see parents who might want to add these restrictions.

I however, want my kids to be able to use the Internet as Jase has used his iPad to do homework before. And both kids watch Netflix, so I wouldn’t want to turn off the Internet.

The setting changes I made that first day were quickly noticed by the kids as it deleted the YouTube app as that was now out of their age range. We installed the Kids YouTube app instead which is supposed to help restrict what material they can see.

In my search for adding restrictions/parental controls to their iPads, I also came across what sounded like a great app from McGruff that would filter and block specific types of websites in their Internet searches but sadly, it was no longer available.

iPhone_Portrait_mobicip_squaredThat is when we found Mobicip Safe Browser. With this, you disable the standard Safari browser that comes with iPads (and iPhones) and installs their browser. Now if the kids typed in a word to search such as sex, it tells them those websites are restricted. The same works on YouTube run through this browser. You do have the option with the premium version to decide which website to allow so you can allow them to do their research on sex education while being blocked from the porn sites.

We just installed this browser, so I don’t have a lot of feedback on it from the kids yet. With the premium version, you are supposed to also get reports on which sites they have viewed. We have not tried the premium version yet, but it is only $40 a year so might be worth at least trying the seven-day  free trial version.

I am feeling better about the safety controls we have added to their iPads and wish we had done them sooner. I know my kids are good but especially with YouTube had been worried that inappropriate videos might come up during a search. Now hopefully that won’t happen.

Today’s Featured Author – Inge H. Borg

Today I welcome Author Inge H. Borg to my blog where she is going to reveal the cover to her upcoming release, The Nile Conspiracy.

Cover Reveal

The Nile Conspiracy

(Book 5 – Legends of the Winged Scarab)

by Inge H. Borg 

Nile-BLUE -No Sub=1739x2509

 

Imagine the mighty Nile running dry due to human interference. Impossible? Only too soon, this very threat may become a devastating reality.

Riveting adventure and international intrigue find Naunet and Jonathan Wilkins back in Egypt where the completion of The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam portends a catastrophe of biblical proportions.

Amidst their struggle to save an ancient site, the archaeologists are caught up in a dangerous conspiracy. Their explorations become a death trap when the desperate Egyptians decide to turn a huge secret underground labyrinth into an emergency reservoir.

Will the combined recklessness of two governments explode into the annihilation of its people?

In The Nile Conspiracy, several characters, good and evil, from the preceding books of the series are once again pitted against each other, the elements, and time.

Borg captures the struggles of an economically depressed Egypt by skillfully combining the challenges of her post-apocalyptic world with the awe-inspiring legends of an ancient culture.

One can only hope that the terrifying events in this novel remain a figment of Borg’s imagination.

Books 1 – 4 of the Legends of the Winged Scarab

New 4-Book Masthead-Small

About the Author

Inge H. Borg, AuthorBorn and raised in Austria, Inge H. Borg left home at eighteen to study languages in London, Paris and Moscow. A job transfer from Vienna to Chicago led to becoming a US citizen in San Diego.

She now lives in a quiet lake community in Arkansas with her two rescued Maine Coon cats, devoting most of her time to writing.

So far, her “Legends of the Winged Scarab” series has four volumes with the fifth, “The Nile Conspiracy” to be published in December. In this series, she combines the myths of Ancient Egypt with modern action, adventure and suspense during the Arab Spring.

Other books include Shadow Love, an intriguing novella about love, loss, and dreams and two short parodies on that thing called love.

And then there is Pasha, From Animal Shelter to A Sheltered Life, an account of shelter animals and their rescues (more of a love letter to her cat, really).

As a staunch supporter of her Indie-writer colleagues, Borg frequently highlights their books on her two blogs: http://devilwinds.blogspot.com/ and http://ingehborg.blogspot.com/ (for writers and their pets)

You can find Inge’s books on Amazon.  And you can read an excerpt of The Nile Conspiracy here.

 

 

 

Many people to thank….

As has been my tradition for the past three years, I am taking today (Thanksgiving here in the United States) to thank some very important people.

Thank you…

to my readers. I hope you enjoy reading my books (or my blog) as much as I enjoy writing them.

Thank you…

to all the people who have written reviews, hosted me on their website, or sent out Tweets about my blog and books. I appreciate everyone of you!

Thank you…

to my family for the love and support in my writing career. I would not be able to do any of this without you!

 

Quote of the Week – November 25

If it’s so difficult for us as adults to always remain in control of our emotions, to always respond with kind words and patience, to always hold onto our self-contril when we’re tired or frustrated or disappointed or angry, can you imagine how much more difficult it must be for our children? And yet we expect them to forgive us when we “lose it” but punish them when they do the same. – LR Knost

#NewRelease – CYPATHIA by Teresa Clyne

This month, author Teresa Clyne released her chidren’s fantasy novel, Cypathia: The Secret Princess.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a law lecturer and forensic psychologist by profession, I have 4 Children, all grown up bar the baby, and she’s 17. I also have 5 grandchildren.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Ireland, in Co. Longford, having moved Countries over the years I am now back in Longford again.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

I have always loved writing, since a child I wrote stories and poems.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I started writing poems at approx. 14 years old.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Kaia would have some of my stubbornness and logical approaches to problems.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

My next book will be part three of Cypathia, I am also working on several short stories which will deal with Kaia’s adjustments to Royal life.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I do not write full time, as I work full time and also study. I write when the words scream at me.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

Best advice was to self-publish, take control of my work, worst advice as also to self-publish (LOL)

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

The best thing about being a writer is the freedom to put your thoughts and feelings into words, to see them and put feeling into them, the worst is that when the words scream you must write, even if that’s at 3am.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

The plots come from my imagination, the places in my writings and poems are there from childhood so I cannot quite remember where they came from.

What inspired you to write this book?

My childhood. I wrote my memoirs in 2009 and after reading them I remember thinking truth is stranger than fiction, and remembered the kingdom I reverted to as a child when I felt alone or scared. I started the process of turning my memoirs in a fiction novel for children based on the magic Kingdom.

How did you come up with the title?

This was the world I went to as a child, when the real work was too difficult emotionally for me, I do not remember naming Cypathia, I have always known its name.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

In some ways, yes, all of my characters were based on some people I would have known in my childhood although no particular people were chosen.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

Isadora is my favourite, such a sweet and caring person, putting the needs of others before herself. King Mordor is my least favourite as it was him who was the cause of the family splitting up in the beginning.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This is part one with part two (Reunited) absolutely free, it is included in part one and is a free bonus for readers, part three is in the process at the moment.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Banishing family back through the portal.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Kaia, she went through so much and came out victorious.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

David Copperfield. This would be an amazing place and time to live.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I love to sit on my boat and write, the gentle swaying of the water is extremely relaxing and clears the mind.

What book are you reading right now?

King James Bible and the Quran.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

James Joyce as he had an amazing mind. The brilliance of his novels still astounds me. And Roddy Doyle, this man’s sense of humour is epic.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I love motorbikes, the sounds and smells of race bikes are amazing.

Book Blurb

CypathiaAfter an unfortunate twist of fate lands her in Herecia as a tiny baby, Princess Kaia finds herself growing up as a poor peasant girl. Unwanted by her family, poor Kaia spends most of her early childhood feeling unloved and worthless. Without a loving family and no friends, Kaia would have been entirely alone if it wasn’t for her family’s servant, Isadora and her faithful pet dragon Billow, who was never far from her side.

BUT…

Isadora is guarding an enormous secret; one that will break apart the world as Kaia knows it. As the day of her 13thbirthday dawns, Kaia is unaware that she is about to embark on an amazing magical adventure with dragons, sorcerers and goblins that will see her defeat the evil King Mordor and claim back the Kingdom of Cypathia. With her twin brother Kolby at her side she discovers the love of her real family who she got separated from by accident 13 years ago.

About the Author 

teresaAn Irish writer of children’s fiction and adults academic books, born in 1969 in the Coombe Hospital Dublin, the 5th of 6 children to Joe and Angela Clyne… A Law lecturer and Forensic Psychologist by profession Teresa is as comfortable writing about magic, dragons and sorcerers as the Irish legal system.  Teresa is also a photojournalist having written for many local and national papers and magazines including the Mullingar Advertiser, Irish News Review and Emerald Road Racing.

Teresa Clyne is a fervent fan of writing, children’s fiction, dragons and magic. She loves to create worlds where children and dragons stand side by side in their desire to help make the world a better place. Her heroines often yield magic wands, but Teresa equally values their intelligence, wisdom and compassion.  She loves all of the characters in her book but Isadora stands out to her as a selfless and beautiful person, so giving and generous.

You can find out more about Teresa and her book on her blog.

You can purchase Cypathia: The Secret Princess on Amazon.