This article appeared in the [Brainerd Baptist School](http://www.brainerdbaptistschool.org) Foundations Magazine
My first cell phone had 60 minutes a month and was tied to the car because the battery was so bad. Times have changed have they not? We now have 3rd and 4th graders with phones that are more powerful than the computer I had in college (not a joke). We’ve been concerned about protecting our children from inappropriate things on the internet for a long time now. It was fairly easy during the desktop PC days. You could accomplish a lot just by keeping the PC in the living room. What do we do now? Up until recently, I had no answer. A few months ago, a company called curbi reached out to me through my podcast (outofschool.net) and wanted to show me a service they had created. Once I read more about it, I realized that we finally had a true parental controls service for mobile devices.
While it can do a lot of awesome things, curbi solves 95% of our concerns with 1 feature: all adult content is filtered from all apps regardless of WiFi network or cellular network. At the end of the day, that is our main concern. curbi goes a step further, though. It gives you a lot of insights on how they are using their devices. Each week, you will get an email with time spent on internet based services (or apps that connect to the internet). An example of this might be that your child spent 5 hours on Netflix, 3 hours on Youtube, and 1 hour on Netflix. You can also set up rules to block certain types of content (social media, streaming video, etc) during certain time blocks (study time from 5-7, lights out time, etc). There is also a “kill switch” to disable all internet activity on the device. This is handy for those times when you child says they want to read “a book” while in bed, but you know they want to be watching Minecraft videos on Youtube.
The service installs through a special setting on the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, and there is really no way to block a kid from uninstalling it. This is something Apple controls, but curbi actually likes this model. Their goal is to teach kids about setting boundaries vs. creating more rules. Don’t worry, if your child removes curbi, you’ll get an immediate email.
Many of your children probably opened new iPads or iPod Touches for Christmas, At $6.99/month per family (unlimited number of devices), you will want to add installing curbi to your New Years Resolutions.