block all porn sites

Feature Friday: Why you should use Clean Router instead of Circle

“I have heard of/used/tried and hated Circle.  How is Clean Router better?”

 

If you have been researching online filtering options, you may have heard or read a bit about Circle, another online parental controls system. However, after trying Circle ourselves, we believe Clean Router can offer a superior filtering experience to Circle. In spite of a few similarities, Clean Router significantly differs from Circle in ways that will impact your family’s online peace of mind.

 

1) Circle’s complicated installation- Setting up Clean Router is as easy as plugging in a router, and our friendly support team walks every new customer through it. Installing Circle, though, was a multi-step process involving app downloads and connecting through multiple networks. For busy parents or grandparents, especially those not confident in their tech skills, Clean Router is faster and easier.

 

2) Circle’s fundamental design is flawed – Unlike Clean Router, Circle is not a router. Users plug into Circle into the network, and it uses something called ARP-spoofing or ARP-poisoning.  Simply put, it tricks everything in the network to talk to Circle instead of your wireless router.

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So what? The additional device adds an extra “hop” for all of your network traffic.   Circle causes quite a bit of extra latency to all of your web traffic, slowing down the whole network.  Circle also uses an old wireless protocol (802.11n), which also hurts your internet speed.

Speed aside, this ARP-poisoning also causes other problems.  Many devices are incompatible, and we have even heard users report that Circle broke their entire network!

 

3) No filter – Unlike Clean Router, which checks every website in real-time, Circle does not filter online content.  Users can block certain categories of apps and create lists of approved and blocked websites, but we all know that the internet changes daily.  Clean Router’s IntelliFilter checks every packet that is coming thru from the DNS layer all the way down to the very content itself. We also were disappointed in Circle’s “blocked” page. No reason is given for blocking a website, and the page itself scrolls through Disney content and links to Instagram and Twitter. Parents can imagine how distracting this would be for a kid trying to concentrate on homework, and some of the content presented on the blocked page, while not pornographic, was not quite kid-friendly.

 

4) No dynamic filtering – Circle asks you to label a website as “good” or “bad.” Clean Router understands the internet just does not work that way. What do you do with a site like FoxNews or MSN? Not all the content may measure up to your family’s media standards, but blocking an entire news platform would inhibit your online experience.   This is why dynamic filtering is so important. To ensure your family’s online safety, Clean Router checks every word and every picture of every website accessed on your internet network in real-time. 

 

5) No support – Need help configuring your filtering or figuring out what URL needs to be white-listed to get a particular site to work?  Have a question about this feature or that feature?  Good luck getting in touch with Circle! The website doesn’t list a support phone number, an email address, a chat option, or any other contact method.  Clean Router provides award-winning US-based support.  Skeptical? Give our guys a call at 520-445-4673, shoot us an email at Support@CleanRouter.com, or go to our website and chat with us live. We won’t be shy about besting Circle in this area!

 

6) iOS- and Android-only controls – The only mechanism that Circle provides for controlling your kids’ devices or managing your network is through an iOS or Android app.  Need to access from a computer?  No luck. On the other hand, Clean Router allows you to access your account from any computer or mobile device!

 

7) No emailed reports – Clean Router delivers a PDF report to your email nightly informing you of each device’s internet activity.  And, we just rolled out our full Smart Reporting v2 that allows you even more control over these reports! This is not a feature offered by Circle.

 

8) Limited scheduling options- Circle only offers three scheduling options for devices: “BedTime” (a time for the internet to turn off for the evening), “Time Limits” (a limit on how much time each device can spend online per day), and “Pause” (turn the internet off temporarily). Clean Router’s scheduling feature allows users to set a schedule for each device in their home for any time of day and any day of the week! For example, if dinner time is always from 6pm to 7pm, you can automatically set the internet to turn off at 6pm every day. If you would like to offer more screen time on Saturdays than Tuesdays, Clean Router (but not Circle) lets you set a different schedule for each day of the week!

 

8) Keywords – Tired of your kid going to every Minecraft site?  Enter “minecraft” into the keywords list, and Clean Router will block any site containing those words.  For Circle users, respite from Minecraft requires hunting for hundreds of different domains and websites.

 

9) No YouTube filtering– With Circle, you’ll have to allow YouTube in all its sleazy glory or block it completely. CleanYouTube, our YouTube filtering service, offers your family the best of YouTube!

 

10) The bypass option– If you hit a page and need to bypass Circle, you’ll need to..

*Sign into the controls on Circle on your phone (since it doesn’t have any web controls)

*Add the website to an approved list

*Wait approximately 60 to 120 minutes (yes, 1 to 2 hours) for the page’s cache to clear

*Go back to your site.  

And then, you have to remember to go and turn it back off!  

Our bypass option made to be used– simple, fast, and secure.

For example, Victoria’s Secret is a popular resource for women’s clothing and cosmetics, but you may not want your twelve-year-old lingering over the sexy photos. When my wife needs to go there, this is what she sees:

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My wife can enter the password, choose 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and hit the Temporary Bypass page.  Clean Router will unblock the site for the amount of time designated. She can do her shopping and leave without having to worry about remembering to re-block the website.  In the time Circle users need to unblock a site, my wife can finish shopping, give herself a pedicure, AND go for a run!

11) Circle is “by Disney” – Circle has a content partnership with Disney.  For users, this means Disney ads a-plenty and product-pushing galore. With such a direct funnel, be prepared for your kids to enter a whole new world of advertisements for the latest Disney gadgets and gizmos.  After you have bought 15 copies of Frozen, and your kids have bought 20 episodes of “Hannah Montana” you might feel a little less hakuna matata. When you’re ready, Clean Router can help you let it go.

 

The Clean Router is truly the ultimate parental control, and we continue to work hard to make sure that your kids are safe online.  We have taken industrial-level filtering and scaled it down to something easy for parents to use.  If you need any help, our award-winning support team is here to help you achieve online peace of mind. Come partner with us to block all online pornography from your home and take back control of the internet today!

 

 

Order your Clean Router now!

Insta-SnapChat: What Parents Need to Know About Instagram’s New Features

Instagram and SnapChat are two big fish in the social media pond. Instagram’s new feature, Instagram Direct, makes the two more similar than ever. Instagram Direct is a private messaging feature that allows the followers of any profile to send text, photo, or video messages. Users can choose whether to send permanent or disappearing messages– just like SnapChat.

 

There are two options to make messages disappear within Instagram Direct. The first is a “true” disappearing message– if a picture or video is taken within the Instagram app, the sender can choose to make the message disappear after one viewing, two viewings, or not at all. Pictures or videos taken outside the Instagram app are automatically permanent messages, but after sending the message, you can click on the message and select Unsend. This deletes the message permanently.

 

After a “disappearing” message has expired, there’s a small grey icon and a line of text indicating a message was there.

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However, if a permanent message was unsent, there’s no sign of a message at all. For parents of Instagram users, this is important to keep in mind. While the idea of teens sending ephemeral messages may make parents (understandably) squeamish, the unsend feature is even more problematic because it completely prevents parents from keeping tabs on their kids.

 

A couple other facts worth noting about Instagram Direct:

*Only the sender can unsend a message or arrange for a message to disappear automatically.

*Recipients can take a screenshot of a disappearing message through the mobile device’s screenshot function. Instagram will notify the sender immediately if the recipient took a screenshot of the message.

*The sender of a message must be a follower of the recipient, but the recipient does not need to be a follower of the sender to receive the message. So, if my account is not private, and stranger Average Joe has followed me, he can send me private photo, video, or text messages even if I don’t follow Average Joe. Parents, if Instagram is an approved social media platform in your home, require your kids’ accounts to be private! Private accounts can screen followers. Public accounts are accessible to anyone.

*As of right now, there is no way to disable Instagram Direct.

 

While it is important to stay informed about new social media platforms, parents shouldn’t assume that “old” apps stay the same. As new apps become popular, like SnapChat, older apps like Instagram will add popular features to attract new users and retain current users. Changes to popular social media apps often make the news, so keep an eye out for headlines about your kids’ favorite apps. Log in periodically and see if anything has changed. Don’t be afraid to give or rescind your approval if an app makes changes. As the social media scene grows, it has never been more important to stay in the loop!

 

Let Clean Router help you keep up with your kids online! Our parental controls router can

*Block specific websites and general website categories (porn, violence, drugs, etc.)

*Email you browsing history reports

*Send you text alerts when the filter has been bypassed

and more!

 Order your Clean Router today!

Smartphone-addicted teens have visibly different brains, researchers say

 

Research presented at the Radiological Society of North America showed the brains of adolescents addicted to smartphones and the internet are measurably different than the brains of normal adolescents.

 

The study, conducted by professors at Korea University in Seoul, North Korea, used a technique called magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to evaluate the brains of 19 teens diagnosed with a smartphone or internet addiction and 19 average teens. The goal was to measure each teen’s level of two types of neurotransmitters: GABA and Glx. GABA is crucial to vision and motor control, and regulates brain functions like anxiety. Glx speeds up the neurons within the brain. Maintaining the proper ratio of GABA to Glx is very important for mental health and quality sleep.

 

The researchers found that the addicted teens had higher ratios of GABA to Glx. Unsurprisingly, these teens were also more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and insomnia. As part of the study, some of the teens who were addicted to smartphones attended cognitive behavioral therapy for nine weeks. These teens’ GABA to Glx ratios improved significantly after attending therapy, while the teens who did not attend therapy experienced no such improvement.

 

You can read more about the study by clicking here or here.

 

Smartphone and internet addiction is real, and its impact on teens is physical, emotional, and academic. Teens who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to struggle with their mental and physical health and get lower grades in school. The consequences of overusing electronics will affect their entire lives! It’s more important than ever to help kids develop healthy internet habits.

 

Clean Router, the original parental control internet router, can block porn, put your kids’ devices on a schedule, and help your family get to sleep at night. Get yours today!

 

Order your Clean Router today!

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Everything your kids need in a phone… Nothing they don’t. Introducing Clean Phone!

Finally, a safe smartphone for teens!

Does your kid need a phone, but not unlimited access to TikTok, Candy Crush, and YouTube? In the past, families had to choose between giving their kids 24/7 access to the entire internet (scary!) and buying a “dumb phone” (so not cool!).

Not anymore! Clean Phone is a full smartphone with robust parental controls for scheduling, automatic logging, and approving app downloads. CleanYouTube and Clean Browser are built-in!

 

 

Clean Phone extends your Clean Router’s protection beyond your walls. Whether your kids are on vacation or at a friend’s house, Clean Phone is the easiest and most flexible way to protect your family!

 

 

Order your Clean Router today!

 

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Teens are spending more time on screens and enjoying life less

It may seem like today’s teens only enjoy screen-related activities, but researchers say the excessive screen time is keeping them from enjoying much of anything.

 

Researchers from the University of Southern California wanted to understand a previously documented correlation between teens’ screen time and substance use. They believed that anhedonia, the reduced ability to experience pleasure or enjoy previously favored activities, may explain why teens who spend more time on their screens are more likely to use controlled substances. Anhedonia is a common symptom of depression, and other research had pointed to a relationship between screen time and decreased mental health.

 

The study surveyed over a thousand fourth graders four times over the course of three years about their screen time and anhedonia. As the researchers had thought, the teens who spent more time on their screens were more likely to experience anhedonia. The teens who experienced anhedonia were also more likely to engage in substance use, thus confirming the theory that anhedonia was a factor in the correlation between screen time and substance use.

 

It’s a phenomenon we have all experienced, on a small scale at least. After finishing an episode of a tv show, the most attractive activity is another episode. After a morning of binge-watching Netflix, it’s hard to feel motivated to get up and go for a hike. The more we invest in social media, the more reality feels dull and colorless in comparison. We’ve all seen children often wander in circles after Mom turns off the tv. Real life is slower, understated, and less flashy than life plugged in.

 

When we understand better how our brains work, and how stimuli affect our brains, it allows us to go through life aware and equipped to take control. We can second-guess our lack of desire to unplug and remind ourselves of the joys of in-person interaction, the outdoors, physical exercise, and more. Mindfulness helps us see through the brain fog and remind ourselves who we really want to be.

 

You can read the study here.

 

Ready to help your family unplug? Clean Router is the best parental controls router on the market with device-specific scheduling, web content filtering, black and white lists, and the option to block ALL porn sites. We stand by our products with a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have absolutely nothing to lose. Why wait? Online peace of mind is only a few clicks away.

 

Order your Clean Router today!

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How to make a Facebook feed you actually enjoy

It’s happened to all of us. You get online hoping to see someone’s new baby or a clever meme, but after a few gory hunting photos and some even bloodier political posts, you log off with a bad taste in your mouth.

 

Many people don’t know they can curate their Facebook feeds by telling Facebook what they’d like to see more or less of. Parents, this is a great thing to do with your kids every so often– think of it as a Facebook parental controls feature.

 

1) Unfollow

The most straightforward way to weed out unwanted content from your Facebook feed is to use the unfollow button ruthlessly. You can unfollow people and pages by clicking the three dots in the top right corner of the post and clicking Unfollow [name of person or page]. The person (or page) can’t see you have unfollowed them, but you won’t see any of their posts on your feed. On the fence? Click Snooze instead, and you won’t see their posts for 30 days.

 

2) Hide

Most of us see the same 8-10 ads over and over again on our feed. Facebook advertising targets people based on their demographics: age, location, and interests. If you’re tired of seeing a specific ad, click the three dots on the top right corner of the ad and choose Hide ad. If you don’t want to see any more ads from the company, click Why am I seeing this ad? You’ll see this page here, which is actually a really interesting snapshot of how Facebook uses your data to market to you.

If you’re only interested in getting rid of Banana Republic ads (for example), you can just click Hide and be done. This is the most effective way to block porn website ads. But, you can also click either of the top categories and remove the information that Facebook has been using from your profile or click Make changes to your ad preferences and quickly hide ads from companies you’ve interacted seen recently. You can even choose to see fewer of popular ad topics, like politics. Check out the Ad Settings tab on the page to see and control how Facebook chooses which ads to show you– it’s pretty wild.

 

3) Report

If you see a downright nasty post, don’t brush it off. Reporting inappropriate posts to Facebook improves your feed AND everyone else’s. The reporting process is quick (less than a minute) and anonymous, so you’ve got nothing to lose. This is the best way to handle porn, violence, and inappropriate content.

 

4) Manage Favorites

Now that you have weeded out the content you DON’T want to see, you can tell Facebook what you DO want to see. Click the arrow in the top right corner of the page and select Settings and Privacy, News Feed Settings, then Manage Favorites. Facebook will show posts from pages and people you select on this page at the top of your news feed. You can have up to thirty pages and/people on your Favorites list, and you can edit the list on this page any time.

 

For more tips on parental controls, how to block or curate social media platforms, or block porn, check out these other posts on our blog!

 

Clean Router is the only parental controls router on the market with easy to use custom controls, cutting edge security, and top-notch support. Questions? Call us at 520-445-4673 or email us at support@cleanrouter.com!

 

Order your Clean Router today!

 

 

 

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Why you should turn off the computer and go outside (featuring Steph Young from Camping Cooks!)

Here’s another reason to savor the balmy weather! A study from the University of Michigan claims that spending time outdoors improves and restores focus.

 

The researchers, led by Marc Berman,  asked 38 undergraduate students to perform several memory-intensive tasks intended to exhaust their attention resources. After the test, all the students were sent on an hour long walk– half through downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, and half through an arboretum. When the students were tested again after their walk, those who had spent their break surrounded by greenery performed better than the others.

 

Interestingly enough, the restorative effects of the nature walk were independent of the participants’ enjoyment of the walk. The poor students were sent out for a walk at four different times of year, including January. While the students understandably enjoyed the walk less at certain times of year, the students who walked through the arboretum still got the same mental benefits.

 

If you live in an urban environment, take comfort– even looking at pictures of the great outdoors can provide mental benefits. After demonstrating the restorative effects of spending time in nature, the researchers enlisted more undergraduate students and replicated the experiment. This time, however, the students were assigned to look at pictures of urban environments or more natural landscape. While the students did not benefit from the pictures as much as actually going outdoors, the scores of the students who looked at the nature pictures were significantly higher than the scores of the students who were assigned to look at the urban pictures. So, go outside if you can, but if you can’t, at least hang a nice waterfall picture where you’ll see it often. Don’t go digital though– another study found looking at a plasma screen displaying a nature scene provided no more mental benefits than looking at a blank wall.

 

This study is not the first to demonstrate power of nature to calm the mind. In the late 1990s, researchers at a public housing development noticed that the women who lived in apartments with plants and trees immediately outside seemed to fare better than those who lived in apartment buildings without such landscaping. When the researchers measured these women’s concentration and attention through various tests, they found that the women who lived among the trees scored higher than the other women in the housing development.

 

You can read the University of Michigan study by clicking here.

 

Camping Cooks, an online resource for camping, cooking, and outdoor survival skills, recently published a motivational guide for those who want to spend more time outdoors. Steph Young, head of Camping Cooks, writes:

 

“Being outdoors has a slew of health benefits including stress and anxiety relief, boosted energy, an increased immune system, and a more focused mindset. There are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, if you just know where to look… Use that determination, and get out there!”

 

Young suggests taking as many daily routines outside as possible. For example, when weather permits, go on daily morning walks, eat meals outside, take work or hobbies to the backyard, or read on the porch! If you have a covered porch or sunroom, continue the habit through unfriendly weather as well. If you’re looking for a side gig, dog walking will bring in a little cash as well as increasing time out of doors. And don’t neglect the weekends, perfect pockets of time for camping, hiking or kayaking day-trips, and more!

 

Check out the rest of Camping Cooks’ guide, “Health Benefits of Experiencing the Great Outdoors,” here!

 

During COVID-19, the temptation for families to slump in front of the iPad or computer is intense. The best way to beat the screen blues is some time outside! Whether your family walks around the neighborhood, relaxes for a few minutes in the yard, or simply does homework on the porch, try to incorporate some time with nature into your routine!

 

Clean Router is a parental controls router that blocks porn and any other websites that you don’t want in your home. Give us a call today, and we can help your family unplug and enjoy time off-line together!

 

Order your Clean Router today!

How to parent in a digital world– FREE Webinar!!

Hi, I’m Caryn, and I handle business development at Clean Router.

 

Hi, I’m Rachel, and I’m social media manager at Clean Router.

 

But we’re also moms, and we want to talk to you moms to mom (or moms to dad) today. I have two teenagers. My kids used to spend way too much time on the internet, and we never really knew what they were doing or seeing online. They would flop on the couch or their beds with their phones after school every day and stay there for hours!

 

 

I have three kids ages four, two, and seven months. When my oldest  child was born, I was amazed how quickly she started reaching for my phone! I thought online safety and screen time limits were for moms with older kids, but my toddlers can’t get enough of smartphones and tablets. My four year old is almost as tech savvy as I am, and my two year old can go from app to app in seconds. Even the crawling baby will “sprint” across the floor to get to a device!

 

 

Last year we attended a seminar at my daughter’s junior high where an assistant chief of police and his partners talked about the dangers of the internet. He explained how popular websites and apps make sex trafficking so much easier for predators. They see cases where predators talk to kids online, gain their trust, and convince kids to meet them. He told us the average age that a child is exposed to pornography is age nine.  NINE!! I was scared to death! My 8th grade daughter had a phone, a laptop, and an iPad. My 6th grade son had an iPad. My kids are smart, and I thought I could trust their good hearts to keep them out of trouble. I realized then that as smart and good as my kids are, I can’t expect them to outsmart adults with years of experience grooming and manipulating children.

 

Clean Router for Every Device in Your Home

 

My toddlers and I like to watch animal videos or clips of Disney movies on YouTube. They love getting to be the one to hold the device and pick the next video. When I read online about disturbing YouTube videos featuring characters from children’s media, I was horrified! As closely as I watch my kids on their devices, I worried that they would be faster than me or that I could be fooled by a misleading thumbnail. I know I can’t shelter my kids forever, but preserving their innocence until kindergarten doesn’t seem too much to ask!

 

 

We may work for a router company, but neither of us is a computer whiz. 

 

You’ve got that right! But it doesn’t take a computer science degree or IT experience to keep your kids safe online. We at Clean Router have put together a webinar with easy internet safety tips any parent can implement!

 

 

Best of all, it’s FREE!

 

The webinar, hosted by Spencer, our CEO, and Ryan, a member of our support team, will take about thirty minutes. They’ll review some statistics about pornography and internet safety and walk you through creating a plan to keep your kids safe online. You will get a chance to ask questions about internet safety, and there will even be a prize at the end!

My family has created an internet safety plan that works for us. It’s simple enough that my toddlers understand the rules, and it’s easy and practical enough for me to keep in place on the craziest days.

 

I put my kids’ devices on a schedule. Now they sleep better at night and we spend more time together as a family during the day!

 

Sign up now for our next free live event!

 

Order your Clean Router today!

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Establishing Safeguards to Prevent Legal Trouble Online: A guest post from Carver, Cantin & Mynarich

As parents, we know excessive screen time and online mischief can impact our kids’ physical and mental health, grades, spirituality, and values. What we often forget or don’t realize, though, is getting into trouble online can have legal consequences for our kids. Today’s guest post from Carver, Cantin & Mynarich offers their legal perspective on why we need to keep our kids safe online.

 

Today’s children are the first digital natives. They were born into a world surrounded by digital devices- the perfect tools for education, communication, and entertainment. Unfortunately, the internet is also a dangerous world with issues ranging from cyber-bullying to inappropriate content. Here are a few ways parents can keep their children safe online and help them avoid legal trouble.   

 

Begin by limiting online time. The longer a child is exposed to digital media, the greater the chance of being exposed to its harmful effects. Several of the harmful effects of lengthy screen time include obesity from a sedentary lifestyle, sleep problems, and behavioral problems like bullying, learning developments, and violence. Additionally, more screen time means more time to find inappropriate content or get into other trouble online.    

 

So, just how much screen time is too much? According to the Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under the age of 18 months should not be exposed to any. Those between 18 to 24-months can be exposed to very limited amounts, while those between 2 to 5-years can handle just one hour of supervised exposure. Beyond the age of 5, an allowance of no more than two hours per day is recommended.

 

Next, parents should monitor online time. Besides exposure time, parents need to determine the quality of the content their children consume. They should help their children choose positive educational content and talk about how to make good choices online. This could entail helping kids discern what is “fake news,” putting in place parental controls to ensure kids aren’t looking at overly-sexualized or other age-inappropriate content, or just talking about things online that might interfere with their emotional, physical, or mental well-being. Moreover, parents should watch programs with their children and discuss what they are watching. This will not only help parents monitor what their kids are doing, it will also help teach their kids the boundaries of what is and isn’t appropriate.

 

Consider installing protective software. Given that adults aren’t available 100% of the time to monitor what kids are watching, protective technology can be really helpful. There are a myriad of technologies that can protect them from potentially harmful content. One such tool is Clean Router. This enables parents to manage and monitor all digital devices in their home. As such, it blocks internet pornography, filters Youtube, enforces time restrictions, and logs all activity.

 

Finally, when it comes to your kids’ online time, be consistent with rules and consequences. One of the negative effects of online exposure to inappropriate content is violence, which includes physical and emotional bullying.

 

Cyberbullying is on the rise, especially among teenagers. It is bullying carried out via digital technologies, such as texts, emails, and social media. Among other things, bullying can cause low self-esteem, drugs and alcohol abuse, poor grades in school, and physical and emotional health issues. Moreover, cyberbullying has serious legal ramifications.   

 

Kids also may not realize the danger of sharing personal information or photos online. This is especially true when it comes to sexting, which involves sharing sexually explicit content via digital devices. Your teenager may think they are just sending a cute picture to their significant other, but in some states, sexting between teens can be legally considered the distribution of child pornography. In fact, several states have specific laws on teen sexting. In Missouri, for example, distribution of a minor’s sexually explicit content can attract a one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine.

 

With serious risks like this, it is critical that parents establish safeguards to protect their children online. Though the internet is an incredible resource, it also opens the door to emotional, physical, and legal risks, especially for kids and teens.

 

 Carver, Cantin & Mynarich are a team of criminal defense lawyers in Springfield, Missouri. The firm specializes in Internet crimes, along with serious felonies, criminal tax, death penalty prosecutions and a wide-range of other criminal cases. The firm is a 2017 and 2018 U.S. News & Best Lawyers Best Law Firm in America.

 

Thank you, Carver, Cantin & Mynarich!

 

Hey parents, ready for online peace of mind?

 

Order your Clean Router today!

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Guest post from Mom Loves Best: Why Excessive Screen Time for Kids is Dangerous & What to Do About It

Today we have a treat for you readers: a guest post from Jenny Silverstone, the chief editor and author of Mom Loves Best, a research-driven parenting blog that aims to educate parents on essential topics such as children safety, health, and development.

 

Take it away, Jenny!

 

Do you worry about the amount of screen time your children get each day?

You are not alone. According to a recent report by Common Sense Media, 66% of parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend on devices. Surprisingly, 50% of teens agree with them.

While technology can open many doors of information and be used for great good, there are also many risks involved. In a society equally obsessed and reliant on technology, how can parents regulate screen time for kids?

 

How Much Screen Time Should My Kids Get?

Screen time for Kids InfographicExposure to media and technology is an inevitably for all children, whether at home or in school. In fact, it is important for your children to be able to understand and utilize the tools available to them.

However, the dangers of smartphones, computers, televisions, and movies, come when they are overused. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has set forth recommended guidelines for how much screen time your child should have each day:

  • Children under 18 months: Screen time is not recommended for children under 18 months. Babies are unable to gain anything from media, though the AAP says video chatting is fine.
  • Children 18 to 24 months: You may begin introducing media to your child in limited amounts.
  • Children 2 to 5 years: Limit to one hour of supervised screen time a day. Choose positive and educational programming. The AAP discovered this screen time is useful most often when parents watch with the children and explain what they are seeing.
  • Children 6 & older: At the age of six, the AAP suggests parents begin determining how much media is appropriate for their child, setting guidelines and making sure media usage does not interfere with your child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being. Two hours a day has been generally suggested.

It is important parents not only focus on how much screen time their children get, but also on the quality of media they consume. Parents should watch and discuss media with their children, teaching them how to apply what they see to their everyday life.

The Dangers of Excessive Screen Time

There are a number of risks associated with excessive screen time for kids:

  • In young children, screen time has shown to negatively impact learning development. Because they are focused on the screen, they miss opportunities to interact with parents and participate in creative play, two essential activities for learning language, problem-solving, and behavioral skills.
  • Children of all ages have experienced impaired sleep schedules with excessive screen time, having difficulty falling and staying asleep.
  • Screen time of any sort is a risk factor for childhood obesity, with children consuming over 150 extra calories on average per hour of television watched.
  • The bright lights of screens can cause vision problems, headaches, and irritability.
    Communication and interpersonal skills are inhibited.
  • The longer the exposure to a technological screen, the higher the risk.

 

Cutting Down on Screen Time as a Family

The best way to cut down on screen time for your children is to join with them. Making a goal as a family will help everyone remain diligent and accountable. Here are five tips to reduce the amount of screen time you are exposed to:

  1. Designate “no-screen” areas of your home. The best place to start is the dinner table.
  2. Have a plug-in station at night in a public area. All cell-phones are plugged in to be charged overnight, but not available to use.
  3. Try unplugging an hour before bed if you can.
  4. Use this website, sponsored by the AAP, to create a Personalized Family Media Plan. You can also calculate how much time your family spends on a screen.
  5. Avoid placing televisions and computers in bedrooms.
  6. Find a loud timer to keep track of how much screen time your children get. In the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to lose track of time. You can also use special routers to make setting time restrictions easy.

 

Thanks for joining us today, Jenny!

 

At Clean Router, we understand how difficult it can be to slow your family down and keep them safe from the negative side effects of technology. That is why we strive to provide you with a simple tool to monitor all of the media in your home.

 

Let us help you manage your screen time for kids!

Order your Clean Router today!