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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!Learn tips to keep your kids safe online

 

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You CAN talk to your five year old about pornography– and here’s how

Hey parents– imagine yourself talking to your kids about pornography.

 

How old are your kids?

 

If you’re like most parents, you probably pictured your kids as teens, maybe tweens, shifting uncomfortably in their seats as you talk about addiction, sexuality, respect, and exploitation. There’s only one problem with that plan.

 

It’s way too late.

 

By age fifteen, your teenager is more likely to have seen pornography than not. The average age of a kid seeing pornography for the first time? Twelve years old.  Focus on the Family cites research claiming it’s now eight years old!

 

Parents, if you want to get to your kids first– and believe me, you do– you need to start the conversation about pornography with your kids far before the teen years.

 

How?

 

If you cringe at the idea of discussing prostitution, sexual violence, and addiction with your kindergarten, you’re not alone. If you are ready for the birds and the bees, go for it! If not, you can still break it down for them in ways they can understand.

 

At five years old, kids are ready for a label, a definition, and an action plan:

 

“Pornography is pictures, videos, or words that describe or display private parts of people’s bodies like a woman’s breasts and vulva or a man’s penis. Reading or looking at pornography may make you feel good or excited or uncomfortable, or all of these things. Pornography is unhealthy for your brain, so if you see pornography, look away and tell Mom or Dad as soon as you can. If Mom and Dad aren’t there, tell a teacher or another grown-up.”

 

Your family media rules will also provide opportunities to talk to your kids about internet safety and the power of media.

 

Before you hand them an iPad:

 

“Hey bud, come out here while you play Minecraft. You should always have an adult with you while you’re online.”

 

Explaining media rules:

 

“Pictures, videos, and music can influence our thoughts and emotions, which shape our beliefs and attitudes. That’s why we only allow media in our home that fits with our family’s standards.”

 

 

Turning off an inappropriate movie:

 

“We’re not going to watch any more of this movie because it makes X (drinking alcohol, promiscuity, smoking, being unkind to family members, racial prejudice) look cool. X is really very uncool– it’s bad for Y (our bodies, our families, our minds, society, etc.) because Z (it’s addictive, it causes cancer, it makes people feel unloved, it weakens families, etc.). I know you know X is not ok, but if we watch media that makes X look cool, over time, our brains get tricked into thinking that X really isn’t so bad.”

 

Keep things basic and concrete– anything too abstract will only confuse a five year old. Above all, keep the conversation comfortable and open! As your child grows, he or she will be ready for more information, and you will have laid a foundation by starting early.

 

To protect your family online, try the Clean Router! The original parental controls router is still parents’ top choice for flexible content filtering, time restrictions, and more!

 

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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.

 

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Surprise! Black Friday is here!

2020 has been a tough year for all of us, so we’re bringing the holiday cheer early this year! That’s right– Black Friday is here! Use the code CLEANBLACK FRIDAY at checkout to get 20% off any new Clean Router subscription for life!

 

More families than ever before are using Clean Router to protect their homes. With school closed, parents working from home, and child care space limited, there’s no way today’s parents can do it all. Clean Router offers parents the chance to know their children are safe online without the hassle of hanging over their shoulders. Our multi-layer filtering system is completely customizable, so you can adjust and re-adjust the settings to fit your growing family’s needs.

 

This is the ONLY time of year we have a sale, so don’t wait! Get your Clean Router today before this promotion ends.

 

Clean Router is the only wireless parental controls router with content filtering on the market. Our easy to use custom controls, packet filtering, cutting edge security, and top-notch support make us the best choice for busy parents who want to block porn and other adult content from their homes and keep their kids safe online. Clean Router is suitable for home and office use. Questions? Give us a call at 520-445-4673 or email us at support@cleanrouter.com.

 

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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4 easy (and free!) things you can do to keep your kids safer online

Keeping your kids safe online doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Here are four easy and FREE things you can do to protect your family.

 

1. Kick all electronic devices out of bedrooms

If your kids are using the computer behind closed doors, it’s hard to know where they go and what they do online. The illusion of privacy also can entice your kids into believing online misbehavior won’t have consequences. For both these reasons, the vast majority of family internet safety experts advise parents to keep all computers and mobile devices in common areas of the house.

 

2. Check the browser history often

While this isn’t a silver bullet (kids can easily alter the browser history or use an incognito browser), it’s an important first step to keeping your kids safe online. Glancing through the websites visited on each computer, tablet, or smartphone will give you a basic idea of your kids’ browsing patterns. Keep an eye out for gaps in the history (like if you know your kid was on the computer  from 3pm to 5pm, but nothing is listed between 4:15pm and 4:30pm), late night or early morning browsing, or anything that seems odd or out of character for your kids. Furthermore, let your kids know you periodically check the browsing history. This will give you opportunities to talk to them about internet safety and give them added incentive to follow your family’s media rules.

 

3. Give the internet an early bedtime

Even if all electronic devices stay in the living room or kitchen, the busiest areas of your house are deserted at night. Use the parental controls on your kids’ devices to shut the internet down at a certain time, or simply turn off the router when you go to bed.

Bonus– your kids will sleep better, since the blue light from their devices won’t suppress the melatonin in their brains.

 

4. Password-protect all your devices

All computers and mobile devices come with the option to sign in with a password, and this barrier to entry can prevent everything from your baby changing your phone’s language to Arabic, your toddler finding disturbing videos on YouTube, to your tween surfing the web before she’s finished her chores. Then, if the kids are home alone, no one can be online!

Possible exception: If you’re one of the many families who do not have a landline phone, you may want to consider keeping one phone unlocked so your kids can call for help in case of an emergency.

 

If you liked these tips, check out our family internet safety live event here!

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4 ways to porn-proof young children (without shattering their innocence)

When do you need to start talking to your kids about pornography? According to internet safety experts, it needs to begin before your kids go online for the first time. Sounds reasonable, right? Maybe fifteen years ago, but thanks to tablets and mobile devices, most kids are using apps and streaming shows before their third birthday. Sure, you might begin explaining the basics of human reproduction to a three year old, but most parents aren’t ready to break down sexual violence, addiction, exploitation, and safe sex at this point.

 

Luckily, you CAN prepare your little children against pornography in an effective and age-appropriate manner. Here are four things you can do– and none of them involve a nitty-gritty sex talk.

 

1. Teach them to respect others’ personal boundaries

Pornography is intensely confusing because it blurs the line between consensual and non-consensual sex. Research indicates that pornography users are more likely to support violence against women and to sexually harass others. You might not be ready to talk to your child about sexual harassment, but you can teach him or her from toddlerhood to respect others’ bodies and boundaries. Have firm rules in your house that no means no, and if someone is not enjoying a certain activity, that form of play stops immediately. If your child develops these values, he or she will be able to recognize the unhealthy dynamics of pornography, no matter his or her age.

 

2. Respect THEIR personal boundaries

Here’s the flip side of respect– children need to have their bodies and boundaries respected as well, even if the activity seems harmless or someone’s feelings will be hurt. Pornography is tricky– it tries to create gray areas where boundary violations and abuse seem acceptable because of who did it or because the person whose wishes were ignored seemed ok afterwards. As a parent (or grandparent, or teacher, or caretaker), your job is to demonstrate their bodies and boundaries should be respected unless there’s a hygiene, medical, or safety need involved. Sorry, brushing teeth has got to happen, kiddo.  But unwanted tickling and kisses? Should be a no-go.

 

3.Watch TV with them

Media is unrealistic, and that’s often what makes it fun. Sometimes the fantastic aspects are obvious– dragons, Jedi, zombies, balloons that can lift a house. Other times, though, it’s less obvious– put-downs that don’t hurt feelings, inept adults, implausible romances. Kids need to consume media alongside parents or trusted adults to open a dialogue about what is real and what isn’t. This can prevent media of any kind, including pornography, from warping their developing expectations.

 

4.Kindness counts

This one’s simple: pornography shows everything except kindness. The higher value you place on kindness in your home, the less likely your children will be to perceive a lack of kindness as attractive. Gordon B. Hinckley, a prominent religious leader, once said that love “is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion.” This is what pornography doesn’t show– and it is what children of any age desperately need to see.

 

Block ALL ONLINE PORN from your home, church, library, or small business with the Clean Router Proven Process!

Complete the set-up wizard

 Name your devices
Enable text and email notifications
Customize time restrictions
Bookmark Settings.CleanRouter.com

 

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3 things your kids need to know to be safe online

 

Remember when surfing the internet meant tying up your phone line?

Your kids probably don’t! This generation is more tech savvy than any previous generation, and some of these kids begin their internet experience even before they begin school. Here are three things they need to know about to be safe online.

 

1. Pornography

Make sure your child is educated about pornography: what it is, how it will harm them, and how it harms others. Online pornography is pervasive; it is almost certain that your child will be exposed to it. Does he or she know what to do when this happens? Come up with a strategy such as turning off or covering up the monitor and immediately finding a trusted adult. Teach your kids internet accountability, that they are responsible for what they view online.

We post articles frequently on our Clean Router Facebook page about pornography’s effects on individuals and society. These articles are a great resource for talking to your children about pornography.

 

2. Scams

A flashing banner inviting your child to click to claim a brand new iPad can be very tempting if he doesn’t know any better. Teach your children to avoid ads and to recognize illegitimate websites.

One popular scam is fake customer service numbers. Make sure your children know to never dial a customer service number unless it comes from the actual company’s website!

 

3. Privacy

It’s easy to forget that social media is a public forum. Remind your kids that if they wouldn’t put it on a billboard, they shouldn’t post it online or send it in a message. This includes messages that are supposed to disappear or be deleted and even “private” online storage. Several celebrities recently learned the hard way that nothing digital is perfectly secure. Teach your children how to adjust their privacy settings on social media but not to take that privacy for granted.

Giving your child online street smarts is just as important as reminding him to wear a bike helmet or talk to strangers appropriately.

 

Check out our other posts on helping your kids be safe online!

 

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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!

 

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