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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!

 

Order your Clean Router today!Learn tips to keep your kids safe online

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The original parental controls router is better than ever!

SuperbCrew, a business news website covering innovative companies, featured an interview with Clean Router CEO Spencer Thomason! They covered Clean Router’s origin story (superhero style :D) and talked about why Clean Router stands out among competitors.

 

Here are our favorite parts of the interview:

 

How we’re unique

“Our competitors require you to install software on each device and jump through a bunch of hoops. The CleanRouter is very unique in that it’s an actual physical device – a wireless router. You simply plug it in, and it automatically protects all of the devices in your home.”

 

The shout-out to our awesome support team

“We have a great US-based support team ready to assist you with just about anything. Call, email, or use the live chat on our website – we’d love to hear from you!”

 

And the very first moments of Clean Router magic

 “The first prototypes ended up working so well, I knew I had created something special. I just had to get these into the hands of families across the country.”

 

Read the full interview here!

 

Clean Router blocks porn and other adult content with cutting-edge parental controls technology. Our web content filtering is device-specific so parents can loosen the filters or opt-out completely. The settings are completely customizable to meet the needs of the family you have now AND the family you will have in five years. Why wait? Online peace of mind is only a few clicks away.

 

Ready to protect your family with Clean Router?

 

 

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!

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.

 

 

Order your Clean Router today!Learn tips to keep your kids safe online

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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!Learn tips to keep your kids safe online

 

 

 

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!

Ready to take your family internet safety plan to ultimate protection?

Order your Clean Router today!Learn tips to keep your kids safe online

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An interactive internet safety guide for kids– check it out!

Add some real-world education to your kids’ coronaschool curriculum!

 

AT&T has created an internet safety tutorial for kids that quizzes them on online etiquette, protecting personal information, social media safety, and more!

 

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Sunny, straightforward, and practical, Sammy’s Guide to Internet Safety will entertain and educate kids. It’s probably best for ages six to ten years old.

 

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Sammy’s Internet Safety Guide does leave off some topics parents will want to make sure to cover, like avoiding pornography, social media FOMO, and the benefits of unplugging. Check out our blog for tips on talking to kids about pornography and the effects of too much screen time!

 

You can also download Sammy’s Internet Safety Guide and print or save it on your computer. This could be a great test to make kids pass before they get online. Parents, teacher, and librarians– take note!

 

We applaud AT&T for promoting internet safety education for kids! Check out Sammy’s Internet Safety Guide here.

 

Protect your home with Clean Router! Download our Parent App today to make internet safety easier than ever.

 

Order your Clean Router today!Learn tips to keep your kids safe online

Has your browser history been deleted?

So– you think your browser history has been deleted. You’re not sure what was deleted, or even IF anything was deleted. Unfortunately, the only way to see if your browser history has been deleted is to recover the full history and compare.

We all know that nothing on the internet is ever truly gone. However, the point of deleting something is to make it disappear for good… or at least to make it very, very hard to find. So, the best way to protect your family online is to move forward, not backwards. Tighten the parental controls. Put wifi capable devices in public places. Have frank conversations with your children about using technology responsibly.

Having said that, this is the best way to try to recover deleted browser history.

 

Windows: System Restore

System restore will take your computer back to an earlier date. This will affect your computer’s system files, BUT NOT YOUR COMPUTER’S DATA FILES (meaning that it is not a way to recover pictures/documents/videos saved on your computer).

(Note: The system restore instructions are paraphrased from wikihow.com)

1) Search for “system restore” in your Start menu

2) Follow the options and select the date to which you want your computer to revert.

3) You should be able to read your browsing history as it was on that date.

 

Mac: Time machine

(Note: The Time Machine instructions are taken from maciverse.com)

On a Mac, you have to enable the Time Machine program and select a back up place to recover your browser history. If you have already done so, you will be able to recover Safari and Firefox browser history on a Mac. Unfortunately, users have had mixed results using any process to recover Chrome browser history.

1) Close Safari/Chrome/Firefox and open Finder

2) Select your user account under Places

3) Open the library folder, then the Safari/Chrome/Firefox folder

4) Open Time Machine and select the date you would like to restore your browser history from

5) Select the history.plist folder and hit Restore

6) When asked if you want to proceed, click Replace

7) You should now be able to open Safari/Chrome/Firefox and view your restored history.

 

Obviously, monitoring browser history is NOT a foolproof way to keep tabs on your kids’ online activities. Make sure your family knows your internet values and house rules. Encourage constant dialogue about internet safety and content. This area is not so different than any other area of parenting; communication and a strong relationship are key. It may seem daunting, but you CAN instill positive media values and internet street smarts in your children.

 

Order your Clean Router today!Learn more tips to keep your kids safe online

 

internet use affects teen grades

Boys and girls waste time differently online but hurt GPAs similarly, study says

The internet / grade connection is real

 

Everyone knows teenagers spend a lot of time on the internet and most of that time is less than productive. AND it’s not hard to guess wasting time online isn’t good for the GPA. It’s not even a surprise that boys and girls engage in different online activities. But Taiwanese researchers Su-Yen Chen and Yang-Chih Fu wanted to know if different online activities effect boys’ and girls’ grade point averages differently.

 

In their 2009 study “Internet Use and Academic Achievement: Differences in Early Adolescence,” Su-Yen Chen and Yang-Chih Fu analyzed Taiwanese eighth graders’ internet usage. Unsurprisingly, girls spent more time socializing online, and boys spent more time gaming. This difference is also encouraged in Taiwan by internet cafes focused on online gaming and mostly frequented by young men.
Researchers then examined the correlation between certain activities (gaming, socializing, and searching for information) and the entrance exam scores. They found that gaming was associated with lower boys’ scores, and that socializing was associated with lower girls’ scores. However, gaming didn’t seem to negatively impact the girls’ scores, and socializing didn’t seem to hurt the boys’ scores. Searching for information was associated with higher test scores in both genders.

 

What can we learn from these results?

 

In spite of the gender generalizations made by this study, the most helpful take-away seems to be that internet activities effect different people differently. Online shopping might teach valuable lessons about marketing and business to one person but might just be a waste of time and money to another person. Short periods of gaming could help one person unwind and practice self-discipline (ie learning to turn the game off when appropriate) or be a dangerous addictive distraction to someone else.
Teenagers need to learn how to use the internet responsibly. Clean Router can provide limits that can help that learning process (click here for more information).  But parents also need to help teenagers develop self-awareness and self-discipline. Teenagers have to know when to work, when to play, and simply when enough is enough. These principles apply “in real life” as well, of course. But the addictive nature of technology necessitates a deeper recognition of growing dependency. It’s too easy to sit down and let hours fly by while one is clicking away. By helping teenagers learn these skills, parents are preparing their children to be responsible, independent adults.

 

That’s just good parenting.