There will be times when simply asking your kid to stop using their phone or a specific app does not work. The internet has changed the way we treat or think of our phones. It used to be that cell phones were only used for calling, which was a major upgrade from Pagers. However, as the internet became widely accessible, their functionality changed. Today, we can do almost anything on our phones, and because being on the screen increases dopamine in the brain, children can become screen addicts. Aside from screen addiction, children can also be exposed to age-inappropriate content while watching YouTube or surfing the web, which is why it’s oftentimes necessary to know how to disable the internet on children’s phones.
The effects of unmonitored internet use can be seen in most kids. Aggression, ADHD, and being restless are only a number of side effects of being exposed to inappropriate content. The reason inappropriate content is so damaging to kids is that watching the animation and bright colors on your screen causes your brain to produce more dopamine. This overload of dopamine makes your brain produce less dopamine in the long run. Although there is no method for reversing these effects, there are ways to prevent them. Your main methods are using the phone’s built-in settings, third-party parental control apps, and your DNS server. Continue reading to find out the answer to the question, “how can I block internet on my child’s phone?”
Different Methods for Disabling Internet on Children’s Phones
The methods are numerous, and covering all of them would result in a much longer article. Since your child’s phone is going to be either iOS or Android, this section will focus on these operating systems.
These methods are specifically for Android devices and will not be for iOS.
Blocking Internet Access
- Open Settings
- Select More networks
- Select Mobile networks
- Select Access Point names
- Select you APN
- Select Options
- In the popup window, select APN and type “xyz”
- In the top-right corner, select Options and then Save
After you follow the steps above, your child’s phone’s mobile data will be completely blocked. One important thing you should remember is to write down the APN name before you change it; if you’ve already forgotten to write it down, no worries. You can try taking out the sim card and inserting it again or calling the sim card provider.
Using this method, you can block certain websites from your child’s phone. Follow the steps below to learn how.
- Open Settings
- Select WIFI Settings
- Select Modified Network
- Select Show Advanced options
- In the IPv4 settings, select Static
- Put in the DNS server in DNS1 and DNS2
- Select Save
Now you have effectively blocked the website you wanted to. There are still methods you can use to block websites or categories, using Google’s Safe Search or the Play Store’s parental control settings. Let’s see how you can implement these settings.
Google’s Safe Search
The Safe Search mode on Google helps you block age-inappropriate and adult content from their search results. Follow the steps below to learn how to turn on Safe Search on Google.
- In your browser, log into your child’s Google account (create one for them if they don’t already have one).
- Visit Google’s homepage and in the bottom-right corner, click on the Settings icon
- After opening Settings, select Search Settings
- Turn on Safe Search and select Save
Parental Controls on Play Store
By putting parental controls on Google Play Store, you can make sure your child doesn’t install apps that are age-inappropriate. Apps that aren’t in your child’s age group can expose them to unwanted content, which is why you should activate parental controls on the Play Store. Follow the steps below to learn how.
- Log into your child’s Google account on their phone. Create one for them if they don’t already have one.
- From the app menu, open Play Store, and in the top-left corner, tap the three dots.
- In the new window, select Settings
- Select Parental Controls
- Enter a new PIN and confirm it by re-entering the PIN
You can now select the apps you want to block on your child’s phone based on their category or age rating. In case your child uses an iPhone, you can disable the internet on their phone by using the method below.
Apple phones, and iPhones, have a considerable share of the market, and a huge portion of the annual sales goes to Apple. Most kids are diehard fans of Apple and have convinced you, their parents, to buy an iPhone for them. Since you will want to disable their access to the internet, this section will teach you just that. Keep reading to find out how you can disable the internet on your child’s iPhone.
- Go to Settings
- Select Screen Time
- In the Screen Time window, you are going to see different options (app limits, content restriction, website restriction)
- To create a passcode, select Set Screen Time Passcode
- Select Set up Screen Time for Family
- Select Content & Privacy Restrictions
- Enter your password and turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions
At this point, you will have three parental control settings to choose from App Limits, Communication Limits, and Website Restrictions. Each of these settings performs different tasks, and you should know what they do before choosing one.
App Limits: This feature blocks access to apps that you think have inappropriate content or you just don’t want your kid to use. By using this feature, you can block your kid’s access to YouTube or any browser they have on their phone.
Communication Limits: This feature allows parents to set restrictions on who their child can contact during Downtime hours. You can block your child’s contact with contacts on their phone so that they don’t get distracted when they’re studying. You can manually select the contacts you want to be blocked, or you can block all contacts on your child’s phone.
Website Restrictions: This feature allows parents to restrict website access on their children’s phone through different presets. With this feature, you have three options to choose from: Allowed Websites Only, Unrestricted Access, and Limit Adult Websites. As the name suggests. the Unrestricted Access feature does not restrict any websites or categories. The Limit Adult Websites feature helps you block websites with inappropriate content without having to put in their URLs manually. Apple uses its own algorithms to detect and automatically block adult websites on your child’s phone. The Allowed Websites Only will only let your child visit websites that you have previously whitelisted. This option is best for parents with young children who can’t be exposed to any age-inappropriate content.
If you think these settings aren’t going to meet your needs, then you should check out third-party parental control apps such as Safes. Continue reading to find out more about what parental control apps are and how they can help you disable internet access on children’s phones.
What are Parental Control Apps?
Parental control apps, when put in simple words, are apps that help parents put restrictions on their child’s phones. These restrictions include website restrictions, app restrictions, and screen time restrictions. Although some apps offer more features than others, there’s not that much of a difference between their functionality. Although there are numerous apps for setting parental controls, this article will focus on the Safes parental control app. Let’s see what Safes offers for setting parental controls on iOS and Android phones.
Geofence: This feature allows parents to set green zones around the places that their children visit the most, such as their home or school. In the green zones, your preferred parental control settings will be automatically applied, and you don’t even have to get online. This feature makes the process of setting parental controls much easier for parents.
App Blocker: This feature allows you to block your child’s access to certain apps that can have potentially age-inappropriate content. Apps such as YouTube can negatively affect your child’s mental health by exposing them to violence, adult language, or even mature content. The same content can be seen on browsers too, which is why you might want to block browsers by using this feature.
URL Blocking: This feature allows you to restrict your child’s access to certain websites depending on what kind of material you want to block. With Safes, you can either manually put in the website’s URL or block URLs based on their category (Categorical URL Blocking). Safes uses its own algorithm to detect and block websites that have inappropriate content for children. Some of your options when selecting a category to block are Porn, Gambling, Adult, and Violence.
Activity Report: This feature allows you to get detailed reports of your child’s activity on their phone. By using this feature, you can see which apps are consuming most of their time and keeping them from studying for school. When you find out which apps are time-consuming, you can block them with the App Blocker feature.
Location Sharing: This feature will benefit your child the most. Children can ask for their parent’s location if and when they get into trouble or feel unsafe. This feature will help you a lot in emergencies by allowing both the child and the parent to know where the other one is.
Live Location: This feature allows you to see where your child is with pinpoint accuracy. If your child isn’t answering their phone or if you’re worried about them and want to know where they are, this feature will help. Unlike the Location Sharing feature, you won’t have to put in a request for their location and can see it in real time.
Driving Report: This feature is best for parents with kids who are in their late teens and drive cars. By using this feature, you will get notified if your child goes over the speed limit or leaves the town. You will additionally get detailed reports of how many times your child has been on a trip or has passed the speed limit.
To sum this section up, parental control apps offer much more than the built-in settings on phones and are more convenient to use. If you’re looking for a premium experience, parental control apps such as Safes are the way to go.
Unlimited access to the internet has its pros and cons for everyone but for kids; it’s mostly cons. Since most kids use phones rather than tablets or laptops, parents want to learn how to disable internet on children’s phones. There are different methods you can use to block internet access on Android phones, such as the phone’s built-in settings, DNS servers, or through the Play Store’s parental controls. On iOS, you can use the Screen Time feature to set various parental control settings. On the other hand, you can use third-party apps to set parental controls on your devices and restrict your child’s access to the apps on their phone. Or set up screen time to limit how long they can use their phone.