I received complementary product from Circle with Disney to facilitate my review. My opinions remain, as always, 100% my own.
My girls are still young at 4 and 2. But monitoring their screen time, and what they access while they use their iPads, already keeps me up at night! What if I told you this little white box could give you peace of mind and total control over exactly what your kids access, how much time they spend, what hours they have access and what they spend their time online doing, all from your smart phone? Sound too good to be true? Circle with Disney allows you to protect your family online, by doing all of that. Learn how easy it is to use, set-up, and win one for yourself!
Protect Your Family Online
In our house, iPads are reserved for the end of the day. When my patience is exhausted, I have to clean-up from dinner, restore order to the house and get the baby to bed, most nights all by myself, I deploy the iPads. For the last 30-60 minutes of the day before bedtime baths and stories, I get peace and quiet… and now Circle with Disney gives me peace of mind too!Get peace of mind for #MothersDay. Protect your family online with @meetcircle #onlinesafety… Click To Tweet
They are still young so technology isn’t a huge battle yet, but I do want to protect them from seeing and accessing content inappropriate for their young eyes. Circle with Disney allows me to monitor and manage online access for any device accessing my home wifi. For each device, I can set customized filters, starting with Circle’s preset filters by age (Pre-K, Kid, Teen, Adult), making adjustments as I deem appropriate. I can also set access hours (wake and bedtime), and the total amount of time allowed daily. Better still, I can see their exact access history, link by link, as well as what links were filtered out.
And I was able to do it all in less than 10 minutes…
Setting Up Circle for Your Home
Circle with Disney arrived in my mailbox, and like an Apple device, comes in streamlined packaging, designed for plug and play. I plugged it in to a power source, downloaded the app on my iPhone, and followed the instructions on the app to set up the device on my home wifi.
Within minutes, I was up and running. Once online, it automatically detected all devices accessing my wifi. The hardest part of the set-up was figuring out the IP address associated with each device to assign it to each member of my family to set the right filters. If we had named all our devices better, set-up would have taken me half the time!
I elected to ignore (an option in the app) most of my home’s devices, only monitoring the girl’s iPads. I set them both up on the preset Pre-K filter. I turned on YouTube access, since they are *slightly* addicted to watching Playdough Princess videos, but otherwise left the filter as set. It also automatically filters all web sites based on a Kids category, granting access only to sites for deemed appropriate for children under 10. In addition, you have the option of adding specific URLs to the filter as well.
Note that filters for older age groups list far more platforms, like Facebook, FaceTime, HBO, Hulu, Instagram, Netflix, and gives an wide array of internet categories for filtering, as well as the ability to block ads, use Google Safe Search and YouTube Restricted.
Monitoring with Circle
Circle not only allows you to protect your family online, it let’s you monitor and analyze exactly how they are spending their time there. The former research analyst in me loves analytics, so this is my favorite part. I can see exactly how much time Lil’ M (age 2.5) spent online yesterday (40 min), and what she spent it doing (watching videos on YouTube). I can see her entire history of links she accessed, and those she tried (or pop-ups) that were filtered. I can click on any of them to grant future access or filter them too.
Protect Your Family with Circle
What do you allow in your family’s circle? Protect your family online with a Circle of your very own. Want to learn more? Follow Circle with Disney on Facebook and Twitter, and enter below for a chance to win one for yourself (retail value $99).
How do you protect your kids online? What is your biggest online battle with your kids? If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Protect Your Family This Summer, featuring how to find the safest sunscreen for your whole family, and 20+ Favorite Apps for Parents. You can find more of our favorite tips for technology and your family on our iPad Apps & Technology board on Pinterest.