Can Netflix be dangerous for your kid?

Parental controls are capable to prevent Blue Whale Game

Thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows are now available via a streaming service Netflix. Since recently after the series “13 Reasons Why” has been accused of promoting openly suicidal thoughts, parents raised the question if Netflix parental controls work.

Netflix is a streaming service that allows customers to watch a wide variety of TV shows, movies, documentaries and more on Internet-connected devices without having to watch a single commercial (definition was taken from the www.netflix.com).

“13 Reasons Why” is an original Netflix television show depicting 13 reasons why a teen girl committed suicide. She couldn’t’ handle struggles at school and, as a result, she took her own life. Also, the show is about bullying (social media, the Internet, and in online and offline life), stalking, swearing, drugs, sexual content, self-harm, and rape. Not so much a kids’ movie, right? However, teens and even pre-teens can watch it with no restrictions.

If you ask any parent “How do you set parental controls on Netflix”, you’ll probably get the answer from Netflix parental controls help page. Go to the Netflix official site to find out how to do it in details. We’re going to cover it in general.

So how do I set parental controls on my Netflix account?

Well, there are 2 ways to do it. You may set a maturity level for your child’s profile and manage the movies and TV shows they watch. But you have to make sure your kid uses the right profile. From your account, you pick the profile to be edited and set the desired maturity level. If you’re a primary account holder, you can set “For Teens and below or All Maturity levels” only. This means that little children and pre-teens cannot use any of the profiles. And you’ll need to have an account-level to be able to set a maturity level for the entire account. This level offers a 4-digit PIN kids have to enter to watch anything.

Do Netflix parental controls really work?

Let’s find out with the father of 3 children who shared his story with the Internet audience. His name is Dave. Dave created a profile for his kid, set the level “under 12”, and let his son watch Netflix. Later Dave checked his son’s viewing history and saw a porn documentary in the list. His mistake was allowing his son to log in to the account and simply choose which profile to use. Kids can easily switch profiles if not controlled. If a child watches these films, Netflix will suggest more. There a few tips he’s sharing with parents as well:

  • Each profile has a maturity level, which means you can adjust every profile to the allowable for your kid rating
  • When done watching your rate movie, change the maturity level back for kids could access movies anytime
  • Indicate preferences which means Netflix won’t suggest undesired movies or TV shows. You still have the access to them, but at least they do not show up randomly.

Can Netflix parental controls set time limits?

Unfortunately, no. Even good content may be harmful to kids if watched at the expense of sleep or school hours. Netflix parental control cannot set time limits.
Since people use the service mostly via the Netflix app, you can always use mSpy to monitor installed apps and restrict their usage. The app allows to block the site of Netflix. Besides, there’s a great feature called Keylogger which helps parents identify a concrete content (movie, TV show) a kid might be looking for on the Internet, including Netflix. So if “13 Reasons Why” buzz spread over your kid’s school and your kid intends to watch it, you can step in in time to at least discuss the subject.

Additionally, the parental control app allows to view the search history, the whole online activity, and the communication in social media.

As any source of content, Netflix can be dangerous for the kids’ mental health if not managed with an effective parental control software.

mSpy – Know. Prevent. Protect.

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