You’ve bought an Amazon Fire tablet for your child, but you’re worried about what they might see on it. Unsuitable videos and free access to the web isn’t ideal. Fortunately, the Android-based Fire OS features a built-in parental control system. While not immediately obvious, it’s pretty solid, too.
Here’s how to set up parental controls on your child’s Amazon Fire and ensure they stay safe and educated!
Getting Started: Protect Your Account
Before you even think about setting up a profile for your child, spend a few minutes activating some basic protections on your account.
Open the Settings screen, and under Personal, find Security & Privacy. Ensure you have a Lock-Screen Passcode set. You can choose either a password or a PIN; select whichever you consider more secure and easy to remember.
Setting this will ensure your child cannot access your screen by simply exiting their own. In your screen, a child might inadvertently (or mischievously!) delete and install apps, remove movies from your watch list, and even add or remove items from your Amazon wish list. It’s best to take the sensible precaution, and put these features out of reach.
You’ve just saved yourself a lot of trouble!
Create a Child Profile on the Amazon Fire Tablet
Your next job is to create a profile for your child.
Pull down the menu from the top of the screen, and tap your user icon. Here, look for the Plus button to Add New User, tapping OK to confirm the step.
Here, tap Add a Child Profile (adult profiles are also available, should your partner require one). Then add the details, such as name, gender, and date of birth.
You can choose from two available themes. Blue Sky is for those under nine years old, while the Midnight Black Theme is for children between nine and 12. When you’ve made your choices, tap Add Profile.
Now your child has their own profile.
Add Content to the Child Profile
With the profile created, the next screen will prompt you to add suitable content. This should be the sort of material (books, audiobooks, videos, apps, etc.) that you are comfortable with your little one consuming.
Tap to select the content you’re happy with, then hit Done. If at any time you want to change the material he or she can access, open Settings > Profile & Family Library, then Add Content or Remove Content.
You should also take a look at the Age Filters screen. This is a feature you can toggle on or off as needed; when on, it lets you set an age range for the material your child can see. If you want to ensure your preschooler isn’t watching Horrible Histories (or other great shows on Amazon Video), this is an important feature.
All you need to do is slide the lower and upper age range bars as appropriate. The tablet will inform you how many apps, videos, and books are viewable with the selected range. When you’re happy, tap Back to exit.
Finally, make sure to set the Enable In-App Purchasing setting to off. That will prevent them from racking up charges in games.
Set Up Screen Time for the Fire Tablet
You probably don’t want your children spending the whole day glued to their tablets, especially when there’s a chance to do an outdoor activity. So setting up some time limits is a good idea.
To do this, open Set Daily Goals & Time Limits, and tap the switch to enable.
You’ll see a screen split into two tabs: Weekdays and Weekends. Each of these lets you set a Bedtime, when the tablet will disable, and a wake up time, when it become available again.
Here, you can also set Educational Goals, with time limits for Apps, Books, Audible (audiobooks), and Videos. There’s also a Learn First toggle, letting you block entertainment until “educational goals” are met.
Further down, you can set a Total Screen Time (so your little one might have, say, four hours of tablet time within a 16 hour period). You’ll also find Time by Activity Type, where you can set time limits for individual activities.
Managing Web Content for Your Child’s Tablet
Your kid’s tablet must be online in order to access Amazon content. But what if you want to limit your child’s to access to the web?
Open the child’s profile again and look for Web Settings. Here you’ll find the toggle to Enable Web Browser. When enabled, you’ll be able to Limit Web Content, where you can add Websites, and Web Videos, using the Plus button.
Meanwhile, the Settings tab lets you Enable Pre-Approved Web Content. This is Amazon’s own curated content, so you can expect the material to be suitable for your child. You can also choose whether to Enable Cookies.
Note that if Enable Web Browser is set to Off, your child will have no browser access. For younger ones, this seems a wise option.
What Is Amazon FreeTime?
If you’re not sure what content is suitable for your children, and you don’t have time to check everything manually, then Amazon FreeTime might be the answer.
Amazon FreeTime is an optional extra that you pay for via monthly subscription. It removes ads, in-app purchases, and links to websites and social media. Most importantly, FreeTime offers content specifically aimed at children between three and 12 years old.
Although the monthly fee might seem costly, it really does save you a lot of time. Note that an internet connection is required for FreeTime, however. While you can download some content, it’s best used at home, or while connected to another friendly network.
Reviewing Your Child’s Online Activity
If you want to check on your child’s tablet activity (perhaps to see if TV shows are more popular than games), Amazon offers a feature that lets you monitor what they’re doing.
You can easily manage this via Settings > Parental Controls. Scroll down to the Activity Center, and enable Monitor This Profile. You’ll find the results at parents.amazon.com, presented in easy-to-read graphics.
Making an Amazon Fire Suitable for Children
By now, you should have total control over your child’s Amazon Fire tablet. There’s now no risk of accidental purchases and no in-app purchases threatening your bank account. You’re safe from unsuitable content contaminating your offspring’s young, innocent eyes, and you can easily add content and monitor activity.
You’re done. But what about your other devices? Don’t worry, parental controls are available pretty much everywhere, suitable for safeguarding children of all ages. Need more help? See our detailed guide to using Amazon Fire tablets.
Image Credit: Dubova/Depositphotos