This week’s Ponderings comes via Colin and contains some useful and important IT advice:


A friend of mine and his wife are fostering two children aged about 6 and 8. He was doing some repairs and painting for me at the time and asked to have a quick chat. He is a tradie.


There have been some problems settling in the children, and he asked me if there was some simple solution to controlling the internet, without tears and angst.
I had not looked at solutions for parental control in a such a long time. I thought it was the right day that I did and began research.
Many solutions will only work on a PC, or a Mac, or a tablet, or a phone, but not together.


After digging around for a while I came across an interesting gadget that seemed to tick the boxes, including affecting all devices whether Microsoft, Apple or some other fruit.


Which boxes, you might ask.


Well the boxes that I wanted ticked were, simplicity, bed-time control, meal-time control and a way to ensure that each age group has access to stuff that is suitable for them, and on every device that they used, preferably without it all being too much like a big stick.
The gadget that I chose is called Circle with Disney. This is version 1 of their product. The later version has a monthly subscription. I really hate subscriptions, because they cost money.


Connecting is a breeze. I love simplicity. Take it out of the box and turn it on. Download an app on your tablet/phone and run the installer. It will connect to the house wi-fi. Connect the Lan cable to your router if necessary and see that it works.


Make a profile for each person and include yourself. It pays to lead from the front and show that you follow rules as well. The home also has a profile; set it to one of the child levels. The benefit here is that children visiting your home and using your Wi-Fi, will also have to stick to the house rules. Stuff that does not need to be controlled, like your internet fridge, can be excluded.


Now, have a conversation with the family. Explain what is likely to happen. If you are the truly controlling type, then perhaps you should not even consider this product. I always think that fair use and being reasonable is the best approach. But let’s stop with philosophy.


You now have a method of pausing everybody so that you can have dinner together. I know that you have always wanted that. If little Julie or little Daniel is giving lip, then their usage can be paused for a time-out. It even lets you give rewards.


Well, that will do for my musings. See you next time.
Colin