Childproofing Your Smart Home with Alexa: A Guide on Setting Up Parental Controls

In the era of advancing technology, making a home smart is not a luxury anymore but rather becoming a norm. Calibrating our homes to adapt to our habits is a part of modern living, and while this transition brings a multitude of comforts, it also raises some concerns. One of the most alarming amongst these is childproofing our smart homes.

With smart assistants like Alexa becoming a household name, it’s essential to understand how to set up parental controls and childproof your smart home. Here’s a handy guide that will walk you through this.

Starting with Alexa Devices

1. Use Parental Controls with Amazon Kids+

A significant first step in childproofing your smart home is setting up parental controls. With Amazon Kids+ (previously known as FreeTime), family-friendly content can be easily accessed and monitored.

To activate Kids+, follow these steps:

  • Open your Alexa app.
  • Tap on Devices.
  • Choose your Alexa device and open its Settings.
  • Scroll down to ‘General’ and select Amazon Kids+.
  • Follow the prompts to set up the feature.

You can control the skills, music, and audiobooks your child can access and also schedule quiet times.

2. Enable a PIN for Voice Purchasing

To avoid accidental purchases made by children, it’s useful to enable a Voice Purchasing PIN on Alexa. The device will require this PIN for any potential purchase conducted through voice commands.

To set up the PIN, follow these steps:

  • Open your Alexa app.
  • Tap on the More option at the bottom right corner.
  • Navigate to Settings > Account Settings > Voice Purchasing.
  • Activate the Purchase Confirmation option and create a 4-digit PIN as per your wish.

3. Review and Filter Explicit Content

Explicit Filter is a feature provided by Alexa that omits all explicit songs from Amazon Music, ensuring kid-friendly tunes.

To enable Explicit Filter:

  • Open Amazon Music.
  • Navigate to Settings > Restrictions > Explicit Filter.
  • Switch on the filter.

Note: This feature applies to Amazon Music only.

Childproofing Your Smart Devices at Home

1. Make Smart TVs Kid-friendly with Amazon Fire TV Parental Controls

Your Amazon Fire TV can also be regulated for child-safe content:

  • Open Settings on your Fire TV.
  • Select Preferences.
  • Navigate to Parental Controls.
  • Set up the desired controls and secure them with a PIN.

2. Control Online Activity with Amazon Echo Devices

Most Amazon Echo devices support Kids+ to render child-friendly content and parental review:

  • Open your Alexa app.
  • Select Devices and pick your Echo device.
  • Tap Settings > Amazon Kids+ and set up based on your preference.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Smart Locks

Smart locks can be key in controlling your child’s ability to access certain areas of the house, such as the garage or pantry.

Research different types of smart locks compatible with your Alexa device and leverage them for your child’s safety.

Parental controls are a robust solution for digital age parenting. Effective childproofing of your smart home involves utilizing these features for your peace of mind. Alexa, recognized as one of the best home automation systems, can be intelligently calibrated to ensure kids’ safe interaction with the device and other smart gadgets.

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