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Do your kids use tablets or play video games? The parental controls you need to know about

Companies like Comcast and Spectrum let you restrict time on Wi-Fi, as well as TV ratings.

INDIANAPOLIS — Kids are around electronics now more than ever, and most of them connect to the internet. That's why it is important to Indianapolis mom LaDonna Ross to be on the offensive.

"I understand a lot of parents, we just give the kids an iPad or something to get them out of our face, but it's important to protect them while you're doing that," Ross said.

Ross' first layer of protection is the internet provider. Companies like Comcast and Spectrum let you restrict time on Wi-Fi and TV ratings.

But remember, devices often come with their own data plan. That means kids can bypass some of those restrictions. 

Whenever a new device makes its way into her home, Ross learns about it first.

"I'll definitely research and see, okay, what kind of information comes to this device? What kind of information can go out from this device?" Ross said.

Then she sets up the parental controls before handing it over.

"When he got his Switch, that was the number one thing I did. So he didn't get to play with [it] yet,"  Ross said. "And so I set up his account, made sure my name was attached to it, I had access to it," she said.

Nintendo Switch products offer their parental controls through an app. Xbox does this, too. 

If it's an Apple product, like a phone or watch, Ross adds it to her network. That's where she can prevent purchases and block websites. 

"I have added TikTok in there. So any variation of video, he can't get to because it's blocked," Ross said.

If her son gives his cell phone number out to someone he doesn't know, there's a setting for that, too.

"I am the only one allowed to add contacts for his phone. So if they're not even in his phone, they can't contact them," Ross said. 

Ross said when in doubt, search Google with your concerns. There are also apps parents can pay for to help monitor conversation and activity. That way you know what's going on before it's too late.

"Kids are kids. They're not adults. They're still learning. They're still wanting to explore and they will do that. If they have that access, they're going to do it," Ross said.

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