As a parent, you likely have (justified) concerns about the internet. Depending on their age, your child may use the internet for education, social interaction, and entertainment. But how can you help protect them from the shadier side of the internet? And, how can you help them manage a healthy level of screen time?
It’s all possible with your CenturyLink modem.
CenturyLink modems offer parental controls that help you shield your child from inappropriate content. With our guide, you can take steps to protect your children and help them consume content that is healthy for them, block access to certain online activities, and create schedules to help manage their screen time.
CenturyLink parental controls
When it comes to setting up parental controls, the first step is to log into your modem’s wireless settings to manage your WiFi network, also called the SSID. If you’ve never updated your login information, you can find your Admin User Name and Password printed on your modem’s label. Note that this login information is not the same as your WiFi network name (SSID) and WiFi password.
Follow these steps:
- Connect a device, such as a computer or tablet, to the internet through WiFi or using an Ethernet cable connected to your modem.
- Open a web browser and type http://192.168.0.1into the web address field.
- Log in to your modem’s settings interface (Modem GUI) using your Admin Username and Password.
Once you’ve logged in, you’ll see a variety of menu options, from Modem Status to Advanced Setup. We will use a few of these menu options to set up parental controls on your CenturyLink WiFi network.
How to block certain websites
To protect your kids from viewing inappropriate content on websites, you can block their access in your modem settings (Modem GUI). Under the Advanced Setup section, select “Website Blocking” in the left-hand menu.
Next, select the device you want to block (such as your child’s laptop or tablet) from the dropdown list, or manually enter the device’s IP address. All devices connected to your network should appear in the drop-down. After finding the correct device, enter the website you want to block. You can add multiple sites, one at a time, and they will appear on the “Blocked Website List” at the bottom. You can also click to “Remove” any blocked site from the list if you change your mind or make a mistake. When you’re finished adding or removing websites, click “Apply” to save your changes.
How to block certain services from your network
If you’ve noticed that a particular internet activity is distracting or unsafe, you can block services like instant messaging, email, or gaming systems from using your network. In the same Advanced Setup section, select “Service Blocking” in the left-hand menu. Next, select the device you want to block from the dropdown list, or manually enter the device’s IP address. Then select the service you want to block. For example, you can block instant messaging from your child’s computer or tablet, or block World of Warcraft from being played on the family PC. You can “Create New Rule” to add more blocks. Just as with the blocked websites list above, you can also remove blocks from the Service Blocking List at the bottom of the screen. When you’re finished adding or removing rules, click “Apply” to save your changes.
How to create an access schedule on your WiFi
You can create times of the day or week when your WiFi is disabled, like during homework time, during a family screen time break, or when kids should be unplugging and going to sleep. There are two ways to do this, depending on the router’s available settings.
First, go into the Wireless Setup menu of the modem settings, Then, select “Wireless Schedule” from the menu on the left-hand side. From here you can select “Enable” to turn on scheduling mode. Next, you can create unique schedules for your entire family by choosing which days and times you would like your network to be disabled, and then select “Apply” to save your changes.
Note that this option has you specify times the WiFi network is off or disabled for all devices.
To instead specify times your WiFi is on for selected devices only, you can manage network access by device through the Advanced Setup section on your modem. Once within the Advanced Settings, select the Access Scheduler menu option. Select the device you want to schedule from the dropdown list, or manually enter the device’s IP address. Then set up the days and times you want that device to be able to access the network. Be sure to select “Apply” for your changes to take effect.
Note that this option asks you to specify the times your WiFi is on or enabled for the selected device only.
How to monitor your children
Even with safety precautions in place, you may want to take it a step further and monitor their online activity. But this doesn’t have to mean looking up their search history or spying on their social media accounts (though you can do that too). You can use smart technology to make it easier. A tool like Bark will analyze messages and other activity and alert you if something seems amiss about your child’s exchanges with others across digital platforms, including cyberbullying and online predators, or even depression and suicidal thoughts.
CenturyLink is proud to offer Secure WiFi, a service that puts parental controls right on your smartphone. Using the MyCenturyLink app, you can easily control the internet access for a device on your network. If you have multiple children, you can put them in a group to seamlessly control the internet access to their devices all at once. You can also block certain content for a group you create and schedule internet accesses. Plus, Secure WiFi protects the devices in your home from risky websites and any malware or viruses associated with those sites.
Parental controls can help busy parents keep their kids safe. But the best way to keep your children safe is to talk with them about what behaviors, websites, and content are appropriate for them and their age. These conversations will likely need to happen on a regular basis as your kids grow up.
Other resources for parents:
- Understanding and preventing cyberbullying
- 5 steps to handle cyberbullying
- Tips for back-to-school cybersecurity
- Creating a media plan for your household
- Choosing kid-friendly media options
You can try out Bark today for free, with 20% off your purchase of the full plan. This offer isn’t limited to CenturyLink customers and all plans include unlimited legal dependents and devices.