New Time of Day Blocking from Covenant Eyes Helps Parents Reduce Screen Time

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Families are feeling disconnected from each other with increasing technology use. The new time of day blocking feature on Covenant Eyes for Mac helps parents reduce screen time for their kids, as well as other Internet temptations, such as pornography.

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Kids especially are vulnerable to the Online Disinhibition Effect. If Mom and Dad aren’t keeping an eye out, there’s no telling how far a kid will go. Even good kids make bad decisions.

It is no secret that teens’ screen time has been increasing with the advancement of technology, or that with this increase, families are feeling disconnected from each other, said Sam Black, Internet Safety and Partnership Manager at Covenant Eyes. And yet, according to a recent study by British regulator Ofcom, fewer than 36% of parents have any time limits regarding their child’s Internet use. By taking the simple step of using the Covenant Eyes time of day blocking feature, which is new to their Mac filter, parents could improve offline interactions, and also close the door to potential temptations of late-night Internet use.

“It’s simple,” Black explained. “Parents can choose the times of day that the Internet cannot be accessed on Windows and Mac computers. So if you want to set a family game night tradition, just set the time-of-day limits to block Internet access for a few hours each Friday night.”

In addition to encouraging family togetherness, Black explained, time of day blocking also prevents late-night access to inappropriate content. “Time of day blocking means you can prevent Internet access after your kids’ bedtimes,” he said. He further explained that a person’s willpower is weakest when they are in a vulnerable state, such as when they are tired. This means, at night, people are more susceptible to the temptation to view inappropriate content, such as pornography.

“Even good kids make bad decisions,” Black said. “If a kid wants to look at pornography, he or she is going to do it in secret, like when Mom and Dad are asleep.”

He added, “Covenant Eyes time-of-day blocking is part of its Internet Filtering service, so that’s a double whammy of protection.”

Beyond time-of-day blocking, which is newly available for Mac computers, the Covenant Eyes Filter blocks web pages based on age-appropriateness, and can be further customized with block and allow lists.

Covenant Eyes also offers Internet Accountability, which provides parents a report of the websites kids visit, the search terms they use, the YouTube videos they watch, and the sites that are blocked. Each web page is assigned an age-based rating, such as T for Teen or M for Mature, to make it easy to see when children have visited something inappropriate.

Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering is available for Windows and Mac computers, as well as the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Once a parent sets up filter and reporting settings, their kids are protected on all their family’s devices where Covenant Eyes is installed.

In addition, Covenant Eyes offers Internet Accountability services for Android phones and tablets, the Kindle Fire, and Kindle Fire HD. Filtering for these Android devices is not yet provided.

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Sam Black
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