netflix parental controls

Guide to Netflix Parental Controls

Netflix has had over 382.08 million streams to date, with 35.2% of this number coming from the US — a statistic which also includes children and teens browsing through the hundreds of shows. While having Peppa Pig available on demand to distract your fussy two-year-old is great and cartoons to keep the older kids occupied while you do some work can come in handy, Netflix also has a list of shows you would never want your kids to come across.

We cannot always sit with our kids while they are watching Netflix, accordingly, here is a detailed guide on Netflix’s parental controls, so your kids won’t be at risk of watching inappropriate media.

Set a PIN on Netflix

The easiest way to ensure you have control over what your children are watching is by setting a PIN that only you know. You can create a PIN by:

  • Log on to Netflix and click on your account.
  • On the Your Account page, you will find a tab titled, Parental Controls under the Settings section.
  • Enter your Netflix password. (Your kids shouldn’t have access to this password for obvious reasons.)
  • Once you do this, you will arrive on the page where you can choose the ratings according to “maturity levels” and setting a PIN so your kids won’t be able to change these settings.
  • These changes will be applied to all gadgets with your Netflix account (iPads, mobiles…etc)
  • It can take up to 8 hours for changes to take effect but you can sign out and then sign back in to speed up this process.


The Types of Netflix Ratings

There are four kinds of “maturity levels” that Netflix offers. These are useful for parents and users to assess expectations for each tv show or movie and to control what children are allowed to watch.

  • Little kids – where only TV shows and movies that are suitable for all ages will be available.
  • Older kids – where only media that is suitable for older kids will be available.
  • Teens ­– which, same as the former, will list only TV shows and movies that are suitable for teens.
  • Adults – which will list all movies and TV shows available, even those containing adult content.

Create Individual Profiles for Each Child

Netflix’s parental controls offer parents the option to set up individual profiles, depending on the age of your kids. You can do this on the same page as when you are creating the PIN by choosing between the four “maturity levels” accordingly.

This option is perfect if your kids are still very young and they have no notion of what adult content is. All you need to do is to open Netflix for them and when it asks you, “Who is watching?” you tap on your kids’ profile and they can browse through a list of appropriate shows.

When it comes to the older kids, however, this option does have its risks. Older kids can be sneaky enough to know that they can tap on the options button and change the viewing from their user profile to your user profile, which features adult content. When it comes to changes between user profiles, you won’t be asked to enter your PIN, so your kids can easily switch from one profile to another.

There has been much criticism regarding this point and some parents have even created an online petition for Netflix to offer PIN access for each user profile. The only option you have at the moment, if you think your kids will browse through your content, is by changing your personal profile to their maturity level and then change it back to Adult when you want to watch something.

You could also have two different Netflix subscriptions but this means more expenses.

Other Options Not Available on Netflix’s Parental Controls

Besides the problem with user profiles, Netflix also doesn’t offer you the option to block or give access to a specific TV show. This means that if your kid is mature enough to watch a show that is considered above his maturity level, you will have to grant him full access to watch the show or you will have to watch it with him to monitor.


Monitor Your Child’s Viewing Activity

Netflix also offers the Viewing Activity tab, found on the Account Settings page, so you can go through what your child has been viewing.

Kids can be very sneaky when they want to and they will still find opportunities to browse through the Adult content on Netflix, such as when you switch the maturity level to Adult after the kids are in bed. The sneaky ones can easily grab their gadgets and browse through Netflix without restrictions. Their actions might be far from malicious — your kid may simply want to watch more TV before bed — but with no restrictions, your kid can tap on shows that are inappropriate.

Accordingly, using a parental control app, like our TeenSafe app, to block Netflix on their gadgets when they are in bed is the way to ensure your kids will never find a loophole to watch inappropriate media.

Netflix is a great tool to enjoy movies and tv shows for the whole family. Feel even more secure with your child using Netflix by taking advantage of the parental control tools.

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