The following piece was originally featured in the October issue of PDX Parent Magazine
So, your kids are all constructively and enthusiastically engaged in their schoolwork, sitting calmly in front of their computers, right? You’re confident they’re completing their assignments and not touring inappropriate – or even dangerous — websites, right?
David Hardin of Milwaukie is a single father of two girls, Jayda, age 14, and Amani, age 7. As a member of Comcast’s Xfinity marketing team, he also happens to be an expert in Comcast’s xFi app which he employs to ensure that his daughters are interacting safely on the internet.
Comcast’s xFi app offers a number of parental controls that I use every single day to monitor my girls’ internet usage,” said Hardin.
“The first thing I did was assigned names to each of their devices,” said Hardin. “That way I can check to make sure Jayda is doing her schoolwork on her MacBook, and only using her iPhone for socializing.”
In addition to giving parents the ability to deliberately shut off the internet access at dinner or bedtime, the xFi app also offers an “active time” feature,
which Hardin uses daily.
“Jayda is allowed four hours of internet time every day. Amani gets one hour. They have to come to me to ask for more allotments,” said Hardin. That enables him to have daily internet safety check-ins. “I can see what their online experiences are looking like. And we have internet safety conversations regularly.”
Hardin also enabled parental controls that are age-group specific, giving him peace of mind. “Once I realized that YouTube will offer age-appropriate content followed by things that were definitely NOT appropriate, I applied the xFi app filters to ensure they could only see content acceptable for their ages. That way I don’t have to be standing over their shoulders watching what they’re looking at.”
The xFi app also automatically notifies Hardin in real-time if a new device accesses his home network; a defense against phishing and malware.
With one daughter doing high-school work and another in second grade, I’ve really come to appreciate the thought that Comcast put into the xFi app,” said Hardin. “I’m using ALL the features.”
With so many adults working from home and children participating in Comprehensive Distance Learning, maintaining privacy and being safe is important to everyone. So it is exciting to see one of Comcast’s recent enhancements to the Internet Essentials program is making the xFi app available to Internet Essentials households as well.
Having our loved ones protected while online takes one less stressor off our shoulders. Now, if there was just an app that could cook up breakfast, lunch, and dinner while we’re all at home learning and working.