The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
This post is sponsored by Best Buy
I’ve got three tweens in my hose these days, and one who thinks she’s a tween. They are obsessed with texting friends and checking Musically and watching youtube. All of the kids have older iphones available to play on when they earn screen time. In addition to this, we’ve also got three ipads in the home, and Jafta has a chromebook he uses for school.
I’m not totally against kids and online devices. love the educational apps that are available on the ipad and iphone platform. My school-aged kids attend a technology-enthused school and with the help of apps like Spelling City and Lexia, they can even do some of their homework assignments on the ipads. I also love that they are learning to be computer literate.
At the same time, devices without a filter can pose serious risks for kids. I’ve been witness to therapy clients, friends, and even family members discover, much to their horror, that their kids had been looking at inappropriate content online. And guys? OF COURSE THEY ARE. Kids searching for taboo content is not about “what kind of kids they are” but more about natural curiosity and access to the internet. It’s naive to assume that our special kids will never do something like that. We wouldn’t leave a playboy next to the toilet in the bathroom and tell our kids not to look at it when they go to the bathroom. Nor should we hand our kids a smartphone that hasn’t been secured.
Previously, we monitored each device individually. This meant that on some devices, we were using a browser filter, and on others, using the filters on iOS. It was hard to keep track of and meant that we had to configure each device separately.
Recently, we had a chance to try CUJO in our home. CUJO is a smart firewall for the home, designed to bring business-level security to the family network. This one device will secure all devices connecting to the WiFi router. CUJO detects and blocks malicious sites, viruses, and hacks . . . kind of like an antivirus babysitter for your entire network.
This has been a game changer for us. First of all, it is so simple. You plug it in, you set it up to your wifi, and it takes over from there. There is an easy to use app that allows you to control and monitor all of the devices on your home wifi. You can receive instant threat notifications and it allows you to control internet access for select devices (so you can shut off the internet for the kids, but keep it on for yourself.) You can customize CUJO to allow certain sites to be blocked, or even designate certain words to cause a block. In addition, you can manually override any blocks automated by CUJO so you’re in full control all the time.
The thing I like most about CUJO , though, is that it can act as a time enforcer. You can set up user profiles so that each child is allowed online only for a certain amount of time. As a parent, you can use the app to see exactly what everyone in the house is doing. You can see what sites they’ve visited, how much time they’ve been online, and where they are spending most of their time online.
I have been sincerely impressed with the CUJO filtering system. I think it’s a perfect solution for families because it addresses all of your devices at once, and it addresses both malware and browsing. And I love that I can monitor the whole thing from my phone, and even pause the internet altogether in my home.
If you have kids and don’t yet have a filter on your router, I definitely recommend CUJO !