The Online Safety Toolkit: Parental Tools for Streaming Services

- | 3 min read

This month, we’re focusing on three of the biggest streaming services and the tools they have in place to help keep your children safe. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to child safety, so consider how these tools may best help your family. Below, we’ve also included links to the parental tools on other platforms.

Netflix tools fall into two basic categories with similar functions: Restrictions placed on individual profiles, and profiles set to Netflix Kids Experience. For both, it’s important to set up the Profile Lock feature explained below.

Access Settings via Desktop interface: Account> Profile and Parental Controls>Select kid’s profile>Viewing Restrictions

Individual Profiles:
Individual profiles can have specific age limits placed on content.

Netflix Kids Experience:
Profiles that are set to Kids are automatically limited to the TV-Y – PG range of shows and movies.

In either case, you can also restrict specific Netflix titles and view profile activity.

Profile Lock:
For these features to be effective, make sure that your children can not create new accounts without your knowledge. To do so from the Netflix desktop interface:

 Account>Select kid’s profile>Profile Lock: ON>Type password and create pin

Read more about Netflix Parental Tools, here.

As part of the larger Google ecosystem, YouTube settings have a range of different tiers and access. For younger kids, you might use YouTube Kids; for older kids (under 13), you might set up a YouTube Supervised Experience; and for kids over 13 you can turn on Restricted Mode.

YouTube Kids:
Grant access via Family Link> your child’s profile> Manage settings> Youtube (To set up Family Link, check out last month’s newsletter.)

YouTube Kids app and web experience includes popular kids content in a safe and easy-to-use format. You can additionally decide:

  • Choose a content level setting
  • Choose whether your kid can use the search function in YouTube Kids
  • Block and unblock videos

YouTube Supervised Experience:
Set parameters via Family Link> your child’s profile> Manage settings> Youtube> Edit> choose changes> Select

For children under 13, parents can set different degrees of access. The supervised experience allows:

  • Choose between 3 YouTube content level settings: Explore, Explore more, or Most of YouTube.
  • Pause Watch or Search history.
  • Unblock videos: Clear the selection of videos and channels you blocked on YouTube Kids.

Restricted Mode:
Children over 13 are not eligible for YouTube Kids or Supervised Experience. Instead, they can be prevented from accessing most mature content by turning on Restricted Mode.

Family Link App> Settings> Manage Settings> Filters on YouTube> Turn Restricted Mode On.

Read all about YouTube settings, here.

Amazon Prime Video:
There are two ways kids engage with Amazon media content, via Amazon Kids+ (a paid service) or via regular Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon Kids+
If you’ve created an Amazon Kids+ account, you can access the Parent Dashboard via

Amazon Kids+ is a paid service with books, videos, educational material and games curated for children. It uses a centralized Parent Dashboard to allow for:

  • Setting time limits on usage by category (e.g., allow more reading while restricting video time)
  • Setting age filters on content
  • Monitoring activity
  • Setting educational goals

Amazon Prime Video
Access on the web via Prime Video> Settings Icon> Settings> Parental Controls.

Prime Video Settings use a PIN code to allow parents to:

  • Select an age range and apply those settings to the devices you specify
  • Limit the ability to make in-app purchases

For more about Parental Tools for Prime Video, read here. Amazon Fire Devices and Microsoft XBOX 360 both require you to use the settings on those devices.

Other Services:

Kids Profiles and Parental Controls on Hulu

Parental Controls on Disney+

Parental Controls on HBO Max