It depends what you want to have him access to on any device. Currently, my children use an old iPad, but I have it locked down fairly well. The only apps on there are the educational ones I want them to use and Lego Mario. Safari, YouTube, etc have all been removed. If they want to see something on YouTube, I have them use the Family TV so that we can all view the content.
Can you use your fingerprint to get onto the iPad etc.? Definitely talk to him. Draw up a contract with his input. If he violates it, take appropriate action. You can let him know ahead of time how you are going to react given a certain action or situation.
Kids actually like limits more often than you’d think as sometimes they don’t know how to act. Also, they are often quite susceptible to peer pressure, particularly at his age.
As an IT guy who spends his days locking down PCs and iPads from these sorts of materials for students, no matter what technical solution you find to lock down the device as much as possible, there are always new websites and content that will get through filters, DNS services, etc. I strongly recommend to all parents (self included) that the best and only 100% reliable solution is parental supervision if you leave access to a web browser or YouTube. Tech solutions will never be 100% effective… sadly. @FrMichaelFanous’s response (above) is the best path I’m aware of.
22.214.171.124 for Families is easy to set up and install, requiring just changing two numbers in the settings of your home devices or network router: your primary DNS and your secondary DNS. Setting up 126.96.36.199 for Families usually takes less than a minute and we’ve provided instructions for common devices and routers through the installation guide.
188.8.131.52 for Families has two default options: one that blocks malware and the other that blocks malware and adult content. You choose which setting you want depending on which IP address you configure.
Malware Blocking Only
Primary DNS: 184.108.40.206
Secondary DNS: 220.127.116.11
Malware and Adult Content
Primary DNS: 18.104.22.168
Secondary DNS: 22.214.171.124strong text
Note. Nothing is perfect. Kids will, uh, find a way…
I am using Cloudflare as a DNS service. Every computer gets locked down. I like that it automatically turns on safe search in google. With Eero, I found if a device changes its MAC address, it will not get associated with a profile and hence not blocked.
I suspect that many (maybe most) of us parents here have had to deal with this situation in some manner at some point.
I do not believe there is a ready technical solution in that if you are going to allow internet access, eg leave apps like Safari, YouTube, etc, on the iPad, it will be difficult to impossible to ensure complete lockdown, even if you employ a restricted DNS. When my kids where at that age, I used squid, an internet filtering system, on a Linux computer set up as the web proxy for everything on my home network. Conveniently, our neighbors provided their home WiFi network unlocked and passwordless for anyone to connect to. Thanks for that.
Parental supervision is the only reliable solution, which means that all web content is accessed in a supervised manner. (The only reason I had a Facebook account was when my kids were in high school and I required that they “friend” me so that I could see what was happening on their accounts.) We put the kids’ computer in the kitchen where we could see whatever was going on.
No device with a connection to the internet is “safe” for kids without parental supervision until the child is able to deal with the world out there. As soon as a child accesses the internet it basically has left the house through the front door…
A little disclaimer: I know, it (supervision) is way more easier said than done. The point I was trying to make is that there will not be a really reliable technical solution to make the internet (an iPad with Safari and other stuff) a safe place under all circumstances.
@KevinR, this thread includes some great suggestions.
Like with all matters related to safety, I suggest you employ the Swiss cheese model - Wikipedia. Parental supervision is certainly an important element, but your quest for technical assistance is prudent.
I have a Raspberry Pi that runs AdGuard. As the name implies, it can be used to used to block ads, but it can do much more. For example, with a simple change of configuration it can be use to block certain sites (e.g., Facebook) and this can be easily done at a device level.