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This episode focuses on security for families/kids – specifically cell phone security for tweenagers. We hit a milestone in the 7MS household this year because my tweenage son got an iPhone, much to my…uhh…not excitement. So we decided to wrap the following technical and administrative controls around the phone to hopefully make it a pleasant experience for everybody:


  • I really dig the Apple family sharing controls, which let you do things like:

  • Have the phone "sleep" at certain hours

  • Limit the total amount of screen time per day

  • Require you to authorize any apps that are downloaded

  • We turned on OpenDNS to help filter inappropriate content.

  • I also use UniFi access points, which allow you to create a separate wireless SSID with a voucher system enabled on it. That way, you can hand out vouchers to kids with a defined amount of access attached to it (like 1 hour or whatever you like). We use it as a reward once the kids’ chores and homework is complete.


For our tweenager with the phone, we wrote up an agreement about acceptable use of the phone – including guidelines around the device’s physical security, passwords and PINs, appropriate content, etc.

Written by: Brian Johnson

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