Monitoring your kids’ online habits isn’t exactly fun, but it’s a pretty integral part of parenting. When your kids have access to the family Amazon Echo, it becomes even more important to make sure they aren’t consuming content for older audiences, or spending money without you knowing it. Voice purchasing is a great feature, except when it’s someone else doing it, possibly not knowing what’s going on at all.
But then again, why invest in smart home technology and digital assistants if not to make our lives easier? Thankfully, Amazon Echo parental controls can do just that!
There are a couple of ways to keep an eye on your kids and control what crosses their path when they’re using your Amazon Echo. Here’s a quick look at your options.
Setting parental controls on your Amazon Echo
The simplest choice, if you already have an Echo or Echo Dot, is to enable parental control directly on that, which is a fairly painless process.
First, you’ll want to create an Amazon Household Account. This allows you to share your paid or unpaid Amazon benefits with another adult, teens, and children. The key here is that children get an account, but can’t cause accidental fuss.
Here’s how to set up your Amazon Household Account, and add kids (or teens, or adults!)
- Log into your Amazon account.
- Under “Accounts and Lists,” click on Your Account.
- Under “Shopping programmes and rentals,” click on Amazon Household (or click here)
- Click on Add a child.
- Follow the prompts and fill out the profile for your child.
- Click on Manage Your Content and Devices (this allows you to manage your child’s access to the content you’ve purchased).
- Repeat for as many children as you want on your family account.
One great Amazon Echo parental control allows you to turn off voice purchasing, so you don’t find yourself with mysterious credit card charges for action figures or whatever else kids play with or collect these days.
- Open the Alexa app or echo.amazon.com.
- Click on the menu icon.
- Click on Settings.
- Click on Voice Purchasing.
Here you can either create a four-digit PIN or disable voice purchasing altogether.
Echo Dot Kids
Another option is to buy the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition, made specifically to be child-friendly, with built-in parental control and a protective case built around it to protect it from drops and rough-housing.
With the Kids Edition, you get a one-year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited. The service gives adults a suite of parental controls to help manage their children’s usage, including the option to filter out explicit songs when using Amazon Music. It also disables voice purchasing, for that added piece of mind.
You’ll also get ad-free radio stations and playlists, over 300 audio books, and kid-specific skills from companies like Disney and Nickelodeon. After the first year, you’ll have to pay $2.99 a month for these services.
Get it in blue, green, red, or rainbow, for $70 at Amazon.
Setting up Amazon Echo parental controls is easy as pie, once you know what you’re doing. You can either set up your Echo or Echo Dot to filter out adult content and manage your apps, or get an Echo Dot Kids Edition that will do most of the work for you.
Have you tried setting up parental controls on your Echo? How has that worked out for your family? Any tips for other parents out there? Let us know in the comments!