Kindle Fire HD
The Complete Guide to Kindle Fire Parental Controls
The Kindle Fire’s web browser, Silk, is difficult to filter and doesn’t make a very good “training ground” for young internet users. As you’ll see below, we recommend turning the browser off and enabling the great parental controls that come on the device.
The following layers will help protect your kids from inappropriate exposures on their Kindle.
Layer 1: Guard the location of the Chromebook.
Remember, where kids use technology often dictates how they use their technology. We have strong opinions about controlling where kids use their tech. For example, let’s keep all internet-ready devices (including Kindles) out of bedrooms.
Related post: The 5 Worst Places for a Kid to be Online
Layer 2: Set up clean DNS on your home’s WiFi (router).
You are responsible for every digital click on your home’s network, so be sure to control the router. Popular options for parents are:
- Circle with Disney – by far the most popular parental control device on the market for controlling devices at the router (and also with Circle Go on devices).
- CleanBrowsing – use CleanBrowsing’s clean DNS and block most known porn domains (FREE). Read all about it in our extremely popular DNS blog post.
- OpenDNS – similar to CleanBrowsing, but with some loopholes.
We’ve recently found OpenDNS to be glitchy with our internet service, which is why we’ve moved to CleanBrowsing’s clean DNS for every device in our home, including the router.
Related post: How to Block Porn on Any Device. For Free!
Layer 3: Set up the Kindle Fire correctly.
Give the Kindle a name. Go to Settings (Apps – Settings – Device Options) to give the Kindle a name, preferably one that implies both child and parental ownership, e.g., “Dad and Daughter’s Kindle”. This creates a culture of parental involvement in the device’s usage from the beginning. Maybe use a selfie with both of you in the picture as the profile picture.
This communicates very early on that all devices are co-owned. There’s no such thing as device privacy in the home! Every internet-ready device is co-owned with parents.
Create user profiles. Go to Settings (Apps – Settings – Profiles & Family Library) and customize each user profile.
Set up Kindle Fire Parental Controls
- Swipe down from the top of the screen, exposing a series of options, and tap Settings (the gear icon).
- Tap Parental Controls and toggle it on.
- Enter a password that your kid doesn’t know (this is different than the Kindle’s lock screen passcode). You’ll notice a few things happen.
- By default, this will block Alexa, the Silk web browser, email, contact, calendars, and the camera. You can choose to turn any of them back on.
- It will also password protect purchases and videos, and block social sharing.
- You can also toggle on Set Restricted Access and select hours when the tablet should not be used without your password.
How to block in-app purchases on Kindle Fire:
- Swipe down on the home screen and click the settings gear
- Under Device click Apps & Games
- Click Amazon Application Settings
- Click Appstore
- Click In-App Purchasing
- Make sure the box is unchecked, (as shown below)
If you keep the Silk browser, filter it: There aren’t many options in the Amazon Appstore, but Mobicip does work with Kindle Fire.
Use Amazon’s Free Time to control screen time. The Free Time app can help parents monitor how long their kids use the device and gives parents great control. There’s a free version and a paid version – look for it in the Kindle App Store.
A Kindle Fire warning for parents with sneaky kids:
A distraught mother told us about the following porn pathway that he son found on a Kindle Fire.
The Alexa App is all but impossible to remove from the Kindle Fire. It might be disabled via parental controls, but you can still browse the Alexa app for other Alexa “skills” and “games.”
Through those other “skills” and “games” within the Alexa app, there are terms & conditions that can lead to hidden Google searches, Twitter, and more.
You can’t remove the App. But, you can block porn by changing the DNS 0f the device to something like CleanBrowsing and/or make sure the device is connected to a WiFi signal that has porn blocked.
- How to use CleanBrowsing DNS to block all porn on a Kindle Fire.
- How to use CleanBrowsing DNS to block all porn on your Wireless signal in your home.
*There are affiliate links throughout this post because we’ve tested and trust a small list of parental control solutions. Our work saves you time! If you decide that you agree with us, then we may earn a small commission, which does nothing to your price. Enjoy!