Netflix announces 2 new features to protect kids from unsafe content

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Tech companies are slowly doing more to control the content it makes accessible to minors. In too many instances, children are able to access content featuring scenes of violence and sexual themes suited for a more mature audience.

To protect kids, Netflix introduces parental controls via PIN

This has been especially true with Netflix accounts that stay automatically logged in on a laptop, TV or smartphone that can easily accessed by a child. So the Los Gatos, California-based company announced this week two new ways to remedy the situation.

1. Parents will be able to lock down individual titles by using a 4-digit PIN

Netflix has long separated content marked for children vs. adults by allowing parents to mark profiles belonging to children. But children could easily circumvent the setup by clicking on an adult user’s profile.

Now, the popular steaming service is taking it one step further by allowing parents to set up PINs on particular movies, shows or series. That means you won’t have to worry as much about Little Johnny looking at “Narcos” when you’re not around.

“A PIN parental control for individual movies and series [will] give parents and guardians more specific control over what children can watch on the service,” Netflix said in a press release Monday. “We understand that every family is different and that parents have differing perspectives on what they feel is appropriate to watch at different ages.”

Here is what the settings will look like for parents who want to set up the PIN.

 2. Ratings for individual titles will be more prominently displayed

Netflix also announced that it will begin to display the maturity level rating for its content more prominently.

“While these maturity ratings are available in other parts of the experience, we want to ensure members are fully aware of the maturity level as they begin watching,” the company said. “We are also continuing to explore ways to make this information more descriptive and easier for our members to understand with just a quick glance.”

Below is what the new ratings level is going to look like when viewers click “Play” on a title.

Users can expect the changes to come in the months ahead as more of the tech industry institutes ways to protect the most vulnerable segments of their respective communities.

As we wrote about previously, Youtube recently scrubbed its site of tens of thousands of videos deemed inappropriate for young people.

The clips, many of them featured on Youtube channels geared toward children, were an embarrassing signal to parents that the Google-owned company was not as vigilant as it claimed to be when it comes to protecting its youngest viewers. As a result, the company vowed to enlist more “real people” to monitor its content.

Money expert Clark Howard is warning consumers that along with safeguarding their children online, they need to do all they can to protect their passwords. Hackers today employ bots that can automatically sift through thousands of passwords in an hour. Here are two ways to stay protected:

How to protect your password

Use a password manager: Password managers allow you to keep track of all of your passwords, no matter how many letters, numbers, symbols and special characters you use. They can also generate new passwords for each respective account you have.

Set up two-factor authentication: Another smart method for protecting yourself online is to use two-factor authentication, meaning that you have to verify your identity twice before gaining access to your account. This adds another layer of security, along with peace of mind.

RELATED: Be honest, do you share your streaming account password?

Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who stills read paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer.
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