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NETFLIX PROFILES:
What Parents Need To Know!

In August 2013 NETFLIX introduced PROFILES to it’s streaming service.  These enabled families/roommates to set up individual profiles so that, say, your son’s enjoyment of ANIME didn’t affect the recommendations that you would get, and your love of English TV dramas wouldn’t pollute his recommendations.

So, let’s look at profiles to see What Parents Need To Know!

First off, I want to commend NETFLIX for establishing the profiles and enabling parental controls.  This is a great first step to better support parents/families!  These profiles will evolve and improve, but my hat’s off to NETFLIX for tackling this problem “head on!”

Now, profiles track what each individual person has watched and then provide customized suggestions based upon the users’ wants and tastes.  Additionally, users can set their preferences for genre/taste in shows.  This is very helpful in getting better recommendations, also!  You can have up to FIVE (5) profiles with each account.

THE GOOD NEWS

NETFLIX Maturity Levels

You can set parental controls!  YEA!!!!  This feature enables you to set maturity levels for each different profile. There are four maturity levels used by NETFLIX:

  • Little Kids
  • Kids
  • Teens
  • Adults
Now, why are we not seeing the old familiar G, PG, TV-14, TV-MA, and other ratings?  Well, NETFLIX didn’t say, but my (educated) guess is that it due to the variety of shows that NETFLIX provides, as well as the varied sources/nations they come from.  This variety crosses several different, and not always matching, rating systems.  Consider that NETFLIX is providing:
  • Movies
  • TV Seasons
  • Music products
  • American/U.S. products
  • British products
  • Hispanic products (U.S. and foreign)
  • and more!!!!

So, as you can see, using the United States’ MPAA/CARA ratings won’t work as not all products offered by NETFLIX use those ratings.  So, my guess is that NETFLIX “normalized” the appropriateness of various products and put them into one of the the four maturity levels listed above.

Profiles have also been fully implemented on many, if not most, of the popular platforms used by families today:

  • Website*
  • PS3*
  • PS4*
  • Netflix App for Windows 8*
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Roku 3
  • Wii
  • Apple TV
  • Apple devices running iOS 5 or later
  • Select Android devices
  • Select Google TVs
  • Select TVs, Blu-Ray players, and set top boxes

*You can add, edit, and delete profiles from the website, PS3/PS4, and the Windows 8 app.
– List as of MAY 2014

Finally, NETFLIX  has produced an AWESOME video on profiles which you can find HERE!!!

THE BAD NEWS

At this time (MAY 2014)  the parental controls for profiles are very basic.  The most serious deficiency is that they are not lockable!  All a family member has to do to get around the parental controls for their profile is to click on another family member’s profile.  My talks with NETFLIX indicate that they are working on this, so I will update you as soon as I hear anything!

While profiles are enabled on most platforms there may still be some platforms out there that lack a full-featured profile capability.  This may be due to many reasons, not the least of which is that a platform/device could be brand-spanking new!  In the meantime, such platforms will use the profile of the account owner by default.

But, don’t forget that there are still good, solid parental controls that can be set for the entire account.  These are discussed here in my article:
NETFLIX Streaming – What Parents Need To Know

BUDDY’S VIEW

NETFLIX is a great service, and one that my family enjoys on a daily basis.  In fact, we have “essentially” fired our cable-TV service and now subscribe to a “local-channels only” package (so we can record Texas Rangers MLB games!)  The account-wide parental controls are a great tool for parents to use, and parents can look forward to the development of profile-specific parental controls.  Until these profile settings are “lockable”, however, I strongly recommend that households with teens and younger children set a more restrictive viewing level for the entire account and not rely on the profile settings.  If Mom and/or Dad want to watch a more mature program they can temporarily upgrade the settings.  Just don’t forget to reset the account settings.

REMINDER:  Account-wide parental controls must be changed on a computer via a web browser.

Knights’ Quest also is providing a Profile Set-Up Guide in PDF format for download: Netflix Profile Set-Up  This guide gives you a click-by-click guide for setting up a new profile and then setting up the parental controls.

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2 comments to NETFLIX PROFILES:
What Parents Need To Know!

  • I’m curious: What hardware were you doing this on? Different devices seems to have different search capabilities.

    Also, did you also set the account-wide parental controls that were mentioned towards the end of the article, with a link?

    Thank you for visiting the blog!

  • Hi, Even after we set all profiles to teen a simple search on Netflix of TV-MA brought up all the junk we were trying to block!

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