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Should You Beta Test Apple’s New Operating Systems?

It’s that time of year, again when Apple conducts public testing for it’s new operating systems.

Apple typically begins a Public Beta Test of it’s new operating systems for it’s products in the Summer to support the Fall release of the new software! A beta test is the final step before releasing new software and consists of tests by folks who are not part of the development team.

Currently Apple is testing:

  • iOS 14 for iPhones and iPods
  • iPadOS 14 for iPads
  • macOS Big Sur (aka OS 11)
  • tvOS 14
  • watchOS 7

These public betas are very popular among those comfortable with experimenting with their devices. They get to try out “the latest and greatest” before it is released and even get to provide suggestions or report issues with the beta.

But, if you have been working on a TECH-SAFE HOME the question arises:

“Should you beta test Apple’s new operating systems?”

In a word: “NO!”

Beta test software is “incomplete” and often does not work with other programs until a program’s publisher updates their apps. There may be many iterations, or versions, of a package in beta test. Therefore many publishers will not release an update until the “Gold”, or final, version is released. Until that time there are always bugs and glitches and compatibility issues that arise. Specialized software, such as parental control and monitoring apps, is especially susceptible.

The Beta Test Hazard

In some cases, everything might work just fine. But, the changes in the new operating systems could result in parental controls not working as planned. This might happen even (though unlikely) the built-in Apple Screen Time controls.

You can call the publisher of a parental control (or just about any other) app to find out if they support it. If you do, you will get the party line: They do not support their product on unreleased operating systems still undergoing development and testing. I’ve asked!

You might consider participating in a beta test. Doing so might make your children’s devices become “unsafe”. I recommend that you wait until Apple launches the final commercial release of these operating systems.

Another reason is this: Your child is most likely homeschooling right now, to some degree, due to the Pandemic. Software that schools may require your child to use may not be compatible with the beta versions of the operating systems.

When you do upgrade to the new OS you need to check your parental control apps to make sure settings having changed. You can make sure your apps are automatically updated by following these instructions on Apple’s web site.

Don’t forget to register for a TECH-SAFE HOME Webinar!

THE TECH-SAFE HOME Webinar!

I have scheduled additional dates for THE TECH-SAFE HOME Webinar through September 10th.

Learn:

  • The many online threats to children and youth
  • First Steps to take for a TECH-SAFE HOME
  • Recommended software and hardware
  • Which phones you should, and shouldn’t give your children
  • How to deal with CHROMEBOOKS!
  • How to set online boundaries
  • How to monitor social media…and enforce them
  • Limitations parents face
  • How pornography harms children
  • How predators operate
  • Actions to take if you discover problems

All of this, and more, in two 1-hour session.

Register now: THE TECH-SAFE HOME Webinar

More Webinars Added!

We have added more dates for THE TECH-SAFE HOME Webinar!

This 4-part webinar is presented in 2 sessions:

Session 1:

  • Introduction
  • First Steps to a TECH-SAFE HOME

Session 2:

  • Defense In Depth (Software and hardware)
  • The Dangers of Pornography & Predators

Each session will last approximately 1 hour and requires separate registrations. And, I just lowered the price 50% to $10/Session!!!

Register NOW!

Monday, 24 August

Wednesday, August 26

Saturday, August

The GOTOWEBINAR platform will be used via your browser. Viewing the webinar on a small screen is not recommended.

Like our FACEBOOK page to keep up with more webinars coming in the next few months!

Who should you tell?
Email them this link to this blog post, now!

TECH-SAFE HOME WEBINAR

UPDATE: ADDITIONAL DATES ADDED!!!

With social distancing and “un-schooling” our kids are at home and online a lot! Internet safety has never been as important as it is today!

We will help you make your home a TECH-SAFE HOME!

Knights’ Quest will hold the TECH-SAFE HOME WEBINAR on Saturday, August 15, to educate and equip parents on the dangers and defenses for building a safer high-tech, 21st Century home.

This 4-part webinar is presented in 2 sessions:

Session 1:

  • Introduction
  • First Steps to a TECH-SAFE HOME

Session 2:

  • Deeper Defenses (Software and hardware)
  • The Dangers of Pornography & Predators

Each session will last approximately 1 hour and requires separate registrations. The cost is $20US per Session.

Register NOW!

AS REQUESTED!

Additional sessions have been scheduled on weeknights.

Saturday, 15 August

Monday, August 17

Tuesday, August 18

The GOTOWEBINAR platform will be used via your browser. Viewing the webinar on a small screen is not recommended.

Like our FACEBOOK page to keep up with more webinars coming in the next few months!

THINGS TO DO WHILE STUCK AT HOME!

With so many of us stuck at home for who knows how long I wanted to share this list of ideas that you and your family can attack while our Nation deals with this virus!

Here is the list, in PDF format! Click on the image or the DOWNLOAD button, below. Then print it out! The 3rd page has room to add your own ideas! Make some of them family projects!

Remember, none of this is catching God by surprise!

Buddy

Parental Controls Review: Circle Home Plus

CIRCLE HOME PLUS is a combined hardware/software approach to parental controls that builds upon the previous CIRCLE WITH DISNEY product that came out in 2015. This new system improves functionality and addresses compatibility issues that the earlier product had with some routers and gateways.

The CIRCLE HOME PLUS system provides the following parental control features:

  • Location Services
  • Assignment of individual profiles
  • Assignment of specific devices to specific profiles
  • Usage reporting
  • Content filtering
  • Bedtime Controls
  • Time limits
  • Off Time (no internet access)
  • History
  • And the ability to PAUSE the Internet….remotely!

Let’s take a deeper look at CIRCLE HOME PLUS!

Continue reading Parental Controls Review: Circle Home Plus

NEW: Knights’ Quest Ministries’ Social Media App Quick Reference Guide 2019 is available for download!

Click the link to the left to download!

We’ve created a new Quick Reference Guide for social media apps. It provides a quick description and assessment of risk for children for roughly 40 popular social media apps used by children. Obviously it does not include every app!

Please feel free to share the file with friends and family!

Apple’s “Ask To Buy”: What Parents Need To Know

Controlling what apps your child uses is an important part of modern parenting. For those families where both parents and kids are using Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, & iPod) Apple has provided a feature called “Ask to Buy”!

Let us take a look at this very useful feature!

Remember:

  • An Apple ID is required for each person you wish to add to “Apple Family” and they must be signed into iCloud and iTunes
  • Have an iOS device with iOS 8 or later, or a Mac computer running YOSEMITE or later.
  • Android or Windows Phone users cannot be part or an Apple family

Continue reading Apple’s “Ask To Buy”: What Parents Need To Know

Sorry, TUMBLR Still Has Porn….

In late 2018 TUMBLR made the news by saying that it was going to remove all adult content, including images/videos with nudity or explicit sex, from the entire site. It seems that a significant number of the micro-blogs that TUMBLR facilitated contained adult material and there were no practical methods to restrict access.

Many parents and others who work to keep their children from inappropriate material cheered this announcement although others maintained a “wait-and-see” attitude. Fans of pornography were devastated and/or outraged.

So, how did that pan out?

Continue reading Sorry, TUMBLR Still Has Porn….

Parental Controls Review: NETGEAR + Circle with Disney

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NETGEAR + CIRCLE WITH DISNEY is an outstanding suite of parental control tools for parents who want to protect their children online, at home, or on the go! Previously, Knights’ Quest has primarily recommended using OpenDNS and built-in parental controls like Apple’s SCREEN TIME feature.

The problems were:

  • Not all devices had adequate, or even marginal, built-in parental controls.
  • OpenDNS only worked in your home.

There were other solutions, but they either were cumbersome, not widely deployed, or required violating a device’s security (i.e. Jailbreaking & Rooting).

Let’s take a quick look at NETGEAR + Circle With Disney (referred to as Circle from here on out) and see what all parents can do!

NOTE:
(Oct 2019) While there are many NETGEAR + Circle With Disney products on the market, Circle has stopped supporting the apps and has launched CIRCLE HOME PLUS. Current users of the NETGEAR systems still have functionality, but the NETGEAR and original CIRCLE WITH DISNEY no longer allow new subscriptions. You can read my review of this new system HERE.

Continue reading Parental Controls Review: NETGEAR + Circle with Disney