Are there any parental controls on the Amazon Kindle?
Now that my son is using our Amazon Kindle, I would like to have some control over what they check out in the online bookstore and, more importantly, would like to turn off their Internet access from the device, but as far as I can tell, there's no control at all. Is that true? And if so, what the heck is Amazon thinking?
I also have a Kindle DX that I've let my son use for reading books. I like that it's small and that books are inexpensive on the device, without any waste, but when I realized that it also has a Web browser (albeit not a very good one) I figured that was a potential problem but didn't worry much about it. The Kindle also makes it really easy to buy new books once the device is registered with Amazon.com.
No worries. Until I got a receipt for a purchase of a ebook with an obscenity in the title. Now, I know my son is just having fun with the device and searching the online bookstore for naughty words, but still, it was a bit alarming, and my motivation for figuring out a solution went up a notch.
The first thought I had was to change the configuration to require a password to get to the Internet or the Amazon book store, but as far as I can tell, that's not possible. D'oh, what the heck?
You can go into the settings and turn off wi-fi, but that's not going to work because the first thing the device asks if it's off is this:
Useless in terms of a control mechanism.
After reading quite a bit online, I determined that the best solution to control bookstore purchases is to just deregister the Kindle from the Amazon.com store. To do that, you need to pop into the Manage Your Kindle area on Amazon.com, where you'll see this sort of summary information:
Click on "Deregister" and it'll explain that you aren't supposed to do that unless you're selling the unit:
I did it anyway, and now when I try to buy something from the Kindle Store, I see this message:
Better than nothing, but still, I'd like to have better parental controls and it's baffling that Amazon hasn't stepped up in this situation and created some additional settings and configurations that would let a parent give the device to their children and know that it's being used to read ebooks, not explore the net or even find the R and X rated material online.
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Kindle Fire Help
Written by Dave Taylor
amazon kindle, content control, content filtering, kindle management, parental controls
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Reader Comments To Date: 20
Do you know if any of the other eBook readers, like the nook, have parental controls on them?
I love how society puts it on parents to control the content their kids are exposed to, but then doesn't provide us any tools to control the content. Honestly, what Kindle developer didn't think "hey, I wonder if parents would like to control what type of books, magazines, newspapers and web sites their kids can access from this device?"
Good article! It took me a long time to figure out even that much in the weeks before stumbling (after the fact) on this page. But there is a solution...just one not well publicized online. What we did was call Amazon and talk to tech support. You *can* get them to remotely disable the internet entirely, so it will never work on the device again, I assume without talking to them first. (So, obviously, have it registered to the parent, so the kid can't call Amazon to reenable it.) You can still get books by downloading to PC from Amazon and then transferring via USB. It's not an ideal set of parental controls, but it does knock out the internet issue.
I think some of the Amazon people are not aware they can remotely disable the “radio”, as the person I talked to called it. Certainly, the internet isn't aware of it. Just don’t take no for an answer, and make sure you get transferred to their experts, not just the people reading a script who will claim this isn’t possible. The phone number to use is: 1-877-453-4512. Good luck!
I just called the number that Oliver posted for Amazon. The first time I called the number on the Amazon website and they just kept telling me "no", no no, it's not possible. When I talked to the people at Oliver's number they said teh only option was for them to "suspend" internet access on my Kindle. I think we have to use the right lingo if you want to have it shut down or else they will just keep telling you no. The deal is, keep calling until you find a representitive that actually cares about hwlping you. They can do it! :)
I was considering sharing my kindle with my YA niece and wondered about blocking access to some books I've purchased. Not porn, but certainly adult. I see from your discussion and the Amazon faq that this is not possible. I have to permanently remove books I paid $ for to keep them from being downloaded. What a total crock!
I am going to suggest to Amazon that they allow better customization of Kindle accounts online including an option to sort and mark titles/items and make them inaccessible from the Kindle unless I unblock them online. Really the online account ought to be much more useful.
Just called the number Oliver gave, and got a very nice, pleasant, and knowledgeable lady. I said I wanted to suspend the internet access and disable the radio on my Kindle. She asked what I would do if I wanted to download a new book. I said I would send it to my computer and then sync via USB. She said that would work fine--she just wanted to make sure I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of having to call them to turn on the radio every time I got a book, and then call them again after it downloaded to have the radio turned off.
We had a very nice brief conversation about the fact that the browser had no controls, and she submitted a customer feedback report to the development folks on my behalf.
Hooray! So glad I found this page! Thanks for the help, Oliver!
Anybody try this with the new Kindle or Kindle Touch? I would think the "with special offers" version would be denied because that is probably how they push advertisements (via wifi).
If anyone finds an Amazon's rep's name that can do this, would you post it? The times I have called they have said it can't be done.
Yeah does anyone know a specific rep. or know if it works on the newest Kindle (the one with the promos)? I just got off the phone with someone who described to me the exact process you are talking about, then told me it is not, and never was, possible. Sigh.
I found her! A very nice girl named Ashley went through the trouble of figuring it out though she never had before. The number again is 1-877-453-4512
So, I called, and they said they can disconnect the "radio" but, in effect, that makes the Kindle "blacklisted" and is no longer operable. Is this what you are finding once the "radio" has been disconnected?
Actually, once my radio was disconnected and I excitedly shared it with the world I picked up my Kindle and realized nothing had changed. I called back and it was once again impossible to do. I thought of reporting it stolen so it would be "blacklisted" to see if I could still indirectly download books without having an operable web browser. Did they say if this was reversible? Perhaps if I found it after losing it? :)
I have have had a hard time getting a firm and clear answer. The most I can gather is that once a kindle is blacklisted, it becomes "completely" inoperable, and this process is "completely" irreversible. I really want to be able to let my teen boys read on their newly purchased kindle, but with the web capabilities, it is certainly a recipe for disaster with teen boys, (and perhaps girls.) Does anyone have any recent success stories?
Kindle is good since it has almost everything that you could ask for at an affordable price. BUT it's a BIG NO for me since it doesn't have PARENTAL CONTROL. Did Amazon aim this product to adult only??? If they did then they should have given us a warning. My husband gave our sons (6 and 7 years old) a Kindle for them to read. But they did not read. They searched webs and tried to buy books too. I looked for parental control but there was nowhere to be found on this device. Really mad at the product. I finally have to set passwords for both screen and wifi. That's my only solution. If they want to "read", I'll let them read under my supervision otherwise only God knows what they are doing when they are on their own.
Just called the number posted, 1-877-453-4512, they are in West Virginia, I talked to Meghan, and she knew exactly what I wanted done. She made sure I knew that the only way I could download books was through a USB to my computer, which I did know. She said it would disable both my 3G and Wi-Fi, and would take about 30 minutes. This was for a Kindle 2. I had the same concerns about parental controls with web access being on the Kindle. Whoever found this out originally, thanks a lot!!!
Has anyone been able to have web browsing disabled on the Kindle DX? I called the number above and was told it was not possible with the DX. thanks.
Great post. Just wanted to see if anyone had any luck with the Kindle D01100 (Kindle 4 Non-Touch - WiFi only no 3G).
I've been back & forth with Amazon support all day, but no luck. They swear it can't be done on this unit.
Very bad design, IMO. When you supply "experimental" features like the web browser, there should be a provision to enable/disable. Especially if you give NO options for parental control. Support even said that the browser won't load all pages & could cause unit to freeze. Duh!
Tweak the firmware, Amazon knuckleheads! Put some control into the hands of the user. All I want to do is disable the WiFi & should have this option!!
I was in BN yesterday - they seem to have a kindle e-ink reader with great parental controls. I don't remember which ones. Next purchase will be one of these...
For some reason I set the parental controls on my kindle while I was fiddling with it, goodness knows why? I now wish to remove it, but cannot remember my password, even with the 'hint' that comes up. I am a pensioner with an awful memory, and although I've put in every password I can think of, I cannot remove the controls, which I do not need on my kindle. Please could anyone help me? I'm worried that if I ask kindle for a new password - if indeed that is possible - I will lose the 300-odd books I have at present on my kindle.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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