Netflix App: Safety Guide for Parents

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Netflix App: Safety Guide for Parents

April 23, 2020
Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at

Dangerous Social media challenges

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Table of Contents

The Netflix app allows users to stream or download popular movies and shows from a mobile device. Netflix added several safety features in 2020 to improve parental controls to make the app safer for students.

The New York Times headline: Everyone you know just signed up for Netflix. The streaming giant added nearly 16 million new subscribers in the first three months of the year.
With an almost bottomless well of movies and serials that can be watched on almost any device, it’s the kind of service that would be dreamed up by someone stranded on a desert island — or stuck at home during a pandemic… Netflix has 182.6 million subscribers, making it one of the world’s largest entertainment services. The New York Times, April 2020

What is the Netflix App?

  • The Netflix app allows users, with a paid Netflix account, to watch streaming movies and TV shows on a mobile device
  • Netflix also offers original programming on its app
  • Family members can share one account with up to 5 individual profiles
  • You must be 18+ to start a Netflix membership, according to the company's website

Where is the Netflix app available? 

Netflix Icon 2020

Why do students like the Netflix app?

  • It’s easy to search for movies and shows on the app
  • Users can create a playlist on the My List feature
  • You can download titles for offline viewing
  • The app gives recommendations, based on a user’s watch history
  • Users can play and pause without commercials

Why should parents care?

  • Netflix has a vast video library, with content ranging from educational to violent and mature
  • The Netflix app offers parental controls, but you cannot access them from the app
  • All parental controls must be set up on
  • Parents can see a list of recently viewed titles on
  • Netflix users can use browser extensions, like Netflix Party, to watch shows and movies with friends or strangers (& chat while streaming together)

Here’s how to access Netflix parental controls:

Netflix Parental Controls
  • Open Parental Controls (on, not in app)
  • Choose a maturity level for each profile
  • Require a PIN for each profile (in Settings → Profile Lock)
  • Review the list of Restricted Titles for each profile (which will carry over from your existing parental controls)
  • Click Save to implement changes

Netflix in the news

The Washington Post headline: Tech companies are adding parental controls amid a virus-fueld surge in screen time. TikTok, Netflix and Google introduced new tools for parents, but some critics say it's too little, too late.
It’s the era of coronavirus screen time, and some tech companies are rolling out new tools to help parents better monitor what their kids are watching and doing online… Previously [Netflix] allowed parents to set up accounts for their children with limited content, but there was no way to prevent them from navigating back to an adult’s profile. The Washington Post
The Verge headline: Netflix will allow parents to remove movies and shows, filter by rating in new update. Making profile accounts for kids even more specific.
The biggest addition is the ability to remove an individual TV series or movie by title. Think of it like a search filter… Other updates to parental controls include adding PINs to protect profiles, the ability to review a child’s viewing history, and disabling autoplay. The Verge

What can parents do?

Netflix App Guide by SmartSocial
  • Set up an age appropriate Netflix profile for each kid in your family
  • Lock each profile and make each PIN different
  • Don't tell your kids your PIN
  • Don't share your Netflix password with your kids or they can access the Parental Controls settings
  • Turn off the Autoplay controls to help reduce the time students spend watching Netflix
  • Become a free Smart Social member and get weekly newsletter updates on trending apps and social media news for students
  • Become a VIP (Very Informed Parent) Member at for access to 30+ workshops to help your students stay safe on social media so they can Shine Online™

Talk with students about Netflix content

  • Tell your student they can only use their individual profile when they are watching Netflix without an adult
  • Talk with your students about the type of content that’s appropriate to watch on Netflix, or anywhere else online
  • Explain how ratings work and why certain family members can watch certain types of shows and movies 
  • Consider setting screen time limits with a social media agreement


Netflix is constantly adding new content to keep users logging back in day after day. It’s a good idea to keep an open dialogue with your student about the types of shows and movies that they’re interested in. Stay engaged with their various sources of entertainment and don’t solely rely on the app’s parental controls to protect your students from content that you deem inappropriate.

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