How Netflix Is Changing Up Its Parental Controls

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Netflix recently set a goal to release 700 TV shows and films in 2018, and considering most people's busy schedules, it's going to be harder than ever to keep track of what shows and movies are and aren't appropriate for younger viewers. Luckily, Netflix recently changed up its parental control system to soon give parents the freedom to completely customize what is and isn't safe for their children to watch. Specifically, Netflix plans to roll out PIN protection for specific shows and films while further optimizing how viewers see its maturity rating system.

Netflix's PIN protection system introduction is the biggest change to the platform's security, and as mentioned, parents will be allowed to set restrictions on individual films and shows. That means parents who are cool with their kid watching Stranger Things, but not ok with some of the other content that might be suitable for that age range, can now specifically block certain shows and films with a dedicated pin number. Ideally, this handy option can help keep parents from absentmindedly telling their child the Netflix PIN code in a busy moment so the child can watch one show, only for the kid to take advantage later on by watching something they shouldn't watch, thus scarring them for life.

Netflix will also begin to make its rating system a little more prevalent in titles as viewers queue up something to watch. Presently, Netflix will list the show's rating on the title page, but if someone has already watched an episode of the series that others are wishing to check out, that rating system is no longer there. Netflix's goal is to have the maturity rating display in the top left of the screen as the series begins to air, in a manner similar to what is done on regular television. Netflix's Director of Enhanced Content Mike Hastings noted the feature is still being worked on, and that the company is exploring other methods to make rating descriptions easier for subscribers to understand at a glance.

Netflix's rollout of these two key parental control features won't happen instantaneously, and the streaming service noted the services should appear on various platforms in the coming months. Whether that means a month from now or much longer largely will depend on the viewer's platform they are using Netflix on, since some will likely receive the update before others. Netflix is also planning roll out the update globally, which could mean things will go slower than usual, due to sheer volume.

Parents eager to limit their child's viewing experience may not currently have as great of control as they'll soon have on Netflix, so they can head over to CinemaBlend's Netflix premiere guide and use their best judgment on what their kids should and shouldn't watch. Those just looking to see what television is on the way in 2018 can head over to our midseason premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.