Netflix has a parental control problem. You can create "kids" profiles, but children can easily avoid them. You can set a PIN to block content, but Netflix is still bombarding kids with sophisticated trailers. The parental control of Netflix needs to be improved.
Child profiles are not parental controls.
The fact that Netflix is so easy to share with friends and family is fantastic. Anyone can have an individual profile (your account can have up to five), which means your suggestions will not include Magic School Bus nor StoryBots .
And hire your little kids If you have a kids profile, you should stop them from seeing the mature shows. It should but it will not. Unfortunately, your child can switch to your profile at any time using the current Netflix system. That's why Netflix calls these soft controls.
Netflix does not lock children in their profiles. So if your child has already figured out how to change the profile, it can easily switch from his to yours. The only thing that keeps him from it is the realization that he can get to the profile of another and that he should not do that. "Parental security," based on a child's innocence and honesty, is no security at all.
What do you do if your kids change profile and check content they should not see? Sorry, you can not remove them from your profile right now. You can only set a PIN to prevent them from playing the Rated R movie Netflix added last week. But even that is problematic because the PIN system is not intuitive and does not block everything.
PINs are not intuitive.
The actual parental control feature is the PIN system, which Netflix calls "hard controls". If you set a PIN for your account, you can set Netflix to be required before playing mature content in a profile.
You are accessing Netflix's PIN system for parental control via Account Settings. Every change you make applies to every profile. The first problem, however, is that the PIN system is not intuitive to use.
To access Parental Control, you must visit the Netflix Web site. You can not access it from an iPad, smartphone, or other device. If you try, the app directs you to the site.
When accessing Parental Control, you must first enter a four-digit PIN. Choose this carefully because you'll need to share it with friends or family using your Netflix account. If you do not want to distribute your debit card PIN, do not use it.
The green bar in the Parental Control settings indicates which rating levels do not require a PIN for access. If you move the bar all the way to the right, this is incorrect. When the green bar is full, child lock is disabled. Luckily, you can also specify certain shows to block.
It may not always be clear when you need to use the PIN. According to Netflix, after playing a program, you will not have to reenter your PIN until the next episode rating changes, when you log out, switch profiles, or when you're "long enough" inactive (Netflix does not work). t specify exactly how long "enough" is).
Just because your child continues to see the same show, you do not need to re-enter your PIN. You may need to do this if a newer episode has a higher rating than the previous one.
PINs do not prevent older supporters from appearing.
It's only a matter of time before your kids grow up curious and switch to your profile. Unfortunately, what they could see is beyond your control. Netflix promotes different shows in almost every app at the top of the page. The ad usually contains a trailer video. If you scroll down, you will often find additional trailers.
If you set a PIN, Netflix ads will not stop, even though all other trailers are playing. You are free and you can not stop them. Look at the picture above from the trailer Stranger Things . It starts off harmlessly: A boy returns home, and his toy robots run from the room. That's what could attract the attention of a small child. It does not take long for the "strange things" to show up, like the monstrous horror in the above picture that would scare any little kid.
"Strange things" is a really better scenario as it rates TV-14. Netflix hosts and creates TV shows and movies classified as "TV Mature" and "R".
Even though by chance every preview is kid friendly, Netflix still shows pictures for every show you can watch. This sometimes includes racy pictures from mature shows that your kids may not want to see. And again – you can not disable them, you can not lock them with a PIN and you can not prevent your child from opening an adult profile.
PINs only work for families with one child  If you have more than one child, parental controls are awkward. If you have children three or four years apart, what you allow for your oldest child can be drastically different from what your youngest child should see. Netflix, however, does not allow any distinction. When you set a maturity level, it applies to each profile.
You can block anything your youngster should not see and periodically enter your PIN for your oldest child. Or you can unlock everything that your oldest child may see to unlock the content for your other children as well.
You could give your eldest child a PIN, but they'll have access to everything-including mature content. Unfortunately, these cumbersome options are only suitable for families with one child.
Netflix Should Add PIN Protected Profiles
All these problems can be solved with a single solution. Instead of an account-wide PIN and a maturity level that affects all profiles, Netflix should introduce choices and PINs at the profile level.
You must currently enter the account password to access Parental Control. That's perfect and should stay as it is. Once you're signed in to the Parental Control app, Netflix should allow you to force profile-by-profile parental ratings. Little John is 5 so you can put his profile on "little kid". Susie just turned fifteen so her profile drops to "teenager".
To prevent children from jumping into profiles they do not own, Netflix should extend the current PIN system with multiple PINs for profiles. People who are on a child profile with a low age rating do not need a PIN. You can also give your teenager a PIN so that the younger siblings do not have access. Each adult profile can have its own PIN set.
You can use an approved adult PIN to override the runtime settings on an on-off basis. The current rules for re-entering a PIN after a rating change would continue to apply.
Moving away from contour-less controls to profile-wide controls, Netflix would swap a blunt hammer for a scalpel. The company should let you decide who is ready for what, without making the process a lesson in frustration.