Kindle Free Time Warning: “Child-safe” does not mean your Kindle is safe from your child…
Kindle Free Time is the Kindle’s “child-safe” mode, which dumps the child into a separate environment within the Kindle, allowing him or her to access only the apps that you have decided are suitable for your children.
It’s child-safe, but that doesn’t mean your Kindle is safe from your child. Yesterday, my 6-year old son was on Kindle Free Time, and one of his applications froze or slowed down. With the typical impatience of a child, and obviously well-trained to use the Kindle under most circumstances, he swiped down on the screen. The parental settings menu appeared.
One of the options on the menu is “Exit Free Time.”
My son unfortunately (at least in this instance) reads enough to understand the word “exit.”
When you tap on “Exit Free Time,” you see a pop-up screen asking for your Parental Controls Password. At the bottom of the screen, in small font are the words, “If you have forgotten your password, you can reset your Kindle to factory defaults.”
Unfortunately, my son doesn’t read that much, and I suspect that after several failed attempts to type in something, he tapped on the link to reset the Kindle.
AARGH! Yes, indeed. My Kindle reset itself, wiping out all the downloaded movies, music, apps, books, etc. Everything was stored on my Amazon cloud account, so it was a matter of just downloading the files again, but I was most definitely a grumpy person for several hours.
My son has now been duly warned not to tap or swipe on anything beyond the main Kindle Free Time page , but I still think Amazon needs a layer of backup confirmation prior to resetting the Kindle to factory defaults. Two buttons with “OK” and “Cancel” won’t hack it, not when a child who doesn’t quite read is at the helm. I’d very much prefer something that says, “Confirm you want to reset the Kindle by completing this simple math problem: (531 x 879)/304.”
That would have saved my Kindle.