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Netflix Bulks Up Parental Controls With New Features

Netflix is providing new ways for parents to monitor and restrict what their youngsters can watch on the streaming service.

The company has long given primary account holders the ability to restrict other profiles based on the maturity rating, using a four-digit PIN.

Now, Netflix will provide PIN-based controls for individual movies and TV series to give parents and guardians more specific control over what children are able to watch. “We understand that every family is different and that parents have differing perspectives on what they feel is appropriate to watch at different ages,” Mike Hastings, director of enhanced content at Netflix, wrote in a blog post Monday.

In addition, Netflix will begin displaying the MPAA or other maturity-level rating for a series or film once a member starts playing a title. For example, the “Trolls” title screen (pictured above) will prominently display the “PG” rating from the MPAA and denoting that the film contains “some mild rude humor.”

“While these maturity ratings are available in other parts of the experience, we want to ensure members are fully aware of the maturity level as they begin watching,” Hastings wrote.

Netflix said it will roll out the enhanced features across devices and global markets “in the coming months.”

To modify parental controls, Netflix users can access their Account page from a web browser and select “Manage Profiles.” Then they have two options: They can set an account-level restriction requiring a PIN to be entered to play any TV show or movie above a selected maturity level on any profile; or they can establish profile-specific “soft controls.”

Netflix provides four age-based maturity levels: Little Kids Only (content suitable for all ages); Older Kids and Below; Teens and Below; and All Maturity Levels.

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