How To Set Parental Controls for Apple

Apr 01, 2017

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Whether you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or iPod (or are an Apple household with all of their devices), adjusting the built-in parental controls on Apple products is relatively easy. With a plethora of customizable options, we’re going to show you how to establish your first line of defense and set up parental controls on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

Always remember that mobile device companies are not experts in creating parental control software, which is why having targeted software can help keep your family’s devices safe and secure. Net Nanny helps by providing parental control software that enables you to see exactly where your child is going online, alerting you to questionable subject areas, filtering what they’re viewing, and even blocking websites with inappropriate content.

If you’re not an Apple user, Windows 10 and Kindle also have parental controls you may want to explore.

Set A Password

Your device likely has a password to unlock it (and if it doesn’t, set a screen lock immediately!); enabling parental controls in your mobile Apple product will require you to set another password for access.

General Passcode

Select Settings > General > Restrictions. Selecting Restrictions will prompt you to create a Restrictions Passcode. Once you’ve created your 4-digit passcode, you will then see a wide range of options to either enable or disable, arranged under the following categories: Allow, listing all of your native phone apps (this is where you can disable the camera, Siri, and FaceTime, if you have a kiddo who likes to play with those functions), Allowed Content, Privacy, Allow Changes and Game Center.

Restrictions Options1


Restrictions Options2

Customize Restrictions Settings

For a while, I couldn’t figure out why I kept running out of storage until I logged into iCloud and saw the hundreds of photos my son had taken with his iPad. Disabling the camera saved me from continually having to purchase more storage.

I’ve also disabled Installing Apps and In-App Purchases, as my son often plays free games, which provide direct download links from in-app advertisements. I learned about in-app purchases the hard way when I allowed my son to play cookie jam on my phone; he purchased coins for additional play time, with a simple swipe of the screen (I’d not even purchased more playing time for myself!). While I discovered the in-app purchase quickly, I could have easily avoided the situation by setting the controls on my phone.

Apple allows users to customize the restrictions on iPhone, iPad, and iPod, selecting as much, or as little access.

Content Options1

Content Options2

Content

Using United States ratings system, you can disable access to music, podcasts, and news featuring explicit content, as well as books with adult content. Movies are also categorized by the rating system, you can see that I’ve restricted access to only those movies rated G and PG in the screenshot above.

Each content category allows you to customize the age range, or simply select Disable or Don’t Allow for that option.

Websites filter

Websites
Under the content heading, Websites allows you to customize what your child has access to on the web. You can allow All Websites, Limit Adult Content, and designate permissions for Specific Websites Only.

Privacy
The Privacy menu allows you to further disable access to important items on your phone, such as your calendars, contacts, photos and social media accounts. You can also disable Location Services from the Privacy menu if you’ve not already disabled the GPS locater.

Allow Changes

If you want to safeguard your phone’s settings, be sure to access the Changes menu; here you can restrict your child’s ability to change the account, data use and volume settings.

Game Center

I have a friend whose tech-savvy elementary schooler not only figured out how to record his video game play but opened his own YouTube account and was amassing a following without my friend’s knowledge. You can avoid this, and similar scary situations, by adjusting the settings under Game Center.

While I like the ability to set a range of parental control settings on our iPhones and iPads, I don’t like the fact that the settings are not saved. For example, I spent five minutes customizing the restrictions for my son to be able to use my iPhone, and I disabled the restrictions once he returned it to me. The next time I went to hand over my phone, all of the customized restrictions had to be added, again, once I attempted to enable restrictions.

Net Nanny provides ease of use; settings remain saved per user, so you need only switch users to activate customized parental control settings on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod.