Apr 16, 2018
If you have a PS4 system at home, you may be concerned about your child’s gaming habits, and more specifically, the content and features to which your child has access. As with many other systems, the PS4 allows master account users the ability to restrict and filter the applications their children can access. Keep reading to learn how to set parental controls on PS4.
Holding the master account to a device and designating user accounts for your children is definitely not foolproof, which is why having a dedicated parental control software -- like Net Nanny -- is advised. We know you’re busy, which is why Net Nanny simplifies the process of monitoring and keeping your children safe while they enjoy gaming.
Types of Control Settings
Parents can control multiple content functions with their PS4 system, including restricting the play of Blu-Rays and DVDs, internet browser use, logins to additional household accounts, and disabling the ability for guests to login under your system. As with most devices, there is a master account option, which should be registered to a parent.
Set Up Accounts
PS4 offers users two account options: Master Accounts and Sub Accounts. Master accounts are meant to be held by a legal adult, and can be used to create settings for sub-accounts; sub accounts are typically held by minors or secondary users of the PS4 system. Payment information, or the Wallet, is saved under master accounts, which then designate which, if any, sub-accounts can access the Wallet to pay for purchases.
Create a Master Account
If you’re using your PS4 for the first time, you’ll need to begin by creating an account and entering in your personal information. You will see the prompt, New to PlayStation Network? Create an Account; follow the prompts to enter your email address and personal information.
To create your Master Account, navigate to the Settings menu. Select the subheading entitled PlayStation Network/Account Management, and then select Sign Into PlayStation Network. Note: if you had an earlier PlayStation version, you can use that account sign-in here (rather than creating a new account).
Create a Sub Account
To create a Sub Account for your child, you will again select the Settings menu. Select the Parental Controls option, and then Sub Account Management; you will be prompted to enter your sign-in information. Select Add Child, and follow the set-up prompts.
Control by age
PS4 users can restrict the level of content their child is allowed to consume by age, which includes both games and movies. To restrict the use of features by age, navigate to the Settings menu. From the Settings menu, you will select Parental Controls, and then Restrict Use of PS4 Features. You will be prompted to enter your master account/parental controls password (the default is 0000).
Once you are in the Restrict Use of PS4 Features menu, you will be able to tighten controls and settings for each of the listed categories.
You definitely want to adjust the Games settings, as the default setting is level 9, meant for users 18 years or older. You can consult this chart to find the appropriate settings level for your child’s age.
PS4 allows users to also restrict Blu-Ray and DVD playback by age. The default setting is Allow, but you will want to choose a lower age to tighten movie content restrictions.
To block the use of the Internet Browser, you’ll need to change the default setting from Allow to Block. If you don’t want to block the Internet completely, you do have the option to apply a Web Filter, which screens “harmful” sites, but additional fees may apply.
It’s important to note that the PS4 system’s settings restrictions and web filtering are not foolproof. Net Nanny offers software with real-time dynamic content filtering, allowing you to further filter the videos and apps your child consumes in real time.
Manage a Sub Account
Now that you’ve managed your PS4’s content features, you’ll also want to set restrictions on your child’s use of the PlayStation Network. Navigate to the Settings menu, select Parental Controls and then Sub Account Management. From here, you will see a list of Network features you can control through settings.
This is an incredibly important feature consider blocking, as your child is able to openly communicate with others through the PlayStation Network. To disable this feature, simply select Block.
You will likely want to Block the User-Generated Media option, as users can openly send screenshots, video clips, and even text messages to each other.
Change the default from Off to On under Content Restriction, so that the content available to your child is filtered by age.
Monthly Spending Limit
Remember the Wallet we discussed earlier? If you’ve not disabled your child’s sub-account access to the Wallet feature, you’ll want to set a monthly limit for the amount your child is allowed to spend in the PlayStation Store.
If you’ve followed our step-by-step instructions and adjusted settings, you’ve just made your PS4 gaming system safer for your child! Remember that the PlayStation’s native settings and filters are only the first line of defense; they are definitely not foolproof. The only way to have one hundred percent security is to implement a parental control software, such as Net Nanny, with the ability to monitor and filter content in real time.
Lauren B. Stevens
Lauren B. Stevens is a freelance writer and influential blogger. She is passionate about social media and literature.