Setting Parental Controls on your iPhone

It’s not only adults who love iPhones. Toddlers, Preschoolers and Pretweens, Tweens and Teens also love iPhones.  Recently at a VCE Information Evening I watched a 2 year old happily and expertly playing with an iPhone, accessing an App and working with it; she read a book and to her giggly delight made the pictures move!   It occured to me as I watched her so intently involved in what was on the screen if there were any safety controls built in to stop her seeing inappropriate material by accident.

There are applications that are not appropriate for children: adult-oriented applications that you may not want your children to have access to.  There are ways to protect them but you must be proactive.  The following article is provided with thanks to:

Surfing the Net with Kids

The good news is that Apple offers parental controls on the iPhone. This means that you can turn off certain features that you do not want anyone to access on any iPhone. Parental controls provide great peace of mind, as you’ll know, as a parent,that your children don’t have access to content you’re not comfortable with them accessing. Better still, setting Parental Controls on the iPhone is quite easy.

There are several categories that you can restrict on the iPhone.  Here are some of the most popular among them:

    • Explicit song titles – Any songs that have content that you deem inappropriate can be restricted.  As the parent, you determine the level of content.
    • The Safari browser – If you do not allow unrestricted computer access, consider restricting this application as doing so means that your child cannot browse online unrestricted.
    • YouTube – YouTube has notoriously poor content filtering and it’s easy to get around the age limits to view certain videos.  If you don’t want your child to have unrestricted access to YouTube, blocking this application is probably a good idea.
    • The iTunes store – Blocking this application means that your child can’t purchase whatever they want from the iTunes stores. If your child is not mature enough to make appropriate purchases from the iTunes store, blocking this application is a good decision.
    • Installing apps – If you restrict this application, your child will not be able to install new applications without your knowledge.  This can be a handy restriction to have when you’re trying to determine what your child is ready for.
    • The camera – Some teens use the camera in their phone with reckless abandon, while others are ready to use it responsibly.  Knowing what your child is ready for is a crucial step in determining whether this is an application that should be restricted.

So now that you have decided to restrict some applications on the iPhone, here is how you do it:

1st, touch “Settings”.
Now, choose “General”.
Next, choose “Restrictions”.
At this point you will be prompted to set up a PIN, that gives you access to enable or disable Restrictions.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

    • When you disable an application, its icon disappears from the Home menu.
    • While using Parental Controls allows you to turn applications on and off,  you may want to be able to finesse your control over the content that may be downloaded. For example, while you can turn the phone’s browser on and off, there is no safe-search setting that will help you filter results. So, if you want to restrict the websites the browser can access but you don’t want to turn off the browser, there are applications you can download to fine tune your browser search settings so they’ll be child-friendly.

While many parents are thrilled that it’s so easy to set these controls, sometimes the problem is remembering which features they have turned off. This usually isn’t an issue, as your children are sure to remind you which applications you’ve disabled!

About Renata Rowe

Deputy Head of Campus/Head of Secondary, Ivanhoe Grammar School, Plenty Campus This blog is the School's way of helping our parents and teachers understand and experience the cyber world that their children live in. We post stories about the latest cyber safety issues, and the latest social mediums that their children and teens might be using. We believe that teaching children and teens to be good Digital Citizen from a young age will protect them and their reputations. Our parents have been delighted and have subscribed so that they can receive our updates - we post about once or twice a week. So subscribe - its easy to do, just enter your email address in the box in the top righthand corner of the home page and posts will automatically be delivered to you.
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