In an earlier article, I gave you some tips as to how to keep your kids safe while using Android smartphones using various parental control apps. However, some kids prefer Apple products to Samsung, and there are just as many threats to kids who use iOS devices as to kids who use Android devices. It’s important to cover how to keep iOS kids just as safe.
Android devices require 3rd party apps to be installed, but the Apple provides iPhone users with a safety feature already on it, called Restrictions. This feature gives you lots of control over protocols and features that are available to kids on their iPhones, including online activity and purchases. The following is going to give you a quick tutorial on how to use the pre-installed feature on the iPhone, as well as filling you in on the two top parental control apps on the market, to keep your kid even safer.
Using Restrictions on iOS Devices
Because Restriction is already available on your Apple device, it can be set up using the General Settings menu. Your phone, by default, has Restrictions turned “off,” so the first time you turn it on, you will be asked to set a passcode. This passcode will be different than your lock screen passcode, and so your kid will never have a reason to know the Restrictions password.
Once you have your passcode set, you can make available and restrict any apps on your phone that you please. For instance, you may wish to restrict your child from being able to access the iTunes store so that no accidental purchases can be made. You can also disable apps that may not be age-appropriate, such as Facetime or the iBooks store.
You can also set restrictions for controlling online content. You can restrict adult or explicit content form Siri, TV shows, books, apps, and even websites (but this option can only be restricted if you only let your kids use Safari as their browser). You can also configure the privacy settings on photos, location and even apps like Facebook or Twitter and other social media platforms.
If you want, you can leave the protection of your kids’ phones at this stage. It’s good for basic protection, such as controlling the content that is available to your kids via apps or a web browser. However, you can’t control the amount of time he or she can access the web. Never fear: a few 3rd party apps can give you the opportunity to control these things as well.
OurPact for iPhone
Some parental control apps may seem untrustworthy. However, OurPact is extremely legitimate, and an extremely accessible parental control and screen time management app, available for installation completely free. It is based on a client-server architecture. First of all, the parent (that’s you) installs the app on his or her personal device, deeming that device the “parent phone.” After you have installed the app, it will ask you to create an online account to continue.
Following your creation of an online account, you will be asked to add family members that you wish to restrict on additional iOS devices. Access your child’s device and go to the website pair.ourpact.com. This webpage will initiate the configuration based on your personal profile. This is where you will enter your login credentials for OurPact, and the app will install a VPN profile that is used to monitor online access. It will also install a remote management driver for internal usage.
Using these tools, you can now set up and control restrictions using the parent phone. This can include parameters such as configuring school and bedtime profiles, where depending on the time of day, apps may be blocked and disappear from the springboard. You can create multiple schedules depending on the time of year or day, and you can easily control everything from your own personal iOS device. Keep in mind, however, the age of your child and what is appropriate in restricting your kid’s device according to your family.
OurPact is free and can be used without any financial limitations.
NetSanity for iPhone
NetSanity costs $5.95 per month, or $59.95 per year. However, a 14-day free trial is available in order to familiarize yourself with the product. It is controlled using an administration panel via your home or office computer, and provides a bit more specificity in keeping your child safe, down to restricting certain websites or games.
The app itself is divided into nine different areas of safety: appblocker, timeblocker, gameblocker, catblocker, siteblocker, netblocker, safewifi, hideapps, and screenlock. The range of features gives you control over what apps and games your child is able to access, to being able to completely lock your child out of his or her phone. Like the previous option, NetSanity also gives you the option to place time limits and schedule limits on your child’s phone. For your school aged child, this is a good choice, because it possesses the capability to recognize a safe wireless connection environment with its own restrictions, such as at your child’s school, and will adjust to fit well with that connection. You can even block new apps that come out every single day according to the Apple age ratings, so your 12 year old won’t even able to see the 17+ options in the Apple store.
Pumpic for iPhone
Sometimes, Internet and app usage safety is not your only concern when your child uses an iOS device. Phones are expensive, and sometimes tough to replace. Pumpic keeps track of your child’s device remotely, as well as providing that safety net in the previous apps by blocking inappropriate websites. It also has the ability to sync your child’s calendar to your own, which is useful if you’re tired of constantly asking your teenager what their plans are. However, it doesn’t provide the feature of locking your child out of apps or monitoring the amount of time your child is on his or her smart device.
Pumpic is free and can be used without any financial limitations.