Apple is promising new ways for parents to control their kids iPhone activity in the wake of receiving letters from two big-time Apple investors, requesting new tools to help parents better control how their kids use their iPhones. Negative effects on a child’s mental health from too much phone use were cited, claiming that a company of Apple’s size could have a major impact in bettering childhood development globally.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Apple said that it’s “constantly looking” for ways to improve its devices and said that it plans new features that will make the tools it provides parents “even more robust.”
You don’t have to wait on Apple to roll out new updates to keep your child safe, however. There are steps you can take right now to curb your child’s iPhone use. Follow this quick and easy guide to ensure that your child always has a safe mobile experience:
Use a Passcode You’ll only be able to set restrictions if you turn on passcodes in your iPhone settings. You will need to input this passcode to access the Restrictions settings. To set up a passcode, go to Settings, then General, and Touch ID & Passcode, or Face ID & Passcode for you iPhone X owners out there. Set the passcode you want and you’ll be good to go.
Use the Restrictions App To access the Restrictions app, go into Settings, then General. Next, you will see an option for Restrictions. Tap it and the software will ask for a passcode. Once you’ve done this, you will see a long list of restrictions show up and you can choose what you want to allow access to or what you want to disallow.
Be Mindful of Games If your little one is big into iPhone games, the good news is that Apple already makes it easy to control that behavior. Scroll to the bottom of the Restrictions menu and you’ll see a “Game Center” section. It’s here that you can decide whether your kids should be allowed to play multiplayer games or communicate with other people in those games. Many games allow you to interact with other real people, potentially exposing your kids to some questionable characters.
Make A Few Quick but Important Changes You’ll need to decide if you want your kids to access the already built-in apps, which include the Camera app, FaceTime and the Safari browser. You can also set it up so that iTunes and the Apple App Store are turned on or not. Keep in mind that If you don’t want your kid to be able to install apps and make iTunes purchases, you will only be able to do this yourself when you turn the restrictions off.
Be Sure To Set an Age Rating If you let your kids download apps but want to restrict what they have access to, scroll down to the “Allowed Content” section on the Restrictions menu. Here is where you will be able to decide whether Apple should automatically filter explicit content or not. You can also choose the “apps” pane and decide if the iPhone should allow all apps to be accessible, or only apps that are age appropriate. This includes 4+, 9+, 12+, or 17+ options. You will also have control of TV shows and movies, music, and allowed websites. The Allowed Websites pane lets you pick which websites your kids can and cannot go to.
With all of that said and done, your iPhone will be child-proof and safe to use.