Parental controls have been around for a long time on computers. However, with the growing popularity of smartphones, parental control apps have become available for Android and iOS as well!
Many parents feel that smartphones are too powerful a device to give to their children without any restrictions. With parental control settings on iPhone, you can set overall limits on screen time and specific apps as well as who your child can contact and message.
These settings can be put into place by you, the parent or guardian, and they can be changed at any time. This is very helpful as your child grows and their needs change. They will not be able to change these restrictions themselves unless they know your password, making them fairly secure.
There are three main features that you can set up on your iPhone in order to create parental controls. These features are Screen Time, DND (do not disturb), and FaceTime. Each of these features has their own settings that can be changed to fit your needs.
Go to General
Under General, you can set your child’s phone to show a Do Not Disturb sign, vibrate, and silent. This is very useful for when your child is in a situation where noise or distraction is not allowed.
You can also limit the amount of times they can call or contact someone. This is great for situations where your child needs to contact you and/or emergency services but needs guidance on how many people they can call.
Under Network Services, you can set the phone to only use Wi-Fi, none of the data plan bandwidth. This is good if your child does not need access to data or internet until they need it. It also helps with saving money because they cannot browse or download anything!
The last option under General is to set a passcode. This makes it so that the phone must be entered before any of the settings or usage of the phone occurs. This is very helpful in setting up the phone but also for later use (in case of emergencies).
Go to Restrictions
Now it’s time to go to the Restrictions section in the Settings app. You can either go through the passcode route or disable Restrictions entirely, which would eliminate the point of this tutorial.
Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and tap Enable Restrictions. Then enter a passcode and confirm it. This is the passcode that will enable people to disable your restrictions.
Here, you can choose which features of the phone you want to restrict. For instance, you can choose to disable Apple Pay and FaceTime, or prevent purchases via Apple iTunes Store and App Store.
You can also set up specific times for device usage via Clock Screen Time Limits or schedule specific times when the device is allowed to be used. Device Sleep Schedule lets you set a time when the device will automatically turn off so that it does not waste battery during non-usage hours.
Create a 4-digit passcode
Once you have set up your child’s account, the next step is to create a passcode. This passcode will go into effect every time they try to access their features.
A strong passcode is a must for kids’ phones. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 1 in 5 Americans has been the victim of identity theft, and one of the most common ways identity thieves gain access to someone’s personal information is by stealing a cell phone.
By making the passcode four digits long, you are making it much more difficult for someone to get into the phone. The average person would have to try approximately 10,000 possible combinations before getting it right.
Furthermore, you should always update your phone’s operating system as soon as new updates are available. They contain security fixes that help prevent hackers from getting into your device.
Tap Content Ratings
The next step is to tap Content Ratings. This feature allows you to select the ratings of apps you want to see in the store. You can choose from Youth, Teen, Mature, and Only for 12+ ratings.
Youth is for apps designed for children under the age of twelve. These have no ratings as the app is designed for children to learn and play with.
Teen is for people in high school who are considered teens. These have violence, mild profanity, or sexual content.
Mature is for adults who do not want ads or rated apps in the store. These have violence, heavy profanity, or sexual content.
Only For 12+ Only For 12+ is only meant for people who are twelve years old or older. These have violence, heavy profanity, or sexual content.
Under In App Purchases, select Off
This feature allows users to make in-app purchases, such as buying new game levels or additional characters.
Some games include this feature as part of the gameplay, so you may want to keep this setting on. However, if your child is making frequent in-app purchases, it may be a good idea to disable this setting.
Since this feature can not be disabled via Family Control settings, you will have to access your child’s device and disable it via the Apple Store app.
It is best to talk with your child about in-app purchases and how to avoid making them so that they are aware of the cost. If you notice repeated charges on your account for random amounts, then you should talk to your child about it.
Under Profanity, select Off
This feature disables profanity, vulgar language, and inappropriate words on your device. If this is set to Off, anyone can say whatever they want on your device!
This can be dangerous if a child uses the device without parental control because they could be exposed to harmful language and ideas.
Children can be very smart but also very curious. They may try to access things they shouldn’t, such as social media or apps that cost money.
Under the General settings section, you can choose whether children can make phone calls and send text messages. Under Kids Limits, you can set time limits for using the phone. These are great features for parents who want to limit screen time!
Child safety is important, and these features give you the ability to control what your child sees and does on the phone.
Under Sex/Nudity, select Off
This setting disables certain features on your child’s device. This includes disabling the camera, preventing them from making calls, and blocking sex and nudity.
Many games and apps require access to the camera for gameplay features. This setting would prevent your child from using these features and apps. As a parent, you should be aware of what your child is playing or using for entertainment.
Some games may require phone calls to proceed in the game or gain points. By disabling this feature, your child will not be able to play the game properly. This may cause frustration and/or anger towards the game and/or device.
By disabling sex and nudity on the device, you are protecting your child from exposure to these things. Some children may be too young to understand this, so as a parent, you have the right to set this restriction.
Under Controversial Issues, select Off
Many apps allow you to access information about many things, but some of those things may be too mature for young children. By setting a parental control under Controversial Issues, you can limit the amount of information children can access through the internet on your device.
This includes filtering porn, violence, and other inappropriate content. You can also set it to filter gambling sites, tobacco or smoking related sites, and neo-Nazi sites.
By setting this feature to off, your child will have full access to the full breadth of the internet. This is not recommended unless they are very mature and understand how to use the internet responsibly.
Children can also find information on how to be more healthy and fit, but some may promote misinformation.