A common question I get from parents is, “How do I protect my kids from inappropriate material on their iPhone, iPad or iTouch?” That is a great question because so many kids have these devices now. My 13-year-old daughter just won an iPad2 at school last week (lucky dog). These devices can all access the Internet and there are zillions of apps that can be downloaded for them. So with the proliferation of “i” devices in our homes it’s a good idea to know how to set them up so they’re kid friendly. Here’s the step-by-step process I took to do just that on my daughters new iPad2:
- First delete all browsers apps on their “i” device. Bing and Google are the main ones to look for (Safari you have remove in a different way and we’ll cover that in step 4). How do you delete them you might be wondering? Put your finger on the icon of the app you want to delete. It will start to jiggle and an “X” will appear on the icon in the upper left hand corner. Touch the “x” and that will delete the app.
- Download the Safe Eyes Mobile app which is an Internet filtering browser that will help keep your kids safe from inappropriate websites. How? Go to the “App Store” app on their device. Click on the search icon at the bottom and type in “Safe Eyes Mobile”. Click on it and hit “Install”.
- Next go to the “Setting” app, scroll down and select the “General” tab and then scroll down and select “Restrictions”. Turn “Restrictions” on if it is not already and create a password (one you’ll easily remember).
- On the “Restrictions” page turn off “Safari” (this will make it not appear on their device) and turn off “Installing Apps”. Why do we do this? We want the only Internet browser on their device to be Safe Eyes. If Safari or another browser app is on their device they can use that which would bypass the filters Safe Eyes provides. We turn off “Installing Apps” so they can’t just download another browser and, again, bypass Safe Eyes. Now when they want to download an app (and they will) they’ll need to come to you so you can turn on “Install Apps”. But don’t forget to turn it back off when they’re done.
- Outside of making their device safer for web browsing you can do many other things in “Restrictions” to make their “i” device more kid-friendly like turning off “YouTube” and scrolling down to “Allowed Content” and turning off “Explicit” content under “Music & Podcasts”. You can also set age appropriateness for “Movies”, “TV Shows” and “Apps”. Under “Game Center” you can also turn off their ability to play multiplayer games and adding friends via “Game Center” if you have concerns about who they can interact with online.
Now that you’ve taken these step to make their “i” devices kid friendly make sure you get on their device from time to time. See how it works. See how they’re using it. Ask them questions about it. You might actually learn something and you may end up wanting one for yourself.