Do you know what types of content your children are accessing when they go online? Protecting children from the unsuitable content freely available on the internet must surely be any parent’s priority, but not everyone uses the available parental controls. Admittedly, these controls are not 100% effective, but they do go some way to preventing children from seeing things that they shouldn’t see. No parent has the time to sit by their child while they are using a computer to see what they are doing, and some parents only discover that their child is viewing adult content when raunchy pop up adverts start to appear. These adverts are usually generated by a search engine and are based on search results, so if you see this type of ad, clearly someone in the house has been accessing content that is unsuitable for children.
Younger and younger children have access to computers, and often have an iPad of their own for both school and personal use, and we all know that children are naturally curious. They will come across adult material, often by chance the first time, and having caught a glimpse of forbidden material, the average child will want to see more of the same which may lead them to search out even more graphic images. There is also an unfortunate trend towards cyber bullying and harassment, and one manifestation of this is that innocent individuals are sent shocking images via email, or maybe links to graphic websites, and some sensitive children can be harmed by exposure to these sights.
Apple parental controls
The good news is that the parental controls available on Apple devices are quick to set up, and are pretty effective, so it makes sense to switch them on before letting your child loose on the internet. You can not only control what sites they visit; you can also disable in-app purchases which gives you better financial control too.
Here is how to use parental controls on an iPad:
In Settings, General, tap on Restrictions. You will see a list of apps with ‘Enable Restrictions’ at the top. Tap on Enable Restrictions and you will be asked to set a restrictions passcode of 4 digits. Now, be careful here – you need a code that you can remember and that your child won’t work out. You need to be able to remember the code because if you forget it, you will need to wipe the iPad and restart it again from scratch to remove the code. Not a total disaster, but best avoided if you can.
To set your restrictions, tap on Restrictions, and then move the individual sliders for each app. Under the Restrictions menu there are also ways of choosing specific websites and age restrictions, so take a look – you can be very specific if you want to be. Don’t forget that the restrictions will now apply to any user of the iPad, so to set it back to full access again, you need to go back to the Restrictions screen, tap on Disable Restrictions and enter the 4 digit code.
It’s worth the little bit of effort to protect your child while they browse.