Parental controls, also known as Restrictions, allow you to set what your children can and can't access on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. With Parental Controls, you can lock out Safari, Camera, FaceTime, Siri, AirDrop, CarPlay, the iTunes, iBooks, Podcasts, or App Stores (including in-app purchases), as well as content by age rating, and the ability to make changes to accounts and other app settings. In other words, they’re a way to block your child’s access to anything and everything you deem inappropriate for them based on their age and sensitivity, and your own best judgement.

You have several options for setting up parental controls. You can use Restrictions on the phone to turn on and off certain features. You can use Guided Access to lock the phone on one app. You can download parental-control browsers from the iTunes store. And,at the iTunes store, you can log into your account to restrict the types of content that can be shared and downloaded from the cloud.

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.

Tap on General.

Tap on Restrictions.

Tap on Enable Restrictions.

Type in a password you’ll remember for when you need to disable restrictions again. (This can and should be completely different from the Lock screen passcode, otherwise the kids will know it!)

Under the Allow section, turn Off any apps that you don’t want someone accessing without your permission. (This section is for built-in apps and not third party apps.)

Scroll down further to fine tune different aspects of iOS from restricting Game Center use to filtering out specific websites, or only allowing certain ones.

Downloading a kid-friendly browser. Although you can add safe-search settings to Safari in “Restrictions"/”Allowed Content,” you also can completely disable the Safari browser (in Restrictions) and download a brand-new kid-friendly browser. Or you can download a search- filtering program that works with Safari.

Setting iTunes Preferences. Remember that content downloaded onto the computer and shared in the cloud can be played on the iPhone. To manage this content, go to the iTunes store on your computer. Go to “Edit” in the top menu, choose “Preferences” and click on “Parental” There you”ll find controls for what you can download and the TV and movie ratings you’re OK with your kids downloading and sharing.

Should I buy parental controls from my wireless carrier?

There are pros and cons to purchasing these services, which let you do everything from filtering inappropriate content and blocking phone purchases to locating your kid on a map. The main “con” is cost. Some of these features can be expensive, and you may be able to find cheaper alternatives through the phone’s built-in settings or through third-party apps. But on the “pro” side is necessity. Although we like to think our kids will be completely responsible, some will resist your rules. If your kid is risking safety, privacy, and money, it might be worth looking into these services.


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