Here are a few things parents need to do before handing a device over for games or videos.
It’s not unusual for parents to hand off their mobile devices to their kids for a little downtime. These devices, like iPhones and iPads, offer the perfect diversion while mommy and daddy take a breather. But they weren’t created with this purpose in mind, and your child is holding a very powerful piece of technology in their hands. Which could prove detrimental if they start pushing the wrong buttons or opening the wrong apps.
Giving an iPhone to a toddler or child should offer a bit of respite, and keep them entertained and happy. Not add potential stress points. It’s incredible what children can do if left to their own devices. From purchasing things online to wiping a whole list of important emails or accidentally locking the phone for years.
How Guided Access Works to Keep Kids Out of Important Features
One of the best iOS features for parents is Guided Access. This helps parents set up how they want their kids to interact with the screen. Which lets them decide to turn certain parts of the screen “off,” so nothing happens if the kid decides to tap there. This is great because a parent can, for instance, turn off the part where the search bar is on YouTube.
Here’s How to Set it Up
1. Open Settings and navigate to General > Accessibility > Guided Access.
2. Under the Guided Access settings menu, turn this feature on.
3. Tap the Passcode Settings option and select one of the options. Depending on the device, there will be the option to set up a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID.
4. Next, turn on the Accessibility Shortcut feature under the Guided Access menu. This lets the parent open the Guided Access mode tapping the Home button three times.
How To Use Guided Access
1. Open up an app.
2. Tap the home button three times to launch Guided Access. An overlay will appear over the screen.
3. Draw a finger across the sections that should be disabled. A shape will appear, and this shape can be stretched into any form or size to cover the intended areas. Covered areas will be greyed out.
4. Select Options in the bottom corner to disable any physical buttons on the iPhone or iPad.
5. To exit Guided Access, tap the home button three times and enter the password.
How a VPN for iPhone or iPad Keeps Parents Safe
If a kid gets access to the iPhone or iPad’s browser and starts visiting websites, it can prove disastrous. They have no notion of dodgy websites with fake ads or suspicious links/downloads. In this case, it’s best to have a VPN for iPhone or iPad already installed.
A VPN protects a device by encrypting its connection and hiding its IP address. Which means that any malicious websites won’t be able to get access to the device if the child visits them. Of course, it’s still better if these websites are avoided entirely for the safety of the child. But this precaution will protect against malware and theft in case they do open anything they shouldn’t.
How to Block Purchases and Certain Apps
The iOS operating system allows parents to block purchases and content. Here’s how to do it.
1. Open Settings and navigate to Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.
2. Tap the Enable Restrictions option. There are three main options a parent should consider here, namely Allowed Apps, iTunes & App Store Purchases, and Content Restrictions.
Why a parent may want to consider disabling these options:
Allowed Apps: This option lets parents choose to disable entire apps while keeping others available for kids to use.
iTunes & App Store Purchases: This controls which apps can be added and removed as well as whether in-app purchases are allowed. If someone doesn’t want to disable any of these functions entirely, then they can opt to set up a password instead.
Content Restrictions: This is where the motherload of content options lie. Here, a parent can choose to disable certain types of internet content, set up app restrictions, and gaming restrictions like multiplayer. It’s a lot to go through, and unfortunately, there’s no one-click setup option.
Take Care of the Outside, Too
Children aren’t the best when it comes to handling delicate things. Consider getting a screen protector and iPhone or iPad case to put on before giving the device to them.
The Bottom Line
Following this advice should allow any parent to hand over their devices to their kids without too much worry. It’s not always possible to control everything they see or do, but in this case, it comes pretty close.