Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Access Denied: how to use parental controls on the iPad

The iPad is an everyday part of my speech-language therapy practice. When my students are exploring, learning and playing on the iPad I am always right there next to them. That isn't always the case with my own children. I do my best to supervise iPad use in my home, but I could use some help. Did you know that there are parental controls available on the iPad? Understanding the capabilities of the iOS Restrictions section can help parents and professionals prevent children from accessing specific features or content.

Restrictions can be found under Settings on the device. Tap General and then select Restrictions. Enable Restrictions and select a four digit passcode. You will use this passcode to change settings or turn off Restrictions. Keep in mind, if you forget the passcode you will have to do a "factory restore" to remove it. Please note, depending on what version of iOS software your device is using, your settings may look slightly different.

The first section of Restrictions allows you to enable or disable various apps and features including:
- Safari
- Camera
- FaceTime
- iTunes Store
- iBook Store
- In-App Purchases
- Installing Apps
- Deleting Apps
- Siri (if available on the device)
- CarPlay (hopefully, your kids aren't driving and playing Dr. Panda)

It is possible to disable one or all of these features/apps. Switch features on or off at anytime and as often as you'd like.

The next section is called Allowed Content. Choose which country you are in to determine the ratings used. Then you can select the ratings allowed for movies, TV shows, music and podcasts. It is possible to control "explicit" language in music, podcasts or with Siri. You can also prevent Siri from being able to search content from the web. This section allows you to restrict websites to "specific websites only." If websites are restricted, you can determine if the password is required "immediately" or "every 15 minutes" to access non-approved websites.

There is the option to prevent changes to privacy settings for many features such as location services, calendar and reminders. It also allows you to prevent changes to the privacy settings of social media accounts.

Control changes to the settings of cellular data use and accounts.  You can even control whether or not volume changes can be made. Boy is my son lucky that I just discovered this feature!

Restrictions also covers the Game Center. Disable Multi-player games or Adding Friends in this section.

Nothing can take the place of adult supervision, but these features should help you feel more in control of what your child is able to access on their device.  More information on parental controls can be found at the Apple support website.

Parental controls make Sarah feel powerful!

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