7 Parental Controls You Should Know About for Your Child’s iPhone

Mobile phones are arguably more toxic to our children then drugs these days…however…the benefits are so fundamental that, as parents, we simply cannot deny their importance. Thankfully, Apple has made parenting that much easier this year by integrating important management features into the ios12 release.

Parental Control apps are often clunky and have been known to interfere with phone functionality such as wiping contacts from the phone.  The ios12 features below will give you peace of mind in knowing that your child is enjoying his / her own phone without the threat of privacy violations, exposure to inappropriate content or accidentally running up a huge bill on the family iTunes account!

To enable many of these apps, first go to Settings>Screen Time and “Turn On Screen Time”.   You can register the phone as your child’s phone and follow the prompts from there.

1. Set Downtime

Settings>Screen Time> Downtime

Establish a routine where phones are and are not allowed.  You can set a schedule which switches off access to select apps at night time, during school or during meal times.  A downtime reminder will appear five minutes before downtime starts to give your child ample warning.  Calls, messages and other apps you want to allow can still be used during downtime.

2. Set Daily App Limits

Settings>Screen Time >App Limits

It may not just be our children who require daily limits on social media. Either way, ios12 now allows you to set daily limits for app categories you feel the need to manage.  After a limit has been reached, parental permission will be required to allow more time (you will have to enter the code).  At the end of the week, a full usage report is available on all activity.

3. Restrict Content and Privacy

Settings>Screen Time >Content and Privacy Restrictions

This feature allows you to separate your child from inappropriate content and dangers of the web and other media sources.

  • Allow / Disallow certain apps like Mail, Safari, FaceTime, Camera, iTunes, AirDrop, Wallet
  • Prevent your child from purchasing / watching R-rated movies & TV or listening to/reading explicit language through music, books, apps and web content.
  • Enable/Disable location services from being used by certain apps
  • Enable/disable apps from using contacts, calendars, photos etc and microphone etc

In this section of the iPhone, you can also allow / disallow In-App purchases, installing apps, deleting apps.  In order to perform these functions, the phone will request the parental password.

4. Do Not Disturb While Driving

Settings>Screen Time>Content Restrictions – Game Centre

At the bottom of the page under Content and Privacy Restrictions; you can remove the ability for your child to disable the “Do Not Disturb While Driving” app.  This is an important feature for anyone but especially for young drivers.

5. Game Center settings

Settings>Screen Time>Content & Privacy Restrictions>Content Restrictions-Multiplayer Games

Multiplayer games can be a cesspool of poor sportsmanship and poorer language. In the Game Center section, under Content Restrictions, you can disable Multiplayer Games so your kid can still play games on his or her phone but not alongside online gamers. You can also turn off the ability to add friends to their Game Center account and record their screen while playing.

6. Ask to Buy

When you are done setting up the above Restrictions on Junior’s iPhone, grab your iPhone and add them to Family Sharing. Not only will you save money by being able to share App Store purchases and iCloud storage space, but you can also gain some control over their App Store purchases.

If your child is under 13 years old, then you will need to create an account for them using your iPhone. To do so, go to Settings > [Your Name]  > Family Sharing > Add Family Member and then tap Create a Child Account. You’ll then enter their birthday, agree to the parent privacy disclosure, enter the three-digit code on the back of the debit or credit card tied to your own Apple ID, enter your child’s name, create an iCloud email address for him or her, choose a password for his or her account, and then set up a few security questions. The account will then show up under Family Members on the Family Sharing page in Settings.

Once you have added your child as an official iPhone family member, you can start using the Ask to Buy feature to approve App Store purchases. For kids 12 and under, Ask to Buy is enabled by default. To enable it manually, go to Family Sharing in Settings, tap on a family member and then hit the toggle switch for Ask to Buy. With it enabled, you will get a notification on your iPhone to approve or decline proposed App Store purchases.

7. Location Sharing

Settings>Apple ID>Family Sharing>Location Sharing=Share My Location

In Shared Features section of Family Sharing, select Location Sharing and make sure it’s enabled. This lets you know that you can use the Find My Friends app to see where your iPhone-toting child is, should they fail to answer a call or a text.

Spend Caps

Great news for parents; Ofcom recently launched a regulation requiring all networks to offer spend caps to their customers.  The spend caps give customers signing a new contract from 1 October 2018, the ability to limit their monthly bill.  You can call up your network anytime and implement or amend a spend cap.  You will be notified by your network when you (or your child) is approaching the spend cap limit.  Spend caps can only be changed with express permission from the account owner.

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