My family uses iPhone and iPad becasue I specifically chose Apple devices for multiple reasons. Not only do Apple products play well with each other, but the control and safety rails they provide are one of the primary reasons I chose iOS devices for my family.
With Safer Internet Day around the corner, I thought I’d write about how Apple services help me with keeping my family safe. But in order to do so, the first thing you need to realize is to stop figuring out ways on blocking access to your kids devices.
Children are super smart and will find ways to get around any restrcitions you place on their devices- trust me, I have three. Instead, have a casual chat with them and explain to them the reasons why some things on the Internet are unsafe and should be avoided. And after you’ve had that chat, put controls in place for them to serve as guard rails.
Though no device is completely unhackable, Apple has earned my trust in keeping the iPhone safer than most other phones. With its commitment to privacy and security, Apple continues to issue updates regularly to keep your iPhone and iPad free of vulnerabilties and that’s really the most basic building block of any platform.
There are also quite a few parental controls and privacy settings that allow parents to foster safe internet habits in their children. This allows for the creation of a secure online environment for children, giving parents the ability to monitor and manage what their kids access online.
What is Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day is marked to promote a more secure online experience, reflecting a collective move towards fostering a better and safer online environment. It falls on Feburary 6th and though it originated in the EU in 2004, it is now increasingly being observed all around the world.
Safer Internet Day serves as a reminder that internet safety is a shared responsibility. It is a global initiative that resonates with the theme “together for a better internet.” The day brings attention to the importance of creating a safer online space for everyone, especially children and young people.
The key message is that each individual can contribute to the safety of the internet through their actions, creating a ripple effect that benefits the wider digital community.
Numerous activities are organized both online and offline to promote awareness of digital safety. These include interactive sessions in schools, workshops for parents, and campaigns by tech companies such as Apple.
The Role of iPhone in Family Safety
It comes equipped with a multitude of security features such as Face ID and Touch ID that ensure that only authorized individuals can access the device.
In terms of family safety, the Find My app allows family members to locate each other’s devices, providing peace of mind when someone is not at a known location.
Additionally, iPhone facilitates secure communication with end-to-end encryption for iMessage and FaceTime, ensuring conversations remain private.
For families, the Family Sharing feature allows up to six family members to share App Store purchases, iCloud storage, and subscriptions without sharing accounts.
Parents can manage screen time and app permissions for their children’s devices, tailoring access to content and apps as needed.
Parents can also approve or decline app purchases and downloads their children attempt to make, providing an extra layer of oversight.
Apple is proactive in offering resources and tools to keep children safe online. On Safer Internet Day, Apple promotes its privacy features and provides educational material to help parents and children understand and navigate online security.
Security updates are regularly pushed to devices, ensuring that protective measures evolve in response to new threats.
By combining robust security measures with family-oriented features, the iPhone provides a safe and controlled environment for all family members.
Setting Up a Child’s iPhone for Safety
When configuring an iPhone for a child, it’s essential to leverage Family Sharing and robust Parental Controls to ensure safety. Apple’s iOS 16 and above offer comprehensive features designed to protect kids while they explore online.
Using Family Sharing and Parental Controls
Family Sharing on iOS allows the creation of a child account setup, essential in tailoring the iPhone experience for kids. With this feature, parents can:
- Create an Apple ID for their child, ensuring that the family organizer can manage and oversee the child’s device.
- Set up Parental Controls, or ‘Restrictions’, to prevent access to explicit content, purchases, downloads, and privacy settings.
Turning on Ask to Buy is a safeguard that ensures kids can’t make purchases without parental approval. Parents can also:
|Monitor screen time
|Set limits on usage and monitor through weekly reports.
|Set content restrictions
|Filter music, movies, and other media based on age-appropriate ratings.
|Restrict web access
|Limit the websites kids can visit on Safari.
|Keep track of their child’s location through the ‘Find My’ app.
Empowering Parents for Online Safety
Parents have access to robust features on the iPhone that enable them to manage their children’s online interactions and device usage. Let’s explore how these features can facilitate safer Internet experiences for families.
Communication Safety Features
Communication Limits allow parents to control who their children can communicate with during certain hours of the day. Parents can manage contacts and designate who their children can talk, text, or FaceTime with.
This feature can be particularly useful for ensuring that children are only interacting with family and approved friends, especially during downtime or after bedtime.
Managing Screen Time and App Restrictions
With Screen Time functionality, parents can monitor and limit the amount of time their children spend on their iPhones. This feature provides detailed reports on device usage, allowing parents to understand their child’s online habits and adjust schedules as necessary.
This feature enables the setup of Downtime, which restricts device access to selected apps during scheduled hours, emphasizing the importance of unplugging and prioritising offline interactions.
App Restrictions give parents the power to block or limit specific apps and features, including purchases and downloads. They can also restrict the content types their child can access, tailoring the experience to be age-appropriate. These restrictions are part of a layered approach to manage the digital environment for children, ensuring it aligns with parental expectations for safety and exposure.
Protecting Personal Information
In recognition of Safer Internet Day, understanding how the iPhone safeguards personal information is paramount for maintaining family safety. iPhones offer robust data protection and privacy options that users should configure to their advantage.
Setting Up Privacy Controls
Users can manage their privacy by navigating to the Settings app on their iPhone. Within settings, one can find various options to control app permissions, ranging from location services to contact access. For comprehensive guidance on adjusting these settings, the Wirecutter has detailed advice.
- Location Services: It is crucial to review which apps have access to your location. Limiting access can both protect personal data and conserve battery life.
- Contacts, Photos, and Calendar: Grant permissions selectively to ensure only trusted apps can access your sensitive information.
Managing these settings helps individuals maintain control over who has access to their personal data, enhancing overall privacy on their devices.
Ensuring Age-Appropriate Content
Apple’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for children can be seen in how it handles content available through its devices. The company curates the App Store meticulously and provides robust parental controls designed to ensure that age-appropriate content is always at the forefront of young users’ digital interactions.
Apple’s App Store has a dedicated section “Made for Kids” which includes apps specifically designed for children. These apps are categorized by age range to make it easier for parents to select age-appropriate content.
Each app is reviewed to adhere to Apple’s high standards for privacy, content, and design. Advertising in these apps is limited and closely monitored to protect children from inappropriate material.
- Age Categories: Apps split into various age groups, such as 5 and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11.
- App Reviews: Comprehensive process including assessment of content and privacy practices.
Managing In-App Purchases with Ask to Buy
Apple has integrated a feature called Ask to Buy into their parental controls which serves as a safeguard against unauthorized in-app purchases. When a child initiates a purchase, a notification is sent to the family organizer, who can approve or decline the transaction. This gives parents the power to manage in-app spending and encourages discussions about responsible spending.
|Ask to Buy
|A notification sent for purchase approval.
|Links family members to a single organizer for monitoring.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Frequently Asked Questions section addresses common inquiries about Safer Internet Day and the ways iPhone can support family online safety, along with the broader impact of educational programs in the Safer Internet Project.
Abbas has been covering tech for more than two decades- before phones became smart or clouds stored data. He brought publications like CNET, TechRadar and IGN to the Middle East.