How to use parental controls to keep kids safe on iPhone, Android

How to use parental controls to keep kids safe on iPhone, Android


Manufacturers offer some help

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(Web Desk) - Parents are calling for new restrictions, rules and advice on children’s phones, amid increasing concerns over the damage they could be doing.

Some of the calls suggest that there should be new rules around phones that are given to children.

Both Apple and Google do already offer some tools, on iPhone and Android, that are intended to make it easier for parents to manage their children’s phone use, however.

While they might not remove every danger from young people online, they represent one relatively simple way to restrict access to dangerous content.

Google refers to its tools as “Family Link”, and they are accessed through an app that has the same name. Apple refers to its tools as just parental controls, though they are accessed through the “Screen Time” settings on the iPhone.

On Apple devices, that is found by heading to the Settings app, and clicking Screen Time. Tapping to turn it on, and then tapping again, shows an option to mark the device as belonging to your child.

Once that is switched on, a variety of options present themselves. Parents can limit access to purchases in iTunes and the App Store, specific apps, to explicit content, particular websites and more – all of which can be found from that Screen Time menu.

All of those settings can be protected by a passcode, which will mean that children cannot change the settings back. Apple advises choosing a passcode that is different from the one used to unlock your device.

These same options can be turned on when setting up a device, using Apple’s Family Sharing options. If that is used, then the child’s phone will join the “family” on Apple’s services, meaning that parents can use tools such as “Ask to buy”, which allows children to make requests for purchases.

That same family setup can also be used to track the location of devices – which might prove useful if a child loses their phone, or for ensuring they are safe.

The process on Android is much the same. The options can be found by opening up the Settings app, clicking “digital wellbeing and parental controls”, scrolling to the bottom to the “Set up parental controls” option and following the on-screen prompts and questions.

That will offer features such as the option to limit access to apps and screen time generally, as well as content restrictions. Information on those can then be seen through the Family Link app.