Child Safety Features On Apple Devices: A Guide

Here’s a look at some of the features that I have enabled on my teen daughters’ phones and that leaves me with one thing less to worry about. Let’s do our bit as responsible parents by activating these settings on our children’s devices.
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In today’s time and age when we are raising digital natives as opposed to our generation, that was digital adopters- the screen time battle isn’t really what it is spoken about.

Gadgets and digital usage are here to stay. How to use them wisely and how to stay safe while reaping the benefits of gadgets is what is on every parent’s mind.

And as a parent, I must confess I find it reassuring when I see each of the tech platforms and devices that my child uses, come up with a range of features that help them stay safe on the device. From parental controls to advanced monitoring features, Apple devices offer a range of functionalities designed to empower parents in safeguarding their children’s digital interactions.

I have always been a fan of Apple devices- all of them and the flexibility they offer to me, not just as an entrepreneur but also as a parent. In case you have missed this previous recommendation, click on the link below.

Here’s a look at some of the features that I have enabled on my teen daughters’ phones and that leaves me with one thing less to worry about. Let’s do our bit as responsible parents by activating these settings on our children’s devices.

Imagine Family Sharing feature as a digital version of you-the parent! The things that you would want your child to ask you, before going ahead- and things that stop them from certain things- Family Sharing feature helps do all that and more!

This feature allows you to create Apple IDs for their children and link them to a family group, which helps you get control over your children’s device usage and purchases.

With Family Sharing, parents can approve or decline their children’s app downloads and purchases, ensuring that only age-appropriate content is accessible.

One adult — the family organiser — sets up Family Sharing, invites up to five family members to join the group and chooses the features the family can share. When family members join, they have instant access to the shared content.

Here are the steps to get started:

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click [your name] at the top of the sidebar.If you don’t see your name, click Sign in with your Apple ID, enter your Apple ID (or a Reachable At email address or phone number that you added in Apple ID settings), then enter your password. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one.
  2. Click Family Sharing on the right, click Set Up Family, then invite people to join your Family Sharing group:
    • Invite family members: Click Invite People, then follow the onscreen instructions.

It’s not really prying but being aware of your child’s location and whereabouts so you can spend your time with lesser anxiety as a parent. The “Find My” feature on Apple devices allows you to track the location of their children’s devices, ensuring their safety and facilitating quick recovery if lost or stolen.

Through the “Find My” app or iCloud.com, parents can pinpoint device locations on a map, even when offline, and utilize features like Lost Mode to lock the device remotely and display contact information for its return.

If you are worried that your phone is going to be ringing nonstop with OTP requests for purchases or app downloads, you need to set up this feature.

The “Ask to Buy” feature on Apple devices allows you to approve or decline your children’s app and media purchases- even if it is a FREE download.

When your child attempts to make a purchase, a notification is sent to your device, where you can review and either approve or deny the request.

This feature gives parents control over their children’s spending and ensures that only appropriate content is purchased.

Note: Ask to Buy doesn’t apply to apps or content from school.

Want to keep a tab on how much time your teen spends on their phone? Not only does this feature give you the insights but also helps you collaboratively set limits to help them manage their time better. Screen Time helps you understand how much time you and your kids spend on apps, websites, and devices each week.

You can see which apps you use the most and how often you pick up your device. Plus, you can set limits for you and your kids on certain apps and websites every day. Parents can make special rules for important apps, and kids can ask for more time, which parents can say yes or no to.

That’s not all, there are also specific settings such as Downtime, App Limits, Communication Limits, Communication Safety, Restrictions, and Screen Distance. Here’s a sneak peek at what each setting does.

Downtime: Set specific hours when you can disable notifications.

App Limits: With this feature, you can set a limit for a group of apps and websites, like games or their kids’ favourite streaming apps.

Communication Limits: Manage who your kids can contact.

Communication Safety: Helps filter inappropriate messages- both incoming and outgoing. It detects sensitive images or videos that children might receive or attempt to send and sends an alert/warning.

Restrictions: Enables you to control access to content and purchases.

Screen Distance: This is my favourite. Using the iPhone’s camera, it reminds users to hold their device farther away if it’s too close for too long, helping everyone, especially kids, prevent eye problems such as Myopia.

Private Relay on Apple devices encrypts and redirects internet traffic through two relays, safeguarding user privacy by preventing tracking of browsing activity and IP addresses, and ensuring a secure and private online experience.

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