iPhones are incredibly popular with kids, especially when compared to Android devices. Indeed, in 2019 83% of American teenagers owned an iPhone. But children face threats when using a smartphone. It’s not just inappropriate content you have to worry about – social media makes cyberbullying and online predators a real danger. Smartphones can also cause screen addiction, which affects a child’s sleep pattern, schoolwork, and mental health. Bearing in mind all these issues, it’s only natural you’ll want to protect your kids when they’re online. After all, you won’t be able to stop them from having a smartphone forever. Fortunately, there are some excellent solutions to help your children stay safe on their iPhone.
Recommended Parental Control Apps for iPhone
Aiming to make families’ lives “chaos-free”, FamilyTime provides some clever features to help parents keep their kids safe online. FamilyTime allows parents to disable certain iOS apps, including the camera and Siri. You can also block access to the App Store, as well as prevent in-app purchases and the installation of new apps. One really neat feature that FamilyTime provides is called TeenSafe Drive, which monitors GPS to see if a young driver has been ignoring speed limits. There are also content filters that you can use on movies, TV shows, and apps. To make things even better, FamilyTime is one of the cheapest parental control tools on the market.
Kaspersky Safe Kids
Created by cybersecurity giants Kaspersky, Safe Kids comes with plenty of pedigree and it has a lot of features to show for it too. With Kaspersky Safe Kids, you can create schedules, so you don’t have to worry about your child spending too much time in front of a screen. There’s also content filtering that sends real-time alerts when a child encounters something inappropriate. Kaspersky Safe Kids also comes with comprehensive GPS tracking, so not only will you know exactly where your child is, but you can also set up areas they can’t go and will receive an alert if they enter them. The software comes with just one price regardless of how long you want the software for, making it great value for money.
One of the most user-friendly parental control tools around, Qustodio monitors your child’s online activities including search history. Controlling screen time is simple too, and you can also block access to certain apps after a period of time. Qustodio really stands out when it comes to YouTube monitoring enabling you to see every video they’re watching and even what videos they search for. It doesn’t stop here though. With Qustodio you can monitor a whole host of other apps including Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitch. The cost depends on how many devices you want to cover, but to protect just one iPhone the software is completely free.
iPhones for Kids
Eventually, you’ll want to give your kids their own device and if you’ve shared your iPhone with your children before, they’ll pick it up fast. And even if your children have never used an iPad or iPhone before they’ll soon learn.
There are plenty of apps and games out there that are perfect for children, no matter their age. That includes lots of entertaining and informative videos on platforms like Netflix and YouTube that are designed for kids of all ages. Even social media apps can be safer than you think thanks to child-friendly social media networks. So, while there is a lot of content your children should be shielded from, there’s a lot more for them to enjoy.
How To Set up an iPhone for Your Child
Apple’s iOS system offers parents various built-in controls that help monitor children’s activity. Age restrictions are particularly useful, and they apply to movies, TV shows, music, and apps. Similarly, web content can be restricted to avoid adult websites, or you can allow kids to access just the websites you select. There are also screen time settings that let you set downtime and give you usage reports.
Forgetting to block in-app purchases can be an expensive mistake. In fact, one 6-year-old managed to spend $16,000 through in-app purchases on his mother’s iPad. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to block these and save yourself from a very surprising bill.
These settings are all useful, but they’re not perfect. Indeed, a child with some technological skill won’t have any issues getting around the restrictions. They’re also not the easiest things to configure, unlike parental control software, which is built to be as user-friendly as possible.
Other Ways To Monitor Your Kid’s iPhone
You don’t need to rely on your iPhone settings to monitor your child’s activity. There are other helpful ways to make sure your kids stay safe. Before anything else, you should sit down with your child to discuss the online dangers they face in an open and honest way. Tell them how to stay safe online, and then you can agree on boundaries based on mutual trust. If you have younger children, it’s a good idea not to leave them unattended – so always make sure you’re supervising them when they’re using their iPhone.
The best way to make sure you know your child is safe on their iPhone is by investing in dedicated parental control software. Using these solutions, you have access to far more features than Apple’s internal tools. Parental control software also generates reports and provides real-time alerts, so you always know exactly what your child is doing without having to look over their shoulder.