Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can be a fantastic educational tool for your kids, but it can also be a gateway to inappropriate content. Apple makes it possible to restrict access for your kids using parental controls in iOS. Let’s look at how you can make your iDevice safer for kids in just a few minutes.
The most important parental controls in iOS reside in the Restrictions menu, which is in Settings, under General. If this is your first time using parental controls, you’ll be asked to set up a password protection. That way, your little rascals won’t be able to follow these exact instructions and undo all the protection you’ve put in place.
Once in the Restrictions menu, tap Enable Restrictions to activate parental controls. A long list of apps and features will become available, giving you the ability to disable certain apps and features. When you disable an app, it stays on your device intact, but no one will be able to use it unless you turn off the restrictions. We recommend you disable in-app purchases, installing and deleting apps, location sharing, and maybe even FaceTime and camera, all depending on the age of your children.
Apple also gives you the option to set up restrictions for various types of content, such as music, movies, books, websites, and so on. You may decide to allow access to PG-13 books but restrict movies to only G.
Using the Restrictions menu, you can limit your kids to a small number of selected apps, but what if some of the enabled apps contain features that every adventurous 3-year-old would love to explore yet, at the same time, every responsible parent would love to disable?
That’s where the Guided Access menu, which hides in the Settings, under General and Accessibility, comes into play. Using the Guided Access menu, you can temporarily restrict your iOS to a single app, disable areas of the screen, such as buttons and menus, and even disable hardware buttons.
To use this feature, first turn it on and select a password. Set decide whether you want to allow your device to go to sleep during a session, and, optionally, select a session time limit. Then, open any app you want and triple-click the Home button. The Guided Access menu will appear, allowing you to draw circles to disable areas of the screen, toggle on/off the sleep button, the volume buttons, the virtual keyboard, the touch screen, and more.
Once your kids had their fun, you can turn off Guided Access by triple-clicking on the Home button and entering your password.