As a parent, keeping our children safe online is one of the most important things we can do. With the increasing amount of time children spend on the internet, it’s essential to have the right tools and knowledge to protect them from potential dangers.
Setting parental controls can be overwhelming and confusing for many parents, especially when unfamiliar with technology.
I want to share some practical steps to help you set up parental controls on iOS and Android devices. I hope to make it a more approachable and doable task for everyone by breaking it down into small, manageable steps.
It’s important to remember that while it may seem challenging, protecting our children is vital, and these steps can be the first step towards a safer online experience for them.
iOS Parental Control Settings
Here are some practical steps for setting up parental controls on an iOS device:
- Open the “Settings” app on the device and tap “Screen Time.”
- Tap on “Turn On Screen Time” and set a passcode to prevent unauthorized changes.
- Under “Content & Privacy Restrictions,” switch to the “On” position.
- Under “Allowed apps,” you can choose which apps are accessible to your child.
- Under “Content Restrictions,” you can set age limits for movies, TV shows, and books and restrict explicit music, podcasts, and news.
- Under “Privacy,” you can prevent your child from making changes to certain settings, such as location sharing and account changes.
- Under “iTunes & App Store Purchases,” you can restrict in-app purchases and downloads of specific apps.
- Under “Websites,” you can limit access to adult websites or only allow specific websites.
- Under “Always Allowed,” you can specify apps that are always accessible, even during downtime or when content restrictions are in place.
- To monitor your child’s activity, you can go back to the “Screen Time” settings and tap on “See All Activity” to view a detailed report of app usage and set time limits for specific apps.
It’s essential to remember that setting these controls may limit the child’s online experience, but it’s a trade-off for their safety.
Android Parental Control Settings
Here are some practical steps for setting up parental controls on an Android device:
- Open the “Settings” app on the device and scroll down to “Digital Wellbeing & parental controls.”
- Tap on “Parental controls” and set a PIN code or pattern to prevent unauthorized changes.
- Under “Apps & Games,” you can set age restrictions for content and restrict the installation of inappropriate apps for your child.
- Under “Web & App activity,” you can control and monitor the websites and apps your child can access. You can also set time limits for app usage.
- Under “Screen Time,” you can set daily limits for screen time, set bedtime hours, and set specific apps to be blocked during certain hours.
- Under “Location,” you can turn on location tracking for your child’s device and get notifications when they leave or arrive at specific locations.
- Under “Google Assistant,” you can set voice command restrictions and prevent access to some sensitive information like personal information and other sensitive information.
- To monitor your child’s activity, you can go back to the “Parental controls” settings and tap “Activity” to view a detailed report of app usage and set time limits for specific apps.
It’s also important to note that some features and settings available for Android devices can vary depending on the device brand, version, and carrier. So, checking the device manual or contacting the manufacturer for more detailed instructions is always recommended.
Windows PC Parental Control Settings
Setting up parental controls on a Windows PC can be done in several ways. Still, one of the most straightforward methods is to use the built-in parental controls feature in the Windows operating system. Here are the steps to set up parental controls on a Windows PC:
- Open the “Control Panel” and click “User Accounts and Family Safety.”
- Click on “Set up parental controls for any user.”
- Select the user account you want to set up parental controls for, and click “On, enforce current settings.”
- Under “Time limits,” you can set specific times of the day when the user can use the PC and also set a bedtime for the user.
- Under “Games,” you can set age limits and prevent the user from playing games with specific ratings.
- Under “Allow and block specific programs,” you can choose which programs the user can run and also block specific programs.
- Under “Web filtering,” you can set up Internet Explorer to block certain websites or types of content, like adult sites or social media sites.
- To monitor your child’s activity, you can go back to the “Parental controls” settings and see a report of the websites they have visited, the programs they have used, and the time they have spent on the PC.
It’s essential to remember that these controls may not work for other browsers or apps that are not integrated with the Windows operating system, so it’s recommended to use additional software or browser extensions to block access to specific websites or apps.