Make iPhone Safe For Kids: Intro To iOS’s Parental Controls

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If you have children, and they have or use an iPhone, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe – and for that, you need to set up parental controls inside iOS…


If you have a small child (or youngster) using your iPhone, or they have their own, you can implement a bunch of settings inside iOS that’ll make the phone safe for browsing, block the ability to make purchases, and generally make the iPhone safe for kids of all ages to use.

In this guide, we’ll take you through all of iOS’s parental control settings, so you can lock-down your kid’s iPhone and give yourself peace of mind when they’re out of sight and using a phone that is connected to the internet. Read on for all the pertinent settings and controls you need to know about.

How To Set Up Parental Controls on iPhone

Make iPhone Safe For Kids Intro To iOS Parental Controls
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The first thing you need to do is set yourself up with a separate, administrator passcode for the iPhone (one that’s different to the passcode used to access the phone normally). Once you’ve done this, you can use it to implement changes that your child cannot unlock, unless they figure out the code! You have two ways of doing this:

1) If You Child Has Their Own iPhone, Do This:

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time > Continue > Select “This is My Child’s Device” > Enter a Unique Passcode (Again, One That Is Different From Your Child’s)

2) If You Child Uses Your iPhone, Do This:

  • Go to Settings > Screen Time > Continue > Select “This is My Device” > Enter a Unique Passcode That Your Child Can Use (Please Note: It Should Be Different From Your Normal Passcode)

Once you’ve done this, you’re all set-up and you can progress to implementing other changes inside iOS that will limit what your child can access.

Setting Up Content & Privacy Restrictions

If you want to block certain types of content, it’s fairly simple to do. Inside Settings go to Screen Time, then Content & Privacy Restrictions, then Content Restrictions. Next, choose what you want to block, there should be a bunch of different options.

Block Ability To Make Purchases on iPhone

Heard horror stories of kids spending thousands of dollars on their parents’ iPhones? Yep, me too. For this reason, it really does pay to completely block the ability of your child to make in-app purchases on iPhone. Thankfully, this is very easy to do…

Go To Settings, Then Screen Time, Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then iTunes & App Store Purchases, and finally select the option to Don’t Allow and your child’s account will no longer be able to make in-app purchases on the iPhone.

Allow & Disallow Certain Apps

If you want to block your child from accessing certain applications on your iPhone, then you need to do the following:

  1. Settings > Screen Time
  2. Content & Privacy Restrictions
  3. Tap Allowed Apps
  4. Select The Apps That Are Allowed

Restrict Siri Web Search

If your kid’s smart, they might figure out that they can use Siri web search to get around your controls. It’s a neat little hack that my 9-year old niece recently figured out. Fortunately, you can block this as well by limiting Siri web search. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Settings > Screen Time
  2. Content & Privacy Restrictions
  3. Content Restrictions
  4. Scroll To Siri, Then Select Whether You Want To Block It Or Not

Set Limitations For Game Center

Game Center is social; you can add friends and talk to people on there, so it’s always worthwhile limiting the amount of access your child has inside this application. On top of this, you can buy stuff in there too – and no one wants a $600 bill from Apple at the end of the month. For this reason, it is 100% worthwhile locking Game Center down. And this is how you do it:

  1. Settings > Screen Time
  2. Content & Privacy Restrictions
  3. Content Restrictions
  4. Locate Game Center, Then Choose Your Settings.

Is An iPhone The Best Phone For A Child?

iPhones are great phones if you’re an adult. But they can be very distracting for children – at home and in school. Steve Jobs never let his kids use iPhones or iPads. And the reason? He didn’t like the effect they had on developing minds. Let that sink in for a minute…

If your child must have a phone, it doesn’t need to be an iPhone. You could get them one of these phones, which is considered by many to be the ultimate kid’s phone simply because, well… all it does is make calls and send texts.

Your kids won’t like you for it, but you’ll save a bunch of cash in the process and, like Steve Jobs, you’ll be doing what’s best for their mental development. No young child should spend hours staring at a phone. It’s just not natural. Steve Jobs knew it, and now so you do you.

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