Children nowadays are very familiar with technology. They spend most of their time on phones and tablets and if they do not have any of these devices, for sure they will be able to quickly borrow your phone or tablet and eventually request to have their own device/s just like their peers.
With that said, it is important that you ensure that you protect your children from the risks of unpleasant and unwholesome content from apps, their peers and the internet and even prevent your kids from making unauthorized purchases. Fortunately, this is not difficult to do. Here is what you just need to do.
Kid proofing Android phones and tablets
One of the ways to kid proof your device is through the process called screen pinning. You could access this with Android version 5.0 and above. All you have to do is go to your security menu found in the settings menu. Turn the screen-pinning option On and ensure that you set a PIN as well. This pattern or PIN is the one that you use in unlocking your device.
Once you have completed the steps above, launch the game or app you are allowing your child to access. Hit the Overview button. You will then see the multitasking screen. Put the latest app to the middle of your screen and hit the pin icon. This will lock the app until you press the Back and Overview buttons simultaneously and enter the PIN.
Though screen pinning is a great way to child-proof your phone, it is only temporary for instances and situations when your child borrows your phone or device. It allows your child to navigate with the only app that you allow him or her to access. If you want a more effective way, we suggest that you create a user account specifically for your child. To do this all you need to do is:
- Open your device’s settings.
- Navigate to Users
- Tap add user
Though this would not add much parental control/s, it keeps the new user’s app and settings from your applications.
How to change accounts:
- Drag the top of your screen down
- Hit the current users’ avatar.
For android tablet users, you will be able to set up extra users in the restricted mode. This mode will allow you to have control over which app and/or services your kids could access.
Hence, if you are purchasing your child a tablet to share, this method is highly suggested. Take note, unfortunately, this method is not available on Android phones yet.
To go to parental controls on Android, you will first have to go to Google Play Store app:
- Go to main app menu
- Hit Settings
- Hit Parental controls
- Switch on
- Set age limits for games, films, magazines, shows and even music.
Unfortunately, child-proofing features on Android are a bit half-baked and there are no web filtering options in Chrome and this is the same as YouTube. Though this is the case, you could use YouTube kids app which uses Google’s filters and algorithms to protect your children from seeing and watching other stuff.
Another way to child-proof your device is through third party apps such as Kids zone and Kids Place . You could also put in a tool such as AppLock which allows you to put a PIN protection on individual apps. MMguardian on the other hand, allows you to remotely monitor and control activity of your child’s device. In other words, you could control which apps your child could access and at what time you allow them to access it. You can even install monitoring software on their phone without having access to it, you can follow this guide on how to install spy software on cell phone remotely.
Child proofing iPhones and iPads
For Apple users, the good thing about Apple hardware is it is more straightforward. It has its own version of screen pinning called Guided Access. You will be able to find this in “General and Accessibility” in Settings. Activate it and ensure that you turn on the touch ID protection or passcode lock. This will stop your children from accessing or switching to other applications without entering the PIN code.
To start Guided Access, triple tap the home button. You could disable parts of the screen including the volume controls. You could also have a time limitation. To end Guided Access tap the home button three times again. You will need to enter your PIN or put in your fingerprint as well.
This feature only works on single apps. If you wish for bulk parental control, you will need to go to Restrictions menu. You will find the Restrictions menu on the General menu found in the settings menu. Turn restriction on web browsing, in-app purchases, camera use and many more. Again, you will need your PIN code to turn on this feature and to turn it off as well.
This feature is more comprehensive compared to the ones on Android. Aside from that, you can prevent access to FaceTime and Siri. You could also stop apps from being deleted or installed. As mentioned above, you could even prevent your children to change the volume of your iOS device. In addition to that, you could implement an age restriction on movies, music and different types content on iTunes. For the Safari browser, on the other hand, you will be able to filter websites and block adult related content and have an approved list.
One thing that iOS devices lack is it does not have YouTube kids which is more child-friendly. Hence, if you wish to control this site, it would be better to remove them completely.
You will not be able to find the same parental control apps on iOS App Store as you have on Android. The reason behind this is due to Apple’s operating system does not allow third party apps much control as Google does. Though this is the case, there are other control options such as Norton Family. This platform is an alternative web browser that comes with extra filtering and monitoring controls.
Putting controls on your child’s device is very important. It protects them from the risks of inappropriate internet and social media content. In addition to that, you could also help them focus on their schoolwork as you could also put time limit on their device usage time. After all, when it comes to our children, education and safety comes first.