The new style tablets aimed at kids such as MEEP! and Kurio all have parental controls built in to make sure kids only see appropriate content. So what about when kids use your tablet or smartphone? Here are 5 tips for parents on tablet and smartphone safety for their kids, all part of knowing about internet safety for your kids.
1. Keep your password/pin secret
Make sure to keep your apple Store or Android marketplace password/pin secret from your kids so that any apps they want to purchase and install need a parent to give input.
Restrictions are the first step for iphone/Android parental controls.
If you have an iPhone:
- You can enable and adjust Restrictions, or Parental Controls, on your device to prevent access to specific features or content on the device. Locate these settings by tapping Settings > General > Restrictions.
- You can choose to restrict access to the following applications and features on the phone or prevent access to specific content types and even restrict changes to your Privacy Settings.
If you have an Android phone:
- Go to Market app from the home screen.
- Press the Menu button and scroll down to User controls
- Set a Pin to restrict access
- Go to Content filtering and select the highest maturity level you wish to allow without Pin override
2. Switch off App purchases
Many game apps have purchase options to buy e.g. coins or tokens to continue the game and progress and parents have been caught for big bills before realising! You can restrict these purchase options on your iPhone:
- Go to Settings > General > Restrictions.
- Choose Enable Restrictions.
- This will ask you then to set a 4 digit passcode twice.
- You can now set In-App Purchases to “off”.
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3. Internet Safety for Tablets
The Kindle allows multiple user profiles with each one having its own set of restrictions and access. You can also limit screen time and even down to time allowed on each app. Once the time is up, the app needs a password to unlock again.
There are no inbuilt parental controls, so Mobicip is a good alternative browser that enables parental controls for kids.
You set up a Mobicip account and then pick the filtering profile you want to apply to the device. The app also allows you to password-protect other apps through your Mobichip password.
Apple allows you to limit access to apps, movies, internet and music by age range.
- Go to Settings, General, Restrictions.
- Under Allowed Content you will see options to filter by age
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4. Check your privacy settings regularly
Often when you install an app you allow it access to your photos or contacts or calendars. So it’s good practice to check every once in a while to see if there are any that you want to turn off.
5. Talk to your Kids
Have a discussion with your child about the family rules on use of tablets and phones. Agree the rules on:
- Security. Discuss sharing things on social media and that they understand what to do when asked to share private information.
- Screen time. Define together what counts as screen time. For example, reading a book on a tablet might not be extra time as you consider that reading, where games and apps would be.
- 5 Tips you should Know if your kids are online
- Tips for Keeping your child safe online: 11 Apps & Sites you should be aware of
- 10 Tips for being a “Webwise” Parent
Do you have any tips to add? Please let us know in the comments below.