Mobile Device Management at Home

A subject of much conversation for us at home is protecting our kids when using the many different devices they have access to.

We’ve followed the normal rules of ensuring that they are in the room with us when online and explaining the dangers of being online and over-sharing information. Generally they have been very good at following these instructions, we have however found that inappropriate content is only a couple of clicks away online and we need to be vigilant and continue to discuss our strategies with the kids.

We’ve chosen the apple device path as the settings can be locked down very tightly on these devices. Although I am yet to find a parental control app that works as advertised I find that with the exception of time limits, the iOS options work very well.

Go to General РRestrictions and then set on. You will be prompted to enter a password. Obviously, make this something the kids cannot guess.  Normally we have the following settings configured for each of our kids.

Safari – No (See below note)
Camera – On for older kids
Siri – No
FaceTime – On for older kids
Airdrop – No
CarPlay – No
iTunes Store – No
Apple Music Connect – no
Podcasts – No
News – No
Installing Apps – On (See below note)
Deleting Apps – On
In-App Purchases – Off

Allowed Content. Set these all appropriate to the age of the child

Privacy and Allow Changes. It’s important to have set all privacy options in other apps before you turn restrictions on. You can then lock all privacy options to block changes so the kids cannot make any changes to your settings.

Once you navigate out of restrictions they will immediately be applied.

Notes. My experience has found that Safari allows too much freedom if you choose to allow kids freedom over browsing. Using the Norton Family iOS app allows kids to browse safely. This functionality is available in the free version.

When allowing Installing Apps, this works best when each child has their own iCloud account with their correct age and that these accounts are linked to their parents accounts via the family feature. You can then set the requirements so that all purchase must be approved before being installed. If the child goes to the app store and tries to install an app, you will receive a message to any signed in OS or iOS device running up to date versions of the operating system. You need to be concious that if you approve an app and then remove it from their device, they can re-install it without seeking additional permission.

These are a few suggestions for helping manage your kids time online and protecting them from the darker side of the Internet.