Letting your children play with iPads can have a deeply calming effect on them, and keep them seated quietly while you get things done around the house or out and about. However, iPads can be dangerous for young children – there is a whole lot of distasteful and even harmful content out there on the internet and in app stores, which your child could stumble upon accidentally. Here, we discuss a few different ways to child-proof your iPad, using MDM (Mobile Device Management) techniques, before handing it over to your child.
GOOGLE SAFE SEARCH
Safesearch screens sites that have sexually explicit content and hides them from Google search results. Moderate SafeSearch is always switched on by default, which helps keep inappropriate images out of image search results. You can change this setting to Strict filtering which also filters out explicit text rather than images alone.
If you are concerned that others, including the child using the iPad, may change the Strict SafeSearch setting without you knowing, you can block such changes with a password using SafeSearch Lock. Once Safe Search is locked, the Google results page will look quite different than usual, including several coloured balls in the top right hand corner, indicating that Safe Search is indeed locked. From across the room, these coloured balls allow parents and teachers to see that SafeSearch is indeed still locked. If you can’t see those coloured balls, it’s very easy to quickly re-lock SafeSearch.
Humanity’s best and worst moments are accessible on Youtube within just a few seconds. The best way to mitigate the risk of your children seeing inappropriate content is to select the ‘safe’ search option. This option hides videos with age restrictions or mature content, and hides objectionable comments. While they use community flagging and porn-image detection to help identify and hide inappropriate content, no filter is 100% failsafe, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what’s on the screen just in case.
TURN ON RESTRICTIONS
From the Settings up, you can open up the General pane and select Restrictions, for which you will be asked to provide (or create) a PIN code. You can use this to block access to certain apps such as Safari and FaceTime if you so choose, and disable in-app purchases. If you scroll down you can also see options for stopping app installs and uninstalls, and you can lock the iPad’s volume too.
SET AGE LIMITS
A discrete way of controlling your children’s options on your iPad is to set age limits within apps themselves. It’s not as good as blocking apps altogether, but it does give parents more precise control over children’s use of apps.
STAY ON A SINGLE APP
If you want to ensure that your child stays on one app only, like a game or educational app, then you can set this up through the iOS accessibility options. To do this, go to the General screen within Settings, tap on Accessibility and then select Guided Access.
Then, open whichever app it is that you wish to lock into, and triple tap the Home button on your iPad. Choose Guided Access from the menu, and then configure the locking option appropriately – you can select which parts of the app are available, set time limits, and even disable any sort of touch input for movies and the like.