Tech and Togetherness

How To: Set controls on Smart Phones

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How to set up smartphone controls.

Smartphones are a big part of your child’s increased independence. Here’s how to keep on top of their mobile lives.

iOS

  • Parental Controls are called ‘Restrictions’ on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Restrictions stop you from using certain features and applications, block access to adult websites, or only allow access to a list of permitted websites.
  • Tap Settings > General > Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. You can use the passcode to change your settings or turn off Restrictions. If you lose or forget your Restrictions passcode, you will need to perform a factory restore to remove it – so make a note of it!
  • Using restrictions: You can restrict access to applications and features, including Safari, camera (also disables FaceTime), iTunes Store, iBooks Store, installing apps, deleting apps, in-app purchases, Siri, AirDrop, and CarPlay. Some apps allow “extras” to be purchased within the game or activity, using your iTunes Store account, without explicit authorisation. Learn how to use restrictions to protect your iTunes Store account from unintentional or unauthorised purchases. Follow Apple’s instructions here.
  • Content types: You can prevent access to specific content types including ratings (select the country in the ratings section to automatically apply the appropriate content ratings for that region), Music and Podcasts, Movies, TV shows, Books, apps, Siri, Websites, and the time necessary before a password is required to purchase content.
  • Privacy settings: You can prevent changes to privacy settings, including location services, contacts, calendars, reminders, photos, Bluetooth sharing, microphone, Twitter, Facebook, and advertising.
  • Settings and accounts: You can prevent changes to settings and accounts, including accounts, Find My Friends, cellular data use, background app refresh, and volume limit.
  • Game Center: You can restrict features within Game Center, including multiplayer games and adding friends.
  • Manage your child’s account: If your kids are over 13 or have accounts through the Apple ID for Students programme, you may want to explore the possibility of allowing them to make purchases from iTunes using iTunes Gifts or a monthly allowance.

Android

How to control the type of apps downloaded to the phone:

  1. First, click on Google’s Play Store app to launch it. It’s pre-installed on all Android phones.
  2. In the top right-hand corner of the screen, there are three small blocks sitting on top of each other. Click on them to reveal a drop-down menu, then choose ‘Settings’.
  3. Now, under the ‘User Controls’ menu, you’ll find an option for ‘Content filtering’ – this lets you choose a maturity level for the apps you’ll be able to download – they’re rated for ‘Everyone’, ‘Low maturity’, ‘Medium maturity’, high maturity’ or ’Show all apps’. Once you’ve made your choice, only apps you’ve deemed appropriate can be downloaded to the phone.

Set a password for app purchases.
Android’s default setting requires you to enter a password before downloading an app. To change this go to the ‘user controls’ menu and click on ‘Require password for purchases’, You’ll get three options for when a password is needed to buy apps: ‘For all purchases through Google Play on this device’, ‘Every 30 minutes’, or ‘Never’.

Prevent apps from revealing your location.

  1. Click on the applications icon at the bottom right of your phone’s home screen.
  2. From the ‘Settings’ menu, choose ‘Location and Security’.
  3. Choose ‘Off’ to prevent apps from revealing your location.

You might also be interested in How to: Set controls on Social Media

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