Posted in Commentary

Kids, iPads and Restrictions


If Santa got your kids an iPad or for those of you who got your kids and iPad, one question may arise…Can I control or restrict their access to music, the internet or email, etc.? The answer is yes using Restrictions and turning off various settings.

The problem is, you may want to tweak the all or nothing approach and provide them with some access.  Is there a way to do that? The answer is yes…sort of.

First, let’s look at how the restrictions work and a couple of ways to tweak them.

Tap Settings.  Tap General (on the left column).  You will see restrictions on the right column. Tap Restrictions.

At the top, you tap Enable Restrictions.  You are presented with a Set Passcode window.

Set your passcode (don’t have the kids “help” you as they will remember the number you enter.)  Enter the passcode.  You may want to remember that passcode in a program like 1Password for the iPad.

After you have entered the code, you are presented with different options to turn different features on or off.

Tap Enable Restrictions.

You will then be presented with options.

Depending on factors you consider to be important, decide which features you wish to restrict.

Content or Language If you wish to restrict access to certain internet content or objectionable language, you may want to turn off access to Safari or YouTube. You can also disallow explicit content from Music or Podcast by selecting Music & Podcasts and turning off Explicit content. You can also adjust the TV Shows, Movies and Apps as well.

$$$ To prevent unauthorized or accidental purchases, you should turn off In-App Purchases.

Friends? If you are not comfortable having your kids play with internet friends, you should restrict the Game Center options located at the bottom.  You can restrict Multiplayer games and Adding Friends.

Now that you have created a bunch of restrictions, you may want to allow some limited access to an email account.  How can you do that?

The trick is not obvious. Basically, you want to create the email account(s) that you want your child to have access to, then turn on the restrictions to email in the restrictions.  Let’s briefly walk through that.

First, set up the email, calendar account(s) you want your child to have access to.  In Mail, Contacts, Calendars, set up the account as normal.  AFTER the account is added, then, go into Restrictions and turn accounts to “Off.”

Now, your child cannot add accounts and has the benefit of actually being able to use the account you set up.

I am sure there will be some additional tweaking for you to do.  The important point is, be proactive and set restrictions as you feel appropriate.  Unfortunately, unlike the Mac (System Preferences>Parental Controls), you cannot choose to allow access to particular websites.  Perhaps Apple with add this feature in a future release.

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One thought on “Kids, iPads and Restrictions

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