iPhone Parental Controls:What They Are and How to Use Them

by Barbara J. Feldman on April 8, 2010

Having an iPhone typically opens a whole world to the user. With 1000s of applications available, there is something for every person, interest and taste. More and more pre-teens and teens are becoming iPhone owners, which has led many parents to question which parental controls they should put in place. Many iPhone applications are not appropriate for a younger user and some have content that is trictly for adult use. This leaves parents with a dilemma over how much access they should allow their child to have when using the iPhone.

Before making a final decision, there are some considerations that parents should take into account. These are:

  • How mature is your child? Whether your child is a pre-teen or teenager, consider how your child will handle the phone. Remember that some 13-year-olds may be ready for certain applications, while some 17-year-olds may not be.
  • What content are you comfortable with your child using? Use your values and priorities as a guideline when deciding how to set the level of parental control on your child’s iPhone. Do not let yourself be swayed by your child’s pleas for a certain application or by someone else’s choices.
  • How mature is your child with money? Several of the applications allow the user to have the ability to buy things from iTunes, download other applications or make purchases online. If you think your child can handle financial matters, this can be a great learning tool. However, if you are worried about getting an unpleasant surprise on your next credit card bill, you need to restrict the application.

If you are still uncertain of which applications you want to restrict, keep in mind that there are some that allow you to modify the content. The iTunes application is an examples of this. Rather then completely block access to iTunes, you can make the following modifications using your computer:

  • After signing into iTunes click on “Edit”.
  • Slide down to “Preferences” and click on it.
  • A “General” tab will open in the next screen. Click on the “Parental Control” tab.
  • In that screen, you can disable or restrict certain content. You can choose from different levels of content, and make decisions based on what is right for your child.
  • Finally, click on the lock to prevent changes.
  • You can now “OK “your way out.

If, after going over all the considerations and examining your options, you still feel that you need to block some of the applications on the iPhone, here is how you do it:

  • Go to “Settings” on the phone.
  • Once you are in the “Setting”s, go directly to the “General” tab.
  • Tap the “Restrictions” tab and, once you are on that screen, choose to enable restrictions.
  • You will be asked to enter a 4 digit pass code. You should know that it is crucial, that you do not forget this pass code, since there is no way to retrieve it. If you do forget it, a full restore (re-installation) of the iPhone is needed to reset it.

Parents should also know that once you restrict an application, it will no longer show on the home screen. In order to enable an application again, return to the “Restrictions” page, and then authorize with the 4 digit pass code you created and turn it back on.

More tips like this one in Safety and Parental Control



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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "iPhone Parental Controls:What They Are and How to Use Them." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 8 Apr. 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1514/iphone-parental-controlswhat-they-are-and-how-to-use-them/ >.