Parents these days are raising digital natives and even toddlers are using devices to entertain themselves and learn. Parents allow their children and teens to have a cell phone because it is a great way to stay in touch with them. It also gives parents a sense of where their children are and what they could be up to.

The challenge most parents face today is to weigh the pros and cons of giving their children digital freedom. Most parents understand that limiting children’s access to the Internet could impact their ability to learn and develop. However, this also means exposing children to threats and information that are far beyond their capacity to handle.

This is why having a robust parental controls system in all devices helps. It is the supplement all parents need in their digital lives. Just as you teach your child to lock all doors when they are alone at home, they have to be taught to use a security system on their devices.

There are several child-safe tablets that offer better parental controls that you can set and forget. But if you’re sticking with the iPad, here’s how to set them up.

Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and tap Enable Restrictions.

Every time you do this you’ll be asked to set a 4-digit passcode and enter it a second time. Be sure it’s something you can remember but your kid won’t figure out. Avoid your birthday, their birthday and simple series of numbers.

App Based Restrictions Here is where you can decide what apps your child may access on the iPad. Switch off the setting to stop them from connecting to the Internet, using the camera, buying new apps or downloading new apps.
Block websites on the iPad iPads with iOS 7 or newer include an option to set up iPad web content filtering right out of the box. This is also in Restrictions and it does a good job of limiting what your child can see but like all automated solutions, it is not perfect.
Setting Media Based Restrictions Toddlers or teens, they all enjoy videos. As parents, you often want to be in the know of the videos they are watching, and make the inappropriate ones inaccessible to your child. Under Allowed Content, you can set the rating level for movies based on MPAA ratings and TV shows based on US content ratings.
Block Location Sharing There are limited benefits to sharing location on a device. It’s thus better that location information are turned off, especially when your child is using the iPad to broadcast their location. Under Allow changes tap Location. Switch them all to Off, then flip Location Services to Off as well. Once you do, then choose Don’t Allow Changes to lock these down.However, if you’re worried that your child will leave the iPad somewhere and forget it or simply lose it, leave Find My iPad on as well as Location Services.

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Soofrina Mubarak, Senior Educational Therapist, EdTech Coordinator, English Language and Literacy Division
Kalphna C, Educational Therapist
Nur Syahirah Jasni, Educational Therapist

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