How to child-proof your iPhone and iPad
Here at Mend my iPhone York, we’re often getting phone calls from customers who have damaged iPhones. One common cause of the damage: Kids. iPhones and iPads are the perfect device for keeping kids amused, whether it’s while you’re waiting for your food in a restaurant or because you can’t stand another episode of Caillou on Netflix.
Apps for kids are a massive industry, from preschool games, through common sight word spelling games all the way to GCSE revision apps. Chances are at some point you will be handing over your phone or pad to your offspring – but if you do, you want to make sure it comes back in the same state you left it. Here’s how.
Protecting your account
So, you’ll probably have heard the stories where a kid used their parents iPhone and ran up thousands of pounds of debt on their iTunes account? That’s the sort of thing you need to prevent happening if you’re handing your phone over to your own (or someone else’s) offspring. You may also have apps with sensitive data, things you don’t want your child to accidentally get into. Here are a few options for controlling who gets to do what on your phone.
This setting was intended to help workers keep focused on their phones. It restricts access on your phone to a single app – and that’s perfect for letting your kid play Angry Birds while you’re in the doctor’s waiting room. You’ll find guided access under Settings – General – Accessibility – Guided Access. There you can turn it on or off, and change the settings. A really useful one is the timer, so if you want to limit screen time, that’s one way to do it (and your phone can give a verbal reminder to save you being yelled at).
A quick and easy way to set this up is to open the app that you want your kids to use, then triple click the home button to get into settings and turn on guided access.
Restrict in-app purchases
Restrictions will help you avoid accidental purchases, or your kids running up a bill buying extra turns on Candy Crush. Go to Settings – General – Restrictions and enable restrictions. You’ll be asked to set a passcode; choose a different one from your unlock code which, let’s face it, your toddler has probably already memorised.
Once you’ve done that, you have a few options. You can simply turn off in-app purchases completely (but then you can’t buy extra turns in Candy Crush); belt and braces is to turn off iTunes store, iBooks store, apps and in-app purchases. You can also change your settings to require a password for every download.
You might also have seen some apps offering passcode protection on a per-app basis. These aren’t Apple features, and some require your phone to be jail-broken in order to install. That’s a process where the restrictions Apple place on iOS are removed, allowing apps to do things to your phone they wouldn’t usually be able to do. Buyer, beware.
Protecting your child
You probably have a firewall with parental restrictions set up at home, but when you’re out and about using other people’s wifi or your mobile data allowance, it could be different. The good news is that there are settings on your iPhone that will help you mimic your firewall and protect your children from some of the less savoury content on the internet.
Back into settings again, then general – restrictions. If you haven’t already enabled them, do that now. If you scroll down to ‘allowed content’ you can choose things like the ratings of any videos that play we well as the opening of apps like Facebook and Twitter. It won’t turn them off, you’ll just need to use your restrictions passcode to lift them.
There are also several parental control apps that manage restrictions to sites, and monitor screen time if you want to do that.
Protecting your phone
Kids drop things. Even things that they want to be very careful with. I’m sure your kids are perfect little angels, but my kids have even been known to throw things when they’re upset. Things like iPhones. Although the screens are surprisingly robust, they do break (don’t worry if they do, we can fix them) but it might be worth investing in some protection if your children use your phone or iPad a lot.
Use something like Tech Armour’s Ballistic Screen Protector to give the phone a fighting chance.
The submariner by Kona is waterproof up to 100 feet. It won’t just protect your phone if it accidentally falls in the bath, it will let you take your phone into the pool or underwater to take pictures.
The OtterBox defender comes in a whole range of colours and is reasonably priced, it comes with an in-built screen protector and a stand so you can use it for Facetime or watching videos.
There are many more different cases, it’s worth thinking about when and where you and your kids use your iPhone or iPad so you can make sure that you’ve got the right type of protection.
One last tip
Find my iPhone
I have a friend whose toddler tossed their phone out of the buggy on the way to the shops; the only way they were reunited was using that app.
That’s our brief guide to kid-proofing your iPhone or iPad. We hope it helps. If all else fails and your iPhone or iPad do take damage, give us a call on 0330 999 2949. Don’t worry, you won’t be the first.