There are some basic settings that parents should configure on their iPhones, iPads, and iPods. If you are the parent of older kids who have their own iPod, iPad, or iPhone then you should add these practices to the list of things you want to share and train them in while using their own devices. Please remember that kids are more likely to say what you say, do what you do, and they are less likely to do what you say. So set a good example and use these tips on your own devices.
1 – Lock the Screen
Go To: Settings/General/Auto-Lock
I recommend you adjust this setting to “1 Minute” so that the device screen locks after one minute of inactivity. This prevents little kids from inadvertently accessing, deleting, or altering content on your device.
2 – Set a Password or Passcode
Go To: Settings/General/Passcode Lock
Select “Turn Passcode On”. Set “Require Passcode” to immediately so that the device cannot be used without the passcode once the device screen locks. This passcode will also be required to change the passcode settings in the future even if you allow your child to use the device unattended to play Angry Birds. The reason why on this one is obvious. Auto-locking the screen is useless if you are not going to require a password to unlock it. That would be like locking a door and leaving the key in the lock.
3 – Turn Off Unused Services
Got To: Settings/General/ [Bluetooth, Network, and/or Location Services]
If you are not using Network, Bluetooth or Location Services then go ahead and set them to “Off”. This prevents accidental access to unsafe networks and lowers your rick of getting hacked by someone who knows how to break into these services.
4 – Use Restrictions
Go To: Settings/General/Restrictions
There are a number of things that can be restricted, but I want to focus on content in this one. By default everything is allowed. This includes Allowed Content such as Explicit Music and Podcasts, Movies rated up to NC-17 (including R), and TV-MA. My wife and I don’t even view movies above a PG-13 rating so we certainly don’t want our kids accessing mature content via their iPod.
5 – Restrict In-App Purchases
This is related to the previous item, but warrants its own bullet in our house. This is the area where you restrict your kids from inadvertently buying something via those pop-up ads that kids like my little Caden enjoy clicking while playing Angry Birds.
Remember: Technology Safety is more about Behavior than the Technology!