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Has your child got a brand-new iPad? And are you concerned about their safety on it? You don’t need to look any further; this article can help you to put parental controls on iPad and its Safari browser. Here, we will also look into iPad’s built-in parental controls, how to set them, if you can trust your child with them, and your alternative options. Read on to get an all-round view of parental controls on iPad. 

  

iPad Parental Control Options 

Apple offers a few options for its customers to put parental controls on their underage children’s devices. Apple’s Family Sharing enables you to create a shared environment for your family and give or ban access to children, and Screen Time allows you to control your child’s on-screen activities. Ask to Buy lets you know when your child is trying to make a purchase, so you can allow or deny their request. 

As a whole, iPad parental controls enable you to: 

  • Set content and privacy restrictions 
  • Prevent web content 
  • Restrict Siri web search 
  • Prevent explicit content and content ratings 
  • Allow built-in apps and features 
  • Prevent iTunes and App Store purchases 
  • Restrict Game Center (Ask to Buy) 
  • Allow changes to privacy settings 

  

What is Family Sharing? 

Family Sharing, which was introduced by Apple back in 2014, enables each family member to have their own Apple ID, but also share a space in which they can share access to certain Apple services. There are four types of members defined in Family Sharing: 

  • Organizer: An adult who is creating the Family Sharing group, and can invite and remove members, and also delete the group. 
  • Parent/Guardian: An adult in the Family Sharing group authorized by the organizer to help put parental controls on an underage child’s device. 
  • Adult: A member of the Family Sharing group above 18 years of age. 
  • Child/Teen: An underage member of the Family Sharing group, whom the organizer or guardian can set up parental controls for. 

Thus, it can come in handy when setting parental controls on an underage family member’s device. Using Family Sharing, you can allow age-appropriate features on your child’s iPad, and block content you don’t want them to have access to. 

  

How to Set Parental Controls on Family Sharing 

To set parental controls on your child’s iPad using Family Sharing, you can: 

  1. Go to Settings and tap Screen Time. 
  2. Scroll down and choose your child’s name under Family.  
  3. Tap Turn on Screen Time, then tap Continue.  
  4. Set up Downtime, App Limits, and Content & Privacy with the limitations that you want for your child, or tap Not Now.  
  5. Tap Use Screen Time Passcode, then enter a passcode when prompted. Re-enter the passcode to confirm.  
  6. Enter your Apple ID and password. This can be used to reset your Screen Time passcode if you forget it. 

  

  

What is Screen Time? 

After much criticism and quite a few complaints from concerned parents and social commentators, Apple finally launched Screen Time as a built-in solution to a common problem for its device users worldwide: screen addiction. Parents had been having trouble limiting their children’s screen time, and also their on-screen activities on their iPads and iPhones. Kids were spending long consecutive hours on their devices, and due to Apple’s privacy policy parents weren’t able to use third-party parental control apps to limit their children’s time spent on phones. 

When Apple finally announced Screen Time in late 2018 as part of iOS 12, parents were relieved their children wouldn’t have access to inappropriate content on their iPads and iPhones anymore, and wouldn’t be able to spend too much time on their devices either. They would later be proved wrong to have had complete faith in Screen Time, however. As time went by, parents started to realize that their children were beating many of Apple’s built-in parental control features. 

How to Set Parental Controls Using Screen Time 

On Screen Time, you can schedule time away from the screen, set time limits for apps, set limits based on contacts, choose apps to allow at all times, and block inappropriate content.  

To set up Screen Time’s various options on your child’s iPad, follow the guidelines below. 

Set Downtime and App Limits 

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings > Screen Time. 
  2. Tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPad. 
  3. To schedule downtime for your family member (time away from the screen), enter the start and end times, then tap Set Downtime. 
  4. To set limits for categories of apps you want to manage (for example, Games or Social Networking), select the categories. 
  5. To see all the categories, tap Show All Categories. 
  6. Tap Set, enter an amount of time, then tap Set App Limit. 
  7. Tap Continue, then enter a Screen Time passcode for managing your family member’s Screen Time settings 

  

Set Communication Limits 

  1. If you haven’t already turned on Contacts in iCloud on your family member’s device, go to Settings > [child’s name] > iCloud, then turn on Contacts. Note: You can only manage your family member’s communication if they’re using Contacts in iCloud. 
  2. On your family member’s device, go to Settings > Screen Time. 
  3. If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPad. 
  4. Tap Communication Limits, then do any of the following: 

  

Limit Communication at Any Time 

  1. Tap During Screen Time 
  2. Select Contacts Only, Contacts & Groups with at Least One Contact, or Everyone. 

  

Limit Communication During Downtime 

  1. Tap During Downtime. 
  2. Change your previous setting to Specific Contacts. 

  

Manage a Child’s Contacts: 

You can manage your child’s contacts on Family Sharing. Tap Manage [child’s name] Contacts. 

  

Allow Contact Editing: 

Turn off Allow Contact Editing to prevent your child from editing their contacts. 

  

Turn Communication Safety for Messages on or off 

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings > Screen Time. 
  2. If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPad. 
  3. Tap Communication Safety, then turn on Check for Sensitive Photos. 

  

Choose Which Apps to Allow at All Times 

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings > Screen Time. 
  2. Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPad. 
  3. Tap Always Allowed. 

  

Set Content and Privacy Restrictions 

  1. On your family member’s device, go to Settings > Screen Time. 
  2. If you haven’t already turned on Screen Time, tap Turn On Screen Time, tap Continue, then tap This is My Child’s iPad. 
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions, then turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions. 
  4. Choose specific content and privacy options. 

  

What is Ask to Buy? 

On Family Sharing, Ask to Buy allows you (as the organizer of your Family Sharing group) and your designated adults (other parent or guardians) to monitor your child’s purchases on App Store, and approve or decline their request for purchase. 

How to Turn on Ask to Buy 

To turn on Ask to Buy, follow the steps below: 

  1. Open the Settings app. 
  2. Tap your name. 
  3. Tap Family Sharing. 
  4. Tap Ask to Buy. 
  5. Tap your family member’s name. 
  6. Use the toggle to turn on or turn off Ask to Buy. 

  

How to Approve or Decline a Purchase Request 

  1. Open the notification to see the item that your family member wants to get. 
  2. Approve or decline the purchase.  
  3. If you approve, sign in with your Apple ID and password to make the purchase. 

  

Setting Parental Controls on iPad’s Safari Browser 

How to Put Restrictions on Safari 

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. 
  2. Turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions. 
  3. Go to Content Restrictions > Web Content. 
  4. Apply your preferred settings: 
  5. Tap Limit Adult Websites to prevent your child’s access to adult content. Tap Add Website to specify sites that are always or never allowed. 
  6. Tap Allowed Websites Only to limit your child’s access to certain kid-friendly websites. Tap Add Website to add other sites. Swipe left to remove. 

 

How to Turn off Safari 

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions.  
  2. Turn on Content & Privacy Restrictions. 
  3. Tap Allowed Apps.  
  4. Turn off Safari to disable it altogether and prevent web browsing on your child’s iPad. 

 

Ways Your Child Bypasses Apple’s Parental Controls on iPad 

As mentioned above, you can’t thoroughly trust your child with iPad’s built-in parental controls, as kids have been finding ways to get around them since day 1. Parents all over the world soon started to notice their kids’ bypassing restrictions set by them, with Apple’s response not being nearly satisfactory enough. Below are a few of the most common ways in which children get around Apple’s parental controls:  

  • Factory reset: Kids have a way of bypassing parental controls on their iOS devices by resetting them to factory settings. This way, without their parent’s knowledge, all the previously set restrictions on their device will be lost. You need to keep an eye on the data provided by Screen Time to make sure they haven’t reset their device to factory settings. 

  

  • Getting their hands on the passcode: Some kids might sneak a peek to get your passcode to parental controls and change the settings to their liking. They might even use screen recording to find your passcode. 

  

  • Using Siri for iMessage: some kids use Siri to retain access to iMessage. You can prevent this by turning Siri & Dictation off in Allowed Apps. 

  

  • Changing time zones: One of the most common ways kids get around screen time limits is by changing their device’s time zone just before their screen time is up. You can avoid this by tapping Don’t Allow Changes on Location Services. 

  

  • Watching YouTube videos via iMessage: If someone sends your kid the link to a YouTube video via iMessage, they can still watch it, even if you have blocked YouTube on their device. 

  

Safes: A Safer Way to Go 

Even though Apple’s built-in parental controls can protect your child against many on-screen threats, it is by no means enough to assure you of your child’s digital safety on their iPad. Kids have been taking advantage of the loopholes and bugs in Apple’s parental controls since it was launched. It seems Apple hasn’t been that tentative toward parents’ complaints about this either. 

Meanwhile, you probably want to know what you can do to keep them safer. One of your best bets is to keep an eye on your child’s iPad through third-party parental control apps, like Safes, which specifically focus on matters of parental control. Safes can help put your mind at ease about your child’s safety on their iPad, and cover the loopholes kids take advantage of to bypass Apple’s parental controls. 

Safes Content Team

Safes Content Team

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