As technology becomes more ingrained in our society, children are using smart devices at a much younger age than ever before. Therefore, it is essential that we talk to our children about the safety of their devices, and the earlier we start these conversations, the better.
Whilst we don’t want to scare our children away from technology, it is important that they know what to do and who to talk to if they ever feel scared or worried when using the internet. With many children being given their own devices, it is also vital that we know how to set these machines up securely before letting our family use them.
The first thing we recommend to protect your children is to make use of the parental control settings available to you. Many devices now allow you to change the settings so that you are in control of the content that your child has access to. Don’t be put off, thinking that this is difficult or complicated to set up. Often manufacturers will provide you with step-by-step guides that walk you through how to do this. When devices are being set up, you are often required to enter a password or PIN code, which means the settings cannot be turned off without the code. Be sure to keep this information secure, and safely away from where your child get access to it.
In general, Android Tablets can have restricted users set up through their Google account. When you open the settings menu (usually with a cog icon), there should be a ‘Users’ option, where you can add a new restricted user. After setting up a password and username, you can go through a list of apps available and select which ones you want to restrict access to. The process on an Android Smartphone is similar, although you will usually go in to the play store settings and select ‘Parental Controls’.
For Apple devices, you simply visit the preferences/settings menu and within ‘General’ there is an option for ‘Restrictions’. With this you can turn off any applications or features on your child’s tablet that you do not want them to have access to.