Tips to safeguarding children from smartphones

Posted: 21st February 2024

LBAWABA – Protecting children from smartphones is crucial for safeguarding their well-being in the vast realms of the internet. American company “Apple” provides robust data protection and privacy options through its “iPhone” devices, along with educational materials to help parents and children understand online safety.

The company regularly sends security updates to its devices, ensuring the evolution of protective measures in response to new threats. While no device is entirely impervious to hacking, Apple has succeeded in making the iPhone the most secure compared to most other phones.

Child Safety Features:

The iOS 16 operating system and later versions from Apple offer comprehensive features designed to protect children while they explore the internet. One prominent feature is managing children’s interactions, where parents can access iPhone features enabling them to manage their children’s online interactions.

The iPhone allows parents to control who their children can communicate with during certain hours of the day and send text messages or use FaceTime with them.

Features include screen time management, where parents can monitor and limit the time their children spend on iPhone devices using the Screen Time function.

This feature provides detailed reports on device usage, allowing parents to understand their children’s online habits and adjust schedules as needed. It enables setting downtime, restricting access to specific apps during scheduled hours. Additionally, features include app blocking or restriction, granting parents the ability to block or restrict specific apps and features, including purchases and downloads. They can also restrict the types of content their children can access and customize the experience to suit their ages. These restrictions are part of a multi-layered approach to managing children’s digital environment, ensuring compliance with parental expectations regarding safety and exposure.

Privacy Controls:

Privacy control settings allow users to manage their privacy by accessing the Settings app on iPhone devices, where various options for controlling app permissions can be found, ranging from location services to contact access. Features include contacts, photos, and calendars, with permissions selectively granted to ensure only trusted apps access sensitive user information. Managing these settings empowers individuals to maintain control over who can access their personal data, enhancing overall privacy on their devices.

Age-Appropriate Content:

Apple’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for children is evident in how it handles available content across its devices. The company meticulously curates the App Store and provides strong parental controls designed to ensure age-appropriate content is always at the forefront of young users’ digital interactions. The Apple App Store includes a dedicated “Made for Kids” section comprising apps specifically designed for children. These apps are categorized by age group to facilitate age-appropriate content identification for parents. Each app undergoes review to ensure compliance with Apple’s high standards regarding privacy, content, and design. Advertising in these apps is limited and closely monitored to protect children from inappropriate material. Apps are divided into different age categories, such as 5 and under, 6 to 8, and 9 to 11 years old.

Purchase Management:

One of the prominent features is purchase management, following Apple’s integration of a feature called “Ask to Buy” into its parental control tools, acting as a safeguard against unauthorized in-app purchases.

When a child initiates a purchase, a notification is sent to the family organizer, who can approve or deny the transaction. This gives parents the ability to manage spending within the app and encourages discussions about responsible spending.

Family Safety:
Regarding family safety, the FindMy app allows family members to locate each other’s devices, providing peace of mind when someone is in an unknown location. The iPhone facilitates secure communication through comprehensive encryption of iMessage and FaceTime, ensuring conversations remain private. Additionally, the Family Sharing feature allows up to six family members to share Apple Store purchases, iCloud storage, and subscriptions without sharing accounts.

Parents can manage screen time and app permissions for their children’s devices, customize access to content and apps as needed. Parents can also approve or deny app purchases and downloads their children attempt, providing an extra layer of supervision.

Source – Tips to safeguarding children from smartphones | Al Bawaba

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