How to setup parental controls on iPhone?

These days, children spend a lot of time using smartphones. Particularly, Apple iPhone and iPad are popular among kids due to their smooth browsing and gaming options.

Although too much browsing and screening time are the flipsides of technology, and may even pose security threats to children. 

For example, the Internet is a happy hunting ground for cybercriminals and predators, and children are their soft targets. It means cybersecurity is also a major concern if children have unrestricted browsing time.

Due to all these reasons, parents are genuinely concerned about the safety of their children as well as data security on their iPhones. 

One of the best things on iOS is that parents can set up parental control, including privacy settings, content filtering, specify the duration of browsing, and stop children from buying expensive apps.

Parental controls give parents some relief by giving them enough options to restrict their children’s accessibility to different types of unwanted content and apps, while they can still use functions such as calling and messaging.

You can set up parental control in various ways and limit the screen time of your child. In this post, we will mention the steps that will help you set up parental control easily. This method works not only on the iPhone but also on the iPad as well.

Steps to Turn on Screen Time on Your Child's iPhone

Your first move is setting screen time directly on iPhone. This is a faster way to make sure that you can track your child’s browsing behaviour on the phone and not enabling Family Sharing initially.

1.   On the iPhone, open Settings

2.  Go to Screen Time

3.  Tap Continue

4.  Select your child’s device.

5.  If you want to restrict your child access to apps and set a downtime, go to the Screen Time section to follow mentioned steps.

6.  Choose a unique passcode after getting a prompt.

If the Family Sharing feature is already enabled, restrict your child’s Screen Time using the family’s device.

Steps to Activate Screen Time in the Family Sharing Section

1.   On your family organizer device, go to Settings.

2.  Choose Screen Time.

3.  Select your kid from the list of family members.

4.  Now activate Screen Time.

5.  Again, you can set app limits and downtime by following the app-related instructions in the Screen Time section.

6.  Choose a unique passcode when there is a prompt.

Setting up screen time enables to activate downtime as when your child should stop checking the phone and go to bed, and specify the time they will be allowed to spend on browsing certain apps.

The purpose of setting downtime is to make sure to prevent children from playing games during their study or sleeping time.

Steps to Activate “Ask to Buy” Feature on Your Child's iPhone

Parents also want to make sure their children should not be able to purchase expensive apps worth hundreds of dollars.

To stop this, iPhones have the “Ask to Buy” feature. You can set up this feature for any child below 18 years and it gets automatically activated for children under 13 years.

1.  While activating the “Ask to Buy” feature, make sure to enable Family Sharing and the children are added to the group.

2.  Open Settings on the family organizer's device

3.  Select your name

4.  Go to Family Sharing

5.  Select your child's name

6.  Activate “Ask to Buy.”

After the activation, Ask to Buy will send an alert to the family organizer's device displaying the name and price of the app the child tries to buy. You can approve or deny the request from the family organiser device.

Prevent Browsing Adult Content

You can also set up control to stop children from playing explicit movies, TV shows, or music with adult ratings. You can configure using apps and content with adult ratings.

To restrict access to explicit content following the steps below:

1.  Go to Settings and then to Screen Time.

2.  Choose Content & Privacy Restrictions, and
tap Content Restrictions.

3.  Select your preferred settings for each feature or under Allowed Store Content.

4.  Under the Content & Privacy Restrictions, you can also allow or restrict Location Services, Contacts, Calendars, Photos, and Share My Location.

You can restrict the following types of content:

  • Music Videos: Restrict your child from finding and watching adult music

  • Music, Podcasts, & News: Prevent playing music, podcasts, and
    music with explicit content.

  • Music Sharing: Restrict sharing music files with friends and track what
    types of music they are listening to.

  • TV shows: Restrict watching TV shows with adult ratings.

  • Movies: Prevent watching movies with explicit ratings.

  • Apps: Restrict browsing apps with certain ratings.

  • Books: Prevent from reading books with adult ratings.

Restricting Gaming

You can restrict gaming on iPhone following the steps below:

1.  Tap Screen Time going to Settings.

2.  Choose Content & Privacy Restrictions, and tap Content Restrictions.

3.  Go to Game Center, and choose your preferred settings.

You can restrict the following gaming features:

  • Multiplayer Gaming: It can allow playing multiplayer gaming
    with everyone, allow playing with friends only, or can allow with anyone.

  • Nearby Multiplayer Setting: Prevents gaming with nearby multiplayer.

  • Adding Friends: Prevents adding friends to the Game Center.

  • Private Messaging: Prevent your child from engaging in voice
    chat or send/receive messages for gaming and friend invites.

  • Changing Privacy Profile: Restrict the option of changing
    privacy profile settings.

  • Changing Avatar & Nickname: Restrict your child from changing Game Center avatars and nicknames.

  • Screen Recording: Prevent capturing the phone’s screen
    and sound.

Even restricting screen time and other iPhone features may not be enough, as children are smart enough to find the ways to breach parental controls or often Google to see how to do it.

This is why, after you set up your kid's phone, you can restrict “Siri Web Search” by going to Settings >> Screen Time >> Content & Privacy Restrictions >> Content Restrictions >> Web Search Content and Explicit Language.

You can also download a third-party firewall like “Guardian” on your or your child’s iPhone to restrict your child from accessing dodgy apps.

Besides implementing parental control, you also need to speak to your child about responsible Internet browsing.