- More About Restrictions
- How to Set Up the Restrictions Feature on the iPad
- Strategies for Finding the Most Suitable iPad Apps and Content for Your Kids
- Final Thoughts
How to Set Up the Restrictions Feature on the iPad
To set up the Restrictions feature of the iPad, from the Home Screen, launch Settings. On the left side of the screen, tap on the General option from the main Settings menu. Then, on the right side of the screen, tap on the Restrictions option to reveal the Restrictions sub-menu.
At the top of the Restrictions screen, tap on the Enable Restrictions option. You will be prompted to create and enter a four digit passcode, and then re-enter this code to confirm it.
It’s absolutely essential that you do not forget this passcode. Once the passcode is set and your iPad is backed up using iTunes or iCloud, if you forget the passcode, it’s virtually impossible to regain full access to the tablet without erasing everything and manually re-installing your apps and data manually.
Once the Restrictions passcode is set, from the Restrictions menu, decide what your child can access from the menu that appears on the screen. Turn the virtual switch associated with each listed iPad app or feature to the off position to make it inaccessible. This can be done for Safari (for web surfing), YouTube, the Camera app, FaceTime (for video conferencing), iTunes, Ping, and/or the ability to install and delete third-party apps.
From this screen, you can also prevent your child from being able to reveal the tablet’s location, create or modify new accounts, and/or utilize the optional Find My Friends app.
As you scroll down on the Restrictions screen, under the Allowed Content heading, you can prevent your child from accessing music or podcasts with adult content or explicit language, plus prevent them from watching TV shows or movies that do not have a kid-appropriate rating.
From this menu, it’s also possible to turn off the Apps option altogether, which prevents a child from being able to run apps. Or you can turn off just the In-App Purchases option, so they can use apps, but not make online purchases from within those apps.
For example, many games are kid-friendly. However, optional in-app purchases are possible in order to acquire game items, enhance game play features, or reveal new levels. The popular game Smurf’s Village is the perfect example of this.
Smurf’s Village is kid-friendly and can be played for free. However, unless a parent turns off the In-App Purchases feature, if the child knows the iTunes password associated with the tablet, or has access to a prepaid iTunes Gift Card, they’ll be able to make purchases within the game with just a few taps on the screen.
As you explore the App Store, you’ll find thousands of age-appropriate, kids-friendly games and educational apps. Some games are multiplayer games that match up players with strangers via the web. In some cases, the iPad user’s identity and exact location can be revealed unless the appropriate steps are taken to prevent this.
In addition to using the Restrictions option to prevent your child from playing multiplayer games, via Game Center, for example, teach them to never reveal their identity or any personal information to anyone online.
Remember, the iPad has the same Internet accessibility as any computer, and it can be used for instant messaging, email, web surfing, video conferencing, participating in online chat rooms, and for communicating with strangers on the web.