Technology is a wonderful thing—we have access to a wealth of resources and information, all at the tap of a button. But technology has a dark side. Hackers and malicious links can lead to dangerous and inappropriate sites.
It’s because of these dangers that many parents are looking for parental control options for their children’s cellphones, in order to protect their kids from stumbling across unsuitable material.
Use The Built-In Protection Devices
The first step you can take to help protect your child is understand and use the parental controls already built into their cellphone.
Take advantage of the content and privacy restrictions included within all iOS phones.
In order to activate these safety measures, you’ll need to go into your kid’s phone settings and click “Screen Time.”
This section will allow you to choose whether you’re using your own phone or your child’s phone. As a parent, you can actually create a screen time passcode in order to monitor how much time your child spends on their phone.
Under the same “Screen Time” button, you can also prevent iTunes and App Store purchases, or downloads made without your permission.
Additionally, you can block explicit music or content. Go to settings and click on “Content & Privacy Restrictions.” Here, you’ll be able to block music, posts, TV shows, books, and apps that contain specific ratings and explicit content.
If your kids have Android phones, you’ll need to set up a child account in order to monitor their cellphone activity.
Select the settings icon and go to “Add Users.” Under this section, you’ll be able to make your phone the main user account and your child’s phone the “restricted profile” account.
With the new restricted user profile you’ve created, you’ll be given the option to restrict or disable various apps on your child’s cellphone. You’ll also get location notifications sent to your phone, so you know where your kids are at all times.
Find Out What Your Phone Plan Offers
Depending on your family’s phone plan, you may have access to additional safety measures.
AT&T currently offers the Secure Family app, which allows you to restrict when a phone can be used, block certain numbers, and even restrict inappropriate content.
Verizon has its own parental control product called Verizon Smart Family, which lets parents create content filters and screen time limits. This application also includes location tracking, so you can know where your child is and if they have left a predetermined area.
Additionally, T-Mobile allows you to turn on FamilyMode, a T-Mobile branded app that gives the primary account holder the ability to monitor the family’s internet access.
Download Additional Apps
Aside from the built-in safety features and parental control options that come with your phone plan, there are also a variety of separate apps you can download.