iPad and iPhone safety is a big topic at the moment with so many children owning their own devices. I recently bought my son a laptop and I’ve been looking into internet safety for children in a big way. I had a long chat to Rosemary Newton from Nannies of St James who kindly wanted to shared something from their blog on the subject of iPad and iPhone safety, I hope it helps.
Now that an estimated third of all pre-school age children have their own tablet device which they use for an average of eighty minutes per weekday, it has never been more crucial to be digitally literate ourselves, and to know how to safeguard our charges. It can be all too easy sometimes to forget that a tablet is more than a games console: it’s a powerful device with an internet connection.
While there are plenty of apps which help stimulate learning, co-ordination, creativity and play there are also risks to consider when allowing a child to play independently – as over a third of pre-schoolers do – on a tablet. We would always advise supervised tablet use, and encourage all our nannies to discuss with parents what their rules are regarding their children and their use of technology.
A study carried out by Tech and Play revealed that 6% of children had seen content that made them feel uncomfortable whilst play on their iPad, and 9% had at some point been exposed to content which made their parents feel uneasy. 10% had made an accidental in-app purchase.
From running up large and accidental bills to playing games which aren’t age-appropriate, these are choppy waters to navigate but safety controls do exist. The following tips apply exclusively to iOS (Apple) devices.
Open Settings and go to General > Restrictions. Tap to Enable Restrictions, and enter a passcode. Share this with parents if you are using a family iPad. Once restrictions are turned on, you can change settings in order to enable or disable certain features. Once you exit the Settings app, your restrictions have been activated.
From here you can block access to known adult websites, for example, and manually add the names of sites which you or the parents want their children to be shielded from. You can take this a step further if necessary and prescribe a list of the only websites that can be visited through Safari when this restriction is switched on.
2. Guided Access
This feature locks the iPad to the app which is currently open. No switching between apps, and no internet access or web browsing is possible with Guided Access activated. Go to the Setting app, then go to General > Accessibility. Under Learning, tap Guided Access and slide the button to On. Setting up a passcode means you can switch this feature off when needed.
Open the app you want to lock the device to, then triple click your iPad (or iPhone’s) home button. The screen will show several Guided Access options (you can disable volume buttons and block out certain areas of an app which take the user to Safari mode.) Triple clicking again gives you the option to finish Guided Access when play time is over. For more details on this feature, see this handy article from Bright Pips.
This is just the tip of the iceberg: we would love to know some of your top tips for keeping your charges safe when using technology. Please tweet us @StJamesNannies or find us on Facebook – we will share the best hints and tricks with the Nannies of St. James community.