Smartphone use among children and teenagers has risen significantly over the past few years. According to a study, most children own a smartphone by the time they turn 11. But that’s not it, children are exposed to digital devices such as tablets, personal computers, and smartphones from an even earlier age. While there are many advantages associated with digital technologies, children are also uniquely vulnerable to specific threats. These include cyberbullying, loss of privacy, access to inappropriate content, frauds, scams, interaction with cyber predators, and others.
However, the iPhone has among the most effective features to help parents protect their children from these threats. In this article, we will briefly go over some behavioral steps you can take at home for a safer digital experience. We will then explore in detail how you can use iPhone built-in features to protect your children from these threats. Finally, we will also review features offered by a parental monitoring app to evaluate its usefulness.
While it is important to make sure that you utilize the digital tools to protect your child from harm, it is equally important to ensure that they develop a healthier relationship with digital technology and learn to balance different parts of their lives. In this regard, there are three important behaviors that parents could use. Communication, observation, and oversight refer to the behavioral system through which you can inculcate and practice healthy behaviors.
In terms of communication, establish an environment children feel confident and at ease at discussing any digital problem with you. This will also give you the space to teach them the basics of internet safety. Similarly, observe any unusual changes in your child’s behavior as it can reflect what they may be experiencing online. Oversee the use of digital devices and participate in joint activities such as playing video games, watching movies, or interacting on social media. Once these behaviors are a part of your family environment, the digital tools you have at your disposal will work optimally.
iPhone Parental Control Tools
To prevent access to inappropriate content, you can use the iPhone content filtering system with the Screen Time feature. Just head over to Settings, and then select Screen Time to make the desired changes. Explicit content such as TV shows, movies, music, and apps will not be played on the device.
Commonly consumed forms of media such as movies are listed in the settings and you can manually choose the specific ratings that will not play on your child’s device. This way, you do not have to worry about your child accessing inappropriate content such as those pornographic, drug use, or violent themes. Much like the playback restriction option, you can also use the web content filtering system. You can choose from Unlimited Content, Allowed Websites Only, or Limit Adult Websites. With these settings, the iPhone Safari browser will not let your child access adult content online. This system applies to the Siri personal assistant as well. Siri restriction settings include explicit language blocking and restricted online searches.
You can also use the iPhone privacy settings to improve your child’s privacy. With this feature, you can select which app has access to which data or sensor on the device. For example, you can block any app from accessing the device’s location, or turn on the camera to take pictures. You can restrict access to other sensors and information as well. These include contacts, calendars, microphone, photos, and others.
Screen Time offers plenty of other features as well. For example, with the Downtime option, you can select which functions are allowed during specific hours. You can block social media apps or video games, for example, when it’s time for your kids to sleep. You can also enforce limitations on who your child communicates with on the iPhone, even if it is via apps such as Face Time, calling, or iMessage.
Screen Time will also generate detailed reports regarding device use that you can go through to get a sense of your child’s digital life, without violating their sense of privacy and independence. You can also lock these settings by creating a password. This way, your child or anyone else will not be able to change these settings.
Now that we have explored how the iPhone Screen Time features can be used, let’s review how you can use a top parental monitoring app such as XNSPY to further enhance and monitor your child’s safety.
XNSPY is a sophisticated parental monitoring app that offers a wide range of features that you can use on an iPhone and any other iOS device to improve your ability to oversee your child’s digital life. For example, you can use the call monitoring feature to go through your child’s complete call log on the iPhone. The call data is organized along with date, time, and duration. Similarly, you can read all sent and received messages, even on third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp. In addition to this, you can monitor your child’s web browsing activity, along with all sent and received emails. The app also lets you view all photos and videos stored on the device. This way, you can make sure there is not inappropriate content. Real-time location tracking and geofencing features are also particularly useful. Just create a geofence and stay alert to any changes in your child’s location. For example, the app will immediately notify you if your child enters a dangerous street or goes near a pub.
You can go through the list of all installed apps, and block those you feel are inappropriate too. One interesting feature offered by the app is called Instant Alerts.
With this feature, you can add specific words, phrases, contacts, or locations to the app’s watch list, and XNSPY will immediately notify you if there is any relevant activity. This is a useful tool if you are unable or unwilling to monitor and track your child at all times. All of this information can be accessed remotely, and the installation process is quite simple too. All you have to do is enable the iCloud backup in settings and have access to the Apple ID and password to set up XNSPY. The basic version costs USD 4.99 per month, while the premium version comes in at just USD 7.49 a month, so its affordable too.
With Screen Time and a monitoring app such as XNSPY, you can ensure that your child can reap the benefits of digital technologies and is least exposed to any harm.
The Bottom Line
The iPhone is a powerful tool and as more children are using it at younger agrees, it’s important for parents to know how to monitor what the phone is being used for to best protect your children.
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Tyler Banks is an expert in cybersecurity. He helps businesses both small and medium-sized, in implementing and adopting the best security methods for their organization and network. He gives great advice regarding and assists people in boosting the security measures for their website and business.
The opinions expressed in this article, including any recommendation are expressly those of the author. Apple Tech Talk has not evaluated the XNSPY application and makes no recommendation regarding its use