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How to Make an iPod Touch Safe for Kids

Updated on October 19, 2012
Teen using iPod Touch
Teen using iPod Touch | Source

Popular handheld devices like the iPod Touch, iPad and smartphones are wonderful inventions. It seems you can't go anywhere without seeing kids and adults looking at their gadgets. While this technology has opened a wonderful world of readily available games and services, it also opens the door to the Internet....in a portable device that can go virtually anywhere. Here are some steps parents can take to help keep their child safe when using Internet capable personal devices.

Important Tip

If you should forget your iPod Touch Restrictions Passcode, there is no way to recover it. You will need to reset your iPod Touch to the factory settings. Choose your passcode wisely so you will easily be able to remember it!

How to Set Restrictions on an iPod Touch

The best thing to do before you give your child an iPod Touch or iPad is so to set some basic restrictions. Start by setting a four digit passcode for restrictions that only you have access to. Then consider taking the following steps based on the age appropriateness for your child.

  1. Go to the Settings icon.
  2. Go to the General icon.
  3. Go to the Restrictions icon and enter password or set it up for the first time.
  4. Turn off Safari. There are safer browsers for kids.
  5. Turn off YouTube.
  6. Decide if you want your child to have access to downloading apps and set it based on your preference.
  7. Under Allowed Content, set the Music and Podcasts to "Clean" and make sure the red EXPLICIT is turned off.
  8. Set the Movies setting for the rating you prefer. The choices range from "G" to "NC-17" or "Allow All Movies."
  9. Do the same for TV Shows and Apps, carefully selecting the rating of shows and Apps you want to allow for your child.

Set a Passcode on an iPod Touch

Next step is to set up a general four-digit passcode. Your child can even pick the code. Your child should give you the code as well. This is a general precaution so no one other than you or your child can access the device should it become lost or a friend try to play a funny joke and send an email not written by your child.

  1. Go to the Settings icon and select the General icon.
  2. Select Passcode Lock. Turn it on and set your code.

Choose an Internet Safe Browser for Kids

Computers are easier to safeguard. You can locate your computer in an open area in your house but personal devices enable the Internet to be accessed in a bedroom or away from home. Even if your child is not looking for trouble, sometimes inappropriate sites can appear by doing a Google search or hitting what seems to be a harmless link on Yahoo. There are several apps for internet safe web browsers. Parents can choose a browser that is age appropriate for their child. Here are two examples:

K9 Web Protection

Made by a company called Blue Coat, this is a useful app that provides web filtering. When you download this app, available at the iTunes App Store for free, you can turn it on a prevent the device from viewing sites that have unwanted content. According to Blue Coat, "It can block more than 60 different categories of content, including pornography, hate/racism/violence, gambling and malware/spyware." The parent has the ability to block or allow categories of websites based on the parent's preferences. This is all done on the device when you set it up.

Mobicip

This $4.99 app on iTunes helps make your child's mobile Internet safe and secure by filtering harmful sites. One nice feature for older teens, the app doesn't look like a kiddie app. It looks like any other web browser app on the device. The basic download will allow you to implement preconfigured settings. For an additional $9.99, a parent can purchase additional features to allow category blocking and browser based parent controls. It addition to the preset filtering age based levels, it has a "Whitelist" and "Blacklist" to specifically identify sites that you do or do not want to allow. This is a nice override feature of the standard controls, allowing you tailor the filtering based on what you feel is appropriate for your child. You can even program the service to email you monthly usage and activity reports if you choose. The company has had several updates to this app to continually improve the safety it offers without compromising speed.


IPod touch 4G White
IPod touch 4G White | Source

Discuss the Internet With your Child

Regardless of the age of your child, be sure to take the time to discuss Internet safety. You can't protect your child everywhere they go; it is wise to educate them about the wonders as well as the dangers of the Internet. Note that while software can aid a parent in keeping a child safe, it is only a tool and not a substitute for discussing with your child why certain sites are not appropriate.

Do you have parental controls set up on your child's personal device?

See results

Fun Apps for Kids

  1. Angry Birds
  2. Where's My Water
  3. UNO
  4. Hangman
  5. Draw Something
  6. Words With Friends
  7. Casey's Contraptions
  8. Fruit Ninja
  9. Doodlejump
  10. StickWars

Comments

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    • LauraGSpeaks profile image
      Author

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi Marty, parents are lucky to have multiple options in internet security software to best fit our particular needs. I am glad to know your selection is a good option for older teens as well. I am sure the parent feedback you received when designing the product was of tremendous value.

      Looks like you just joined Hubpages a few minutes ago--welcome!

    • profile image

      marty9999 5 years ago

      The FREE version is far more functional than K9, and the upgrades are far less expensive than Mobicip (which is a good product), and has some features Mobicip does not have. The DOG does not appear on the phone at all - we use an EARTH style icon (most of the product was designed by parent feedback, and parents told us to NOT use the dog). The only time the dog appears is on the welcome screen during initial install. Another feature of our GOLD upgrade is sharing an iPad between parents & kids, and having different levels of filtering for each kid, and none for parents (if they set it that way).

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image
      Author

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Hi marty, you are correct, McGruff is another good web protection application. The McGruff dog looks very similar to the K9 Web Protection App, but the application itself is similar to Mobicip in its functionality. I like the McGruff software as well, I just wanted to highlight an option for parents of older teens who don't want the doggie icon app on their device. Thanks for reading and sharing another good option for parents.

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      great information, safety on the itouch has been a constant concern for us. My daughter forgot her pass code and had reset it from the original one we picked so we had to reset the entire itouch, thankfully everything we purchased was in the icloud and we got it all back.

    • profile image

      marty9999 5 years ago

      If you want complete parental control that monitors & controls everything kids do online (such as Facebook) , and blocks inappropriate websites, and does linguistic analysis detect dangerous behavior -

      such as internet predators or cyber bullys -

      check out McGruff SafeGuard's Parental Control software:

      http://www.GoMcgruff.com

      You probably remember McGruff “The Crime Dog” - Take A Bite Out of Crime - from your own childhood.

      For FREE iPad/iPhone parental control, check out http://www.GoMcGruff.com/browser