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New Parental Controls in iOS7

|Kelly Tenkely|

The first weekend of the month is a great time to check in on your children’s iPads to ensure that restrictions are set up in a way that best meets your family needs. With the recent update to iOS7, it is ESSENTIAL that you take a few minutes to make sure that the restrictions you set up at the beginning of the school year are still in place.  Occasionally a new update will override restrictions.  Please take a few moments to ensure that the restrictions you put in place, are still in place!

In addition to checking up on restrictions, take a look at 2 new features in iOS7 that you are sure to love! You can now restrict Safari from showing adult content, and second, you can block contacts.  Blocking contacts means that there is a solution to the problem of group iMessages.

Before viewing restrictions, you will want to make sure that the iPad has been updated to iOS7.  Please backup your child’s iPad prior to updating! To update the iPad, click on the Settings app, then “General” and then “Software Update“.  If there is a software update available, it will be listed here.

Please see the basic Restrictions that we recommend in the Community Handbook.

Block adult web content in iOS7 on iPads, iPods and iPhones

Apple offers some level of parental control for iDevices through Restriction settings.  In the past, the only option you had for the Internet was to allow the Safari web browser or restrict it completely.  In order to allow safer access to the Internet you HAD to download a child-safe browser (our recommendation is MobiCip and K9) and restrict Safari completely. Now, with iOS7, Apple has made some basic website content filtering in Safari available.

Here’s how to set it up: 1.  From the child’s iPad with the iOS7 update, go to Settings> General > Restrictions 2.  Because you have already set up restrictions, you will need to enter your four digit passcode 3.  Scroll down to the heading “Allowed Content”  Click on “Websites 4.  The options are:

  1. All websites– no restrictions are in place, your child can visit any website.  PLEASE do not allow this option!  This is completely unrestricted access to the Internet!

  2. Limit Adult Content– limits access to “many adult websites automatically”.  This could be a great option for older children who complain that the other apps are too restrictive for basic school research.

  3.     You can also always allow certain websites or never allow a site, to override the automatic settings.

  4. Specific Websites Only– This setting will only allow websites you enter.  A suggested list of child-friendly sites are listed and you can add additional sites using the “add a website option”.  This is an ideal option for younger students in addition to the filtered browsers MobiCip and K9.  Remove any of the recommended sites by clicking “Edit” in the top right corner of the screen, choose the red button next to the website you want to delete and then click “Delete”.

***Enabling Safari and enacting one of the above options is a family decision, please make sure that you do not allow unrestricted access and also have the filtered “MobiCip” browser and K9 browser installed.  When you update to iOS7, you will need to re-login to your family MobiCip account!

Blocking contacts or users in Group iMessages in iOS7

You can now block anyone and they will no longer be able to send a message or FaceTime.

1.  Go to Settings> Messages > Blocked

2.  Click “Add New“.  This will pull up your Contacts list.  Choose the name of the person you would like to block. If someone is not in the contact list and you would like to block them: 1.  Go to the message that was sent. 2.  Click “Contacts” in the upper right.  This should show a list of people who are in the message.  Find the name or number you want to block and click on the small letter “i” for their information. 3.  Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on “Block this Caller.

Apple’s new filtering of Safari doesn’t provide you with as much control as an app like MobiCip; however, for those families that allow access to the Safari app on devices that children use, this is a fantastic addition!

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