iPad Making the iPad safe(er) for my children to use?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Maxinuk, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Maxinuk macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Can anyone suggest any help for this please, I know it's a difficult task hence the safe(er) in the title!

    It's much easier on a laptop to install safe browsing and family protection software but our 10 year old will be getting his own iPad this Christmas and we need to try and protect him as much as we can from the worst the internet has to offer when he has his own and will be using it under less supervision.

    Our current iPad's have locked safesearch on Youtube, Google etc but what else can be done?

    I know you can use so called 'safe' browsers but on the iPad of course it will default to Safari in many situations. Generally we use Dolphin as the main browser anyway.

    He does not use Facebook or other social networking sites but I am sure he will want to very soon.

    Any suggestions for help in this difficult matter would be appreicated, especially for a savvy 10 year old...
  2. Sym0 macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2013
    Making the iPad safe(er) for my children to use?

    I'd like to know too.
  3. John-crichton macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2013
    I search around the app store, it seems that some custom browsers are dedicated to younger users.

    On my side, I'd really like to find something like a periodic lock. Just to prevent kids to play late at night or very early in the morning.
    Let say something to have the pass to enter from 9PM to 4PM, and free to access the other part of time. Mainly afternoon on the week day and more wider time space in the week end days.
  4. thehype31 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2006
    You can try turning off safari in the restrictions settings, then only installing the safe browser of choice? That should help to an extent.
  5. Maxinuk thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2011
    That's a good start and a simple tip I had not thought of. :)

    I guess the only issue there might be inconveniences when it will only open (or not open) content in Safari...

    There are quite a few so called 'safe' browsers - if members with experience can recommend ones to try that would be great too.
  6. Cutterschoice macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2012
    I have keyword blocking on my router which helps. Although it only seems to work for address names. I can still check which sites have been accessed however.
  7. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

    Jan 11, 2007
    North Central Florida
    I use Mobicip, you can also restrict times and such.

    OpenDNS will help at home.

    Otherwise Apple isn't big on this.....
  8. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    Use OpenDNS and set this up on your home connection. If you have a static IP address it is simple to setup but if your IP is dynamic you can install their updater tool onto one of your home computers.

    Once this is setup just choose to block all of the nasty stuff through openDNS and set the DNS entries on the iPad to those of OpenDNS. If he should stray to a dodgy site then it will be blocked by opendns.

    Lots of step by step instructions on how to get setup and how to customise the service to your requirements on their website. www.opendns.org

    They also have familyshield for iPads etc
  9. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    Use opendns or something similar on your router. Any time based lock on the local machine can be bypassed trivially by changing system time.
  10. Maxinuk thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Thanks very much, I will look at that although I have to admit this is all new to me and I am totally ignorant of what 'DNS' is? Can you explain a little more if possible please about the set up?

    I am in the UK, not sure if this is releavant to any of this.
  11. The.Dude, Nov 18, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013

    The.Dude macrumors regular


    Oct 21, 2013
    Did you even click the link? It's full of guides, information, and videos. You can also get a router and set up specific controls on the devices static IP or MAC address. This is what I do when looking after my neice or nephews when we SHARE my devices. While we aren't glued to the screen, they are stimulating their senses, learning real world communicative skills, and getting the occasional bump and bruise. Nothing sitting in front of a screen is a benefit.

    And getting an iPad for a ten year old? The point where a ten year old would need their own tablet just screams lazy parenting. There, I said it, sorry mate. I can see 13-14, which is the age where some schools are participating in programs to get their students their own iPads for academics. At a younger age, I wonder what a kid is really benefiting from by having their own dedicated device, I just don't see the purpose.

  12. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    obviously you can restrict access to the ipad itself with a lock code
    but you can restrict access to certain apps as someone else pointed out already.

    But you can also do a lot of this kind of stuff directly with your router. if this is something you'd be comfortable doing I would google your router name/brand along with something like "parental controls"

    netgear has their own settings, i think linksys does as well, and then there are third-party software programs that you can use.
  13. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    You must not have any kids.
  14. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    why don't you just go away and be unhelpful somewhere else?
  15. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The built in restrictions are fairly extensive. You can restrict Safari to limit adult sites or only specific sites. But you will have to augment that with a router based filter if the iPad is going to be of any use online.

    Being a parent of a 10 year old in 2013 is exceptionally challenging. You will have to become a quasi-expert in technology if you want to properly monitor and manage your child's interactions. 10 year olds today are very technology savvy. Restricting their technology use altogether is not practical. Managing their use will be an exercise with diminishing results as options to get online are so widespread. It is just as hard to protect them from drugs. Good luck.
  16. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North

    I agree actually I have to say. The iPad is not designed with 10 year olds in mind, mainly because thats not Apple's target market for that product, and with good reason.

    There are work arounds but none of which are perfect and so the best option if you're that worried about a childs exposure to "nasty" is not to give them the tools to access it with - thats the route i've gone with in regards to my own children.

    In our house, the iPad is an adult toy.
  17. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    that's nonsense. do you have kids? do you have a television? there's "nasty" and "real world" on the TV as well but you can take basic steps to avoid that.
    more importantly, i'm pretty sure that 10 years olds aren't the target obvious for televisions either.

    There are thousands of apps specifically targeted for children for entertainment and educational uses. Maybe you use your ipad to run your fortune 500 company but many many people use it as a toy.

    you can't shelter your kids from everything or forever, but you can try and do the best that you can. you have to decide where the line of risk v reward is and determining what to do moving forward is a personal choice.
  18. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    Congrats on the most ignorant post of the day. My daughter's elementary school (a public school, no less) has a pool of about 40+ ipads for learning, and kids in 3rd-5th grade all use them. Since it's apparent you likely don't know much about kids nowadays, that's ages 8-10 mostly. So you're whole "schools only give them to 13-14 year olds" is just naive. The younger kids are, the easier it is for them to learn. Same goes for technology. My older daughter (who is 9), has her own ipad, and my younger daughter (who is 3), is as proficient as most adults when she uses our ipads and iphones. There are plenty of educational apps for kids, including a ipad version ABCMouse.com, which a great learning tool. Have you even seen the statistics on apps for kids? I'm sure you haven't:

    • Over 80% of the top selling paid apps in the Education category of the iTunes Store target children.
    • In 2009, almost half (47%) of the top selling apps targeted preschool or elementary aged children. That number has increased to almost three quarters (72%).
    • The percentage of apps for children has risen in every age category, accompanied by a decrease in apps for adults.
    • Early learning apps for toddler/preschool are particularly prominent.
    • Apps for toddlers/preschoolers are the most popular age category (58%), and experienced the greatest growth (23%).
    • General early learning is the most popular subject (47%), and there are significantly more general early learning apps than the second most popular subject (math, 13%).

    (Source: Here)

    So, yeah. Your right. It's not for kids at all...

    To the OP, unfortunately, Apple doesn't make it easy, like Amazon Kindle's do. Basically, you need to use the restrictions in the settings to lock out certain apps, in combination with installing only the apps you want them to use, in combination with Router restrictions, in combination with general overseeing of your child's use and constant reinforcement via conversations about what's appropriate use and what's not. That's what we do with our daughter.
  19. Maxinuk thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2011
    Guys, thanks very much for the very helpful replies.

    I am really reluctant to respond to 'The.Dude' and his franlky ridiculous troll-like post as I don't want this to get hijacked as he may intend.

    *PLEASE* can we keep it on topic. Thanks chaps.
  20. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    You may find this helpful


    It's high level, but you'll probably want to look into OpenDNS.
  21. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Yep, don't feed the trolls.

    As to your situation remember that nearly any technology solution will have a kid workaround.

    The most foolproof solution is to physically supervise the usage any time there's network connectivity available. Spending more time with your kids is never a bad thing.

    Also look at whether your router allows disabling Internet access by MAC address at certain days/times -- though that doesn't help much if you have neighbors with open wifi.
  22. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    Calm down dear ;)

    I think apps and the iPad are 2 different things.

    My point was, as you rightly acknowledge, Apple doesn't make it very easy for paranoid adults to keep "nasty" stuff out of the reach of their children. So with that in mind, it's not been designed as a child friendly product.

    Yes I have children, mine spend most of their time playing outdoors and getting fresh air, they'll have iPads if and when their education requires it.
  23. Beanoir macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2010
    51 degrees North
    I'm sorry, but the iPad is not a toy, you and many others may use it as one but that was not what it was designed for, hence why it it not easily made child safe.

    If it was designed to be a toy then it would have child safe features.

    You're trying to use it as something it wasn't designed to do, hence you will never find an easy or perfect solution to your problem...a bit like trying use a Ferrari to go on a camping holiday for a family of 4, probably not impossible but certainly not easy.

    So yes it's do-able for sure, but it's never going to be easy and I think there are other far easier solutions to provide out children with learning tools and an introduction to modern technology without worrying about their exposure.
  24. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    Both my grandkids have iPads (hand-me-downs from me when I updated). My granddaughter is 5 and pretty much only plays with it in the car. She's just not too interested.

    But my grandson is an Aspie. His occupational therapist actually recommended it years ago (hence my gifting it). Helps a lot with his motor controls. His favorite thing to do is of course games. Especially MineCraf. He Hayes the shooter types. He also has his own computer that sits right beside his father's so his activity can be monitored. His father (my son) even downloaded a small program that allows him to write simple code for MineCraft enhancements.

    Access and restrictions are always an issue. When I was growing up it was the same. When my son was growing up it was TV, dirty magazines/books, etc. and then you have the stuff they learn from peers in school. My point is you can't protect them from everything. The answer is teaching them. My grandkids have been taught what sites they can visit and if they even see someone else on another write they have no issue explaining that that's 'not nice'. Same with words.

    My grandson would play on his computer all day, every day, because he is able to focus on that activity and focus is a real issue for him. As is social interaction. So he has to 'earn screen time'. If he has a good day at school he earns 30 mins. If he does his chores he earns another 30 mins. And on the weekends he get an extra hour per day IF he doesn't have any melt downs.

    I know it's great to have tech give you the help in limiting access but to be honest nothing can replace your personal oversite. Good luck raising your kids. Everyone says how much harder it is these days but I disagree. It's always been hard. It's just that our parents made it look easy. Being involved in their lives is the only way. You can't teach them right from wrong using tech crutches. If they never run across 'wrong' how do you explain what it is? Because if you don't someone else will teach them that it's ok.
  25. kmichalec macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2010
    No need to calm down. Not worked up at all. Just pointing out facts (although, my response wasn't even directed to you, so not sure why you responded to me).

    Regarding your first point, I'm not sure why you are intent on separating the two, but last time I checked, ipad App store apps aren't made to run on Leapfrog Leapster tablets. They are made to run on iPads. Hence if the apps are for kids, the kids would have to be using the iPad. Didn't think that was that difficult of a concept to understand.

    But either way, the iPad is whatever the buyer wants it to be (a web browsing tool, email reader, book reader, child's learning tool, etc). No one else should decide what it is to me or my family. I've decided that my kids will be exposed to technology as early as possible to insure it becomes second nature to them and they have every advantage growing up. This is one way I can help achieve that for them. Not sure why it's anyone else's business as to how I use our iPad, considering the OP's question was "Are there any suggestions on how to help make the iPad safer for kids". I don't recall the question being "Can you tell me if I'm doing the right thing by letting my child use an iPad?"

    Nope. Pretty sure that wasn't the question asked.

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