In April of 2014, Apple made some minor adjustments to the way app information is displayed on the App Store. In an effort to help parents clearly understand what their child is downloading, an app’s age restriction has been moved to the top of the summary page, right next to its name.
This doesn’t always keep kids from sneaking a download or two when you aren’t watching. In addition to securing your iPhone from unwanted in-app purchases, you can also keep your iPhone from unwanted subject matter downloads by setting parental controls, or content restrictions, as Apple calls it.
Setting parental controls can be done with a few simple steps. These instructions work for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
How to use parental controls on iPhone and iPad
Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Restrictions. If you have not previously set restrictions, you will need to tap on “Enable Restrictions.”
Step 2: You will have to create a four-number password that will have to be entered every time you want to make changes to restrictions in the future. This will ensure that your youngster doesn’t make changes to your settings without your permission. Enter the password a second time to confirm it.
Step 3: Set content restrictions based on your personal preference.
You can allow or restrict the use of the Safari browser, the native camera app, FaceTime, iTunes, and iBookstore by toggling the on/off switch to “Off.” This is a nice feature for keeping your five year old nephew, who likes to take close-up pictures of his nose, from accessing apps that you just don’t want him using at all.
You can also adjust your device so that no apps can be installed or deleted, and turn off Siri and text-to-voice explicit language.
You can fine-tune your content restrictions based on the country of origin for app age ratings. To do this, tap the “Ratings For” tab and select the country you want to use. Obviously, it makes sense to choose the country you currently reside in.
If you want to let your little one listen to your music, but don’t want them accidentally listening to your collection of DMX albums, you can turn off the ability to play back music or podcasts that have explicit content. Select the “Music & Podcast” tab and toggle the “Explicit Language” feature to “Off.”
You can further adjust app download restrictions by selecting what age limit you will or won’t allow. You can chose between 4+, 9+, 12+, and 17+ years of age. You can also restrict all app downloads entirely. Tap the “Apps” tab and select the highest-level rating you want to allow downloads for. All others below it will be automatically restricted.
When it comes to movies and television shows, you can set age restrictions based on MPAA and your country’s television content rating systems. Tap the “movies” or “TV Shows” tab and select the highest-level rating you want to allow downloads for. All others below it will be automatically restricted.
You can turn off the ability to download books with adult content by tapping the “Books” tab and toggling the “Explicit Sexual Content” switch to “Off.”
Now, your device should be kid-proofed so that no one sees anything they shouldn’t or downloads any inappropriate movies or books.
Don’t forget to check out our tutorial on how to turn off in-app purchases.