Set up Parental Controls for the iPhone or IPad | Child Safe Browsing – Part 5

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This is one in a series of blog posts I have put together describing how to setup parental controls for an iPhone, iPad, or iTouch.  If  you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book.  It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.

Review of Child Safe Browsers

Child Safe BrowsersSafari, the browser that comes standard with the iPhone™, allows you to surf to any site on the web.  There are no parental restrictions in place, so it is fairly easy for your child to accidentally browse to a site of which you would disapprove.

To help with this, you can replace the Safari browser with a child safe browserChild safe browsers restrict the sites which you can visit.  They do this in a couple of ways:

  1. Allow you to specify categories of sites you judge as safe to browse.  For instance, you can allow Disney sites, but disallow gun sites.  This type of service is typically available through a subscription service offered through products recommended below.
  2. Allow you to whitelist, specify, the sites you can visit.  If a site isn’t on your safe list, it is forbidden.  For younger children a white list is an ideal parental control.  Younger children usually go to the same sites, so they are easier to manage.

Most child safe browsers are meant to replace Safari, so you’ll want to be sure to hide Safari, as well as restrict your child from circumventing this protection by downloading an alternate browser of her own.

In this chapter we’ll review some of the more popular browser-replacements and then, later in the chapter, walk through the installation, set up, and lock down of your phone’s browser.

AVG Family Safety


AVG Family Safety Child Safe Browser

 

 

 

 

AVG Family Safety is offered as a free app rated at 3.5 stars.  This child safe browser is meant to be a browser replacement targeted towards children of all ages.

AVG will:

  • Identify websites that track your personal data
  • Give you control to allow tracking of your child’s online activities.
  • Restrict browsing to safe websites.
  • Protect your children from mature and inappropriate content.
  • Replace Safari, yet provide similar features such as forward, backwards, and bookmarks or favorites.
  • Provide enhanced reporting and customization when used in conjunction with AVG Family Safety PC desktop products.

Child Safe

F-Secure Child Safe iPhone

 

 

 

 

The F-Secure Child Safe browser is available through iTunes for $2.99.  The app is targeted towards children of all ages.

Child Safe will:

  • Include a URL reputation service for filtering bad web sites (phishing, malware etc.)
  • Display a page’s reputation in the address bar.
  • Filter content based on categories such as Games, Guns, or Alcohol
  • Utilize predefined profiles making it easier to broadly define the right security for your child.
  • Behave like a normal browser as it comes with standard iOS browser capabilities like stop, reload, bookmarks, and back buttons.
  • Restrict all settings with passwords, so your child can’t change them without your knowledge.

McGruff SafeGuard Browser

McGruff  Child Safe Browser

 

 

 

 

The McGruff SafeGuard is a free for download within the iTunes store.  It has been rated 3.5 stars.  Some distinguishing features of this child safe browser include:

  • Multi-user login & profiles for every family member.
  • Daily summary usage reports showing your child’s activity.
  • Blocking by Age or Category – Child vs. Teen
  • Learning mode to easily add websites kids need for school
  • Optional Full Restriction mode (white-list only)
  • Shows summary or full history of all websites your child visited & which sites the software blocked your child from viewing.

Note:  Some features require in-app upgrade for Full Control. The free version provides child-safe and teen-safe browsing.

Quintura Kids Child Safe Browsers

Quintura Child Safe Browser

 

 

 

 

Targeted towards younger readers, Quintura Kids costs $2.99.  Its rating of 2.5 stars is lower than the other apps.  From what I can tell this is because people misunderstand the product.  It isn’t meant to be a full browser replacement, but a safe browser for your younger child, say one in elementary school.

Check out what GeekDad from Wired.com said: “It is the perfect tool to start teaching children digital literacy skills and the ideas around searching for information, assessing its quality and undertaking research online in an environment that is far safer and more engaging for children than Google.”

Here are some distinguishing features of this product:

  • Visual search engine for children. Its intuitive tap-based interface makes web search a real education for children!
  • Uses a search cloud (tag cloud) that auto-suggests search words.  You don’t need to type in the whole word.  This makes web surfing with Quintura Kids easy and kid-friendly even for the youngest school aged user.

All kids searches are safe; no results will contain adult content.

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If  you find this material helpful, you may want to download the Kindle version of my Book.  It contains even more information to guide you through the steps to ensure your child’s iPhone is secure.

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