Safer Internet Day 2024: Youngsters take to technology with ease and familiarity that is quite refreshing. Their hunger for something new and exciting draws them towards gadgets as well as the Internet to explore, communicate with the world and learn new things quickly that was undreamt of even 10 years ago. However, with tech come some dangers and here many manufacturers like Apple, look to craete some kind of guard-rails to ensure children and families are not impacted adversely – both body and mind. Keeping this in focus, families have a number of ways at their disposal to take effective action. Here are some:
Screen Time gives users a better understanding of the time families and kids spend using apps, visiting websites, and on devices overall. They can get weekly reports or see specific app usage, notifications, and device pickups. Screen Time also lets users set the amount of time they and their kids can spend each day on specific apps and websites.
- Downtime: Much more stringent action can be taken by families and that is via Downtime. Through this feature, users can set a specific time, like bedtime, when apps and notifications are blocked. Users can choose which apps are accessible or totally off limits.
- App Limits: With this feature users can combine individual apps and websites, and even whole categories, into a single, easy-to-manage limit. They are able to set a limit for a group of apps and websites, like games or their kids’ favorite streaming apps.
- Communication Limits: This feature lets parents choose who their children can communicate with throughout the day and during downtime, so they can make sure the kids are always reachable.
- Communication Safety: If children are dealing with sensitive images, this feature detects it and takes action. If Communication Safety detects that a child receives or is attempting to send content that might contain nudity, it warns them, gives them options to stay safe, and provides helpful resources.
- Using Restrictions: Parents can prevent their kids from installing new apps and making in-app purchases. Parents can set up their kids’ devices to limit adult content or open only websites that the parents select. They can even turn off the Safari web browser.
- Screen Distance: This feature uses the TrueDepth camera to detect when a user holds their iPhone closer than 12 inches for an extended period, and encourages them to move it farther away.
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Apart from these, there are some other features that families can turn to in order to better handle gadgets in the hands of children.
This includes iCloud Private Relay, which helps protect users’ privacy when they browse the web in Safari. It ensures that no single party — not even Apple — can see both who the user are and what sites they’re visiting.
Then there is Expanded Guidance in Siri, Spotlight, and Safari Search, which provides additional resources to help children and parents stay safe online and get help with unsafe situations.
And then there is Family Setup, which lets members who don’t have their own iPhone enjoy the features and benefits of an Apple Watch.
In effect, if handled properly, just like any other mechanical item, gadgets can be easily controlled in the hands of childre. However, it does call for families being proactive to ensure that they do not let their responsibuilitoies slide as that gives children free reign and it can have very unwelcome consequences.
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