I’m sure you experienced pure delight on your child’s face when they unwrapped their new phone! Now it’s time to decide what parenting measures you need to protect them while they have a new, very powerful piece of technology. Many parents turn to monitoring apps, also known as parental control apps, as well as measures to keep the child from tampering with the monitoring tools. Follow this quick and easy advice on setting up and choosing the right parenting restrictions and monitoring for a child’s new phone.

Device Restrictions:

On iPhones:

– Go to the “Settings” app on the phone and click “General”
– Scroll down to select “Restrictions”
– After clicking “Enable Restrictions” and entering a private passcode, parents can set up restrictions for usage, content, location and more.
– Switch the button off for “Deleting Apps” to prevent the child from tampering with any apps meant for monitoring, like the MamaBear App.

On Android supported devices:

– Go to the Google Play store and click on “Settings”
– Select content filtering to allow your preferred maturity level
– Lock the settings, by touching ‘Set or Change PIN’ in the Google Play “Settings” area
– Unlike device settings on Apple, you’ll need to turn to the App Store to install apps to provide similar device restrictions
– For instance, the Kid’s Place app sets what apps you want your child to be able to open, limiting device features.

Content:

On an iPhone in the restrictions area described above you can restrict content of music, movies, shows, and apps based on the child’s age.

On Android devices they allow filtering by maturity level. You can see how they define maturity level here: http://support.google.com/googleplay/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1075738
Using the MamaBear App can bring to parent’s attention use of “restricted” words deemed by the parent on Facebook and Instagram.

Usage:

Typically usage restrictions, like limiting text messaging, phone calls and data is best done by contacting the service carrier for the individual device. There are also apps available that can restrict phone usage while driving like the DriveSmart app.

Location:

For many parents a useful feature of their kid’s GPS enabled smartphone is knowing where they are and where they’ve been. The MamaBear App parenting app is invaluable in this regard, offering real time monitoring and location alerts. Parents can access all of the alerts functions through the settings menu. Driving alerts use a simple on or off interface and allows parents to choose a maximum speed. Though you may want some apps to use your child’s location to take advantage of specific features, not all apps need to know your child’s location.

On iPhone go to “Settings” then “General” and then “Privacy.” Tap on location services to see all the apps that are using the location of the phone. If it’s necessary for the app to have location services leave it on. If not, you can turn off location services for particular apps.

On Android, go to “Settings” and click “Apps.” You’ll need to click each app to see if they have location permission.

Using these simple tips will help parents keep their new smartphone users safe and give their kids some freedom with their new best friends. I promise they won’t be leaving home without it.

MamaBear is available on the Google Play store for Android phones and in the Apple App Store for iOS enabled phones and devices.