Whilst most Children really do deserve coal in their stocking (mine especially) a huge number of adorable little urchins, will be tucking into their selection box whilst excitedly unwrapping small rectangular boxes containing wonderfully expensive electronic devices made by Apple.
Christmas 2017 saw a staggering 44% of all new device activations being Apple products and we are anticipating the same trend this year.
We also see many of these gifts going to our children with around 46% of European children aged 9-16 owning a smartphone (Journal New Media & Society 2015). In the US around 45% of 10 to 12 years old have a smartphone on a contract.
However, whilst we enjoy our delightful and always grateful little munchkins enjoying the fruits of our hard work, we also need to ensure that we can keep these safe and protect ourselves from unexpected bills from in app purchases or the iTunes store. (this is not uncommon)
If you’re getting your sprog an Apple mobile, here are some tips to keep them safe and protect you from starting the New Year with a frown.
Parental Tip #1 – Get Insurance
Next time you are in a public place check out the youngster iPhone screens a good 75% will have some form of crack. I have a child who has smashed 2 iPhones and it’s not cheap. Insure yourself against such things as its when rather than if! I also have a daughter who lost her brand-new iPhone after about 4 days.
Parental Tip #2 – Restrict Inappropriate Content
In your phone select: Settings > General > Restrictions. Here you can control the type of content your children can view.
Parental Tip #3 – Turn Off in App Purchasing
Games are designed to get you hooked and stumping out cash for extra lives and addons. Dont get caught out with £200 on your bill for extra hats on Angry Birds 2
In your phone select: Settings > General > Restrictions > Turn Off In App Purchases (Not Green).
Parental Tip #4 – Want to be Ultra Strict? – Disable Safari Browsing
If you don’t want your kids to be able to browse the information super highway you can disable the Safari Browser. Settings > General > Restrictions > Allowed Content
Parental Tip #5 – App Control
It is possible you want to retrain control over what is added and deleted on the device and you can do both. Settings > General > Restrictions > Installing Apps or Deleting Apps
Parental Tip #5 – Control the Risk – iTunes Sprawl
Sharing music accounts linked to your master account and payment details can be tricky and once again I have a child who managed to spend a small fortune purchasing songs that could be streamed. It is worth taking the time to understand iTunes and taking steps on the multiple devices it runs on to take precautions. Do the following
iTunes on your computer > Edit > Preferences > Parental > Decide ratings for devices.
Whether the Smart Phone revolution is good or bad, you can be sure there’ll be many a happy child opening his Apple box this Christmas, and if this is your child we want you to be Safe, Happy and Secure.