I’m pretty sure almost every one of my oldest daughter’s friends got an iPod Touch for Christmas this year. We’re talking third-graders. And while even we here at Cool Mom Tech have recommended it as an option for a handheld gaming device for kids the iPod Touch has a lot of features that are decidedly not kid-friendly. So, unless you’re watching your child like a hawk every second she’s got it in her hands, you might be surprised what sorts of trouble they can get into, with just a couple of innocent clicks.
of your child and their maturity and sense of responsibility, in terms of what you allow and what you keep on lockdown. Hopefully this info will help you make the decisions that are best for you.
The iPod Touch comes complete with Safari and YouTube, as well as access to iTunes, the App Store, Facetime, and a camera. Now these are all awesome for us adults, but not so great for unfettered access by kids. Thankfully, you can set restrictions on pretty much everything on the device by doing the following:
I moved Music & Podcasts to “clean” and set Movies and TV-Shows to “G” and “TV-G” for my 8-year old. I also set Apps Rated to 4+, though you can turn that off completely if you don’t want your child to be able to search for apps. Imagine my surprise when my daughter searched for “girls apps” and ended up with…yeah. Not stuff for little girls.
Additionally, I turned off “in-app purchases” and required a password to be entered for any app purchase attempt. But of course, you should consider your children’s age, as well as how they’ll be using the device, to help in your decision as to what to turn off and how to limit the content they can view.
Within the same Restrictions page, take a few seconds to scroll through each one of the options, including Location Services (which I turned OFF for the obvious reasons), as well as contacts, reminders, and photos, then decide whether you want your child to be able to make changes to any of those categories.
For example, I prefer to add contacts myself to my daughter’s iPod Touch, so I set that to “don’t allow changes.”
As you scroll down, you’ll see you can also turn “multiplayer games” and “adding friends” to off which might be wise for younger kids who aren’t quite social networking yet.
Now this app does not completely block YouTube, but rather blocks out what their algorithm deem as inappropriate content based on the level you set. Despite that however, a Ke$ha video still popped up on the screen–not the worst thing in the world, though not sure I’d consider that elementary level viewing. Also, in order to get any of the really cool features that Mobicip offers, like adding specific websites and keywords you want to block, as well as getting a report on your kid’s activity, you need to upgrade for an extra $9.99. If you’ve got a teen who you think is ready for a little more freedom, I’d say this app with the additional monitoring could be worth it.