Giving your toddler or baby (1-3) a Smartphone can be an easy fix for some quick distraction. But when you do, you’re also handing over a valuable object with a lot of power and sensitive information.
For older children, (4-6) there are a variety of apps, services and controls that let you put specific limits on your device. However, when dealing with younger children, the built-in features will likely serve you best by keeping things locked down.
Guided Access on iPhone and iPad
The best way to keep your child and your Apple device safe is through a built-in feature called Guided Access. This will allow your toddler to access only certain features or locations on your phone.
This can be tough to find, but once you’ve got it, it’s easy to set up. Open Settings, and look for General > Accessibility > Guided Access. Your final selection will be near the bottom. Now set up a passcode (or Touch ID if you prefer on newer devices).
Once you’re setup, your shortcut to turning on Guided Access is triple-tapping the Home button. So, open the app you want your child to use and triple-tap Home. You can perform some customization options here by circling areas of the screen to make inaccessible or you can adjust some settings under Options. Once you’re done, hit Start to begin your Guided Access session.
Now that Guided Access is enabled, you can hand your device to your child. They will be kept on the screen of the movie or show they are watching, or only allow them to access the games you have approved for them. If they somehow try to exit the session by triple-clicking the Home button, they won’t be able to exit since they won’t know your password or have your fingerprint.
Restricted Profiles on Android
Childproofing looks a little different on Android devices. Recent Android models allow you to create multiple user profiles on each device and customize what they are able to access. To set one up for your child, go to Settings > Users > Add user or profile, then tap “Restricted Profile.”
Here, you can enter your child’s or another name for the profile and change the settings for what they should be able to access. You can turn off specific apps and major services for the profiles. For a baby or toddler you will likely want to turn of everything except for the few apps you have downloaded especially for them.
Device Protection and Cleaning Tips
Handing over your devices to your children is a simple trick to momentarily entertain them. However, we all know that phones can become very dirty, especially after your toddler gets a hold of it. Ensuring your device is clean prior to handing it over to your child and cleaning it after they use it is an important step in baby proofing your devices.
Having proper protection on your phone is one of the most important things you can do if you are going to let your toddler use your cell phone. Cases like a LifeProof or Otterbox are the perfect option to prevent damage from drops and spills. Adding an extra layer of protection with a screen protector is another great precaution that will save your phone from a cracked screen if dropped.
You want to keep your kid safe, as well as your online accounts and the device itself. Thankfully, both Apple and Android devices have built-in features to quickly set them up for use by a child so that they can enjoy it, too.