Intro: All three of Apple’s portable devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone) use the same operating system (iOS) and therefore operate similarly. The biggest reasons kids ask for an iPod Touch are for texting with their friends and downloading and listening to their favorite music. Anyone with an iPod can iMessage (Apple’s word for text) anyone else with an Apple device while connected to WiFi. Unlimited and free! Here is an Apple article explaining how iMessage works. If you want to monitor your kid’s iMessage activity, here are two good articles with some savvy tips:
iMessages have added additional functionality with GIFs and images, powered by Bing search. You can remove the ability to insert GIFs (some can be inappropriate, but not pornographic that we can find) bu following these instructions from Covenant Eyes.
Follow these steps for creating a safer environment on your iOS device:
Step 1: Set up OpenDNS on your home’s router (this is a first step for any internet-ready device).
Step 2: Enable Apple’s Restrictions and utilize Family Sharing. Both are explained in the video above, and also in this blog post. Both of these are a MUST for any iOS family.
Step 3: Find software that best fits your situation!
*Don’t forget that most cell providers have their own suite of parental controls, but other than Verizon, they are pretty weak. Verizon Family Base. AT&T Parental Controls. T-Mobile FamilyWhere. Sprint Safety & Control.
Step 4: Review device activity and have intentional conversations with your son/daughter often.