Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of seven hours a day looking at screens.
Whether your children are spending this time on a computer, tablet, or phone, that’s a lot of time to get into trouble. Even the most innocent of a child can accidentally end up looking at content they shouldn’t be. For example, you may think Youtube Kids is a safe option, but adults are discovering violent and sexual videos created for children every day.
If you’re setting up your Mac for your kids to use as well, built-in parental controls aren’t enough. Here’s how to make your Mac entirely safe for kids to use.
1. Limit Time Spent
The more time a child spends on technology, the more likely they’ll visit something they shouldn’t. To avoid this, and to keep screen time to a minimum, set up time limit restrictions.
To do this, visit your iMac parental controls menu under System Preferences. This is the method you’ll use for all the tips on this post. Then, navigate to the Time tab.
Here, you have three handy options for time limits — weekday time limits, weekend time limits, and bedtime.
For both weekday time limits and weekend time limits, you can choose a maximum daily amount of time you want your children to spend on the computer. Once this time limit is reached, your children won’t be able to do anything else on the computer. Your kids can see to watch available art on YouTube and spend their leisure time in drawing.
For the Bedtime feature, you can choose a certain time of the night that the computer shuts down for good. That way, you know your children can’t sneak onto the computer at night to get into trouble. This is also separated into school nights and weekends for differing curfews.
2. Block Certain Websites
The next thing you may be wondering how to do is how to block websites on Mac.
There are certain websites no child should have access to, but each parent’s list of prohibited websites may be different. Choosing the specific websites yourself is a great way to ensure everything you want to be blocked is correctly hidden.
This also is done from the Mac parental controls feature. Find the “Web” tab and choose “Try to limit access to adult websites.” There, you can use the customization option to enter in adult websites you want to be blocked.
When you’re finished entering your blocked websites, click the padlock icon to save your changes.
3. Control What Content Is Available
On the flip side, you can also use the web portion of parental controls to only allow access to certain websites.
To do this, select “Allow access to only these websites.” Then, simply use the customize option to enter in the appropriate website you want your children to access.
Instead of trying to come up with every possible adult website to add to your list, this is a more streamlined way to control access. Find a few educational websites and sites with appropriate content for children.
You can use the same process for applications under the “Apps” tab. Here you can find Mac games for kids or creative apps that you want your children to use.
Don’t forget to select the padlock icon before you switch between tabs to save what you’ve selected.
Beyond Setting up Your Mac for Kids
Now that you’ve finished setting up your Mac to be safe for your children, move on to different technology in your house.
Televisions, tablets, and even cell phones offer similar parental control abilities. If you really want to protect your children, use these options on all technology, including your own. Children are smart so you always need to be one step ahead to protect them!
For more advice on setting up devices for your family, visit the Electronics section of our site.