Parental controls are a wonderful thing, letting you filter internet content, restrict your kids to certain apps, and even keep them from accessing the Mac during times they should be sleeping or doing homework.
Did you know, then, that you can manage the Parental Controls in OS X from another Mac on your network? This means that you can make changes and add or remove restrictions on the fly from your own Mac, rather than having to brave the bedroom of, say, a grumpy and smelly pre-teen daughter who might not be overjoyed to see you messing about on “her” computer. I mean, hypothetically.
Here’s how to set up your child’s Mac to be able to do this.
Alongside its weekly App Store refresh this week, Apple introduced a new page that helps App Store users “learn more about in-app purchases.” The guide explains what in-app purchases are, how they work, and most importantly, how to prevent your kids from spending a small fortune on them without your permission.
A mobile phone in the hands of your kid can be a liability. But it can also be guardian angel — it all depends on how it’s used. MobileKids is a free iPhone and Android app that enhances a phone’s guardian angel-like qualities while putting the liabilities on lockdown.
Parental Controls are built right in to OS X, and they’re a great way for parents to set time limits for their children. My daughter is quickly becoming a teenager, what with her wanting to be online playing games or emailing friends and such at all hours of the day and night. The answer for us was to set her older Macbook up with time limits, using Parental Controls to only allow her Mac to be used with her account during waking hours.
It’s not only for kids, though, as you can set up time limits on your own Mac to help you practice a little self control, or to help you get away from work or online games (looking at YOU, Guild Wars 2!) and spend more time with family. Here’s how to make that happen.
Mass iPad deployments in schools bring new challenges when it comes to filtering laws and regulations.
Technology in the education sector, particularly for K-12 schools, often poses unique challenges not seen in business or enterprise organizations. The iPad is a great example. As we noted yesterday, BYOD is generally not a good idea for school environments. That means effective iPad deployments are typically managed by schools and education IT staff.
There are plenty of stories out there about schools moving forward with one-to-one iPad deployments (we’ve run two this week – one about the massive iPad investment by San Diego’s school district and one on East Alton’s decision to lease iPads instead of buying them). One-to-one initiatives, in which each student gets his or her own device for use in class and at home, are generally considered a much more effective and ideal model than when students sharing devices during to school hours.
One-to-one programs, which were first established for laptops, can be challenging because such programs need to take into consideration that the iPads will be used at home. One area where this creates problems for schools is the need to comply with filtering regulations.
Apple included a list of new features in the release notes for iOS 5.1, which became available on Wednesday alongside the announcement of the new iPad. It seems that Apple included some unannounced features as well – some of which enable more iOS device security and management when paired with a mobile device management (MDM) suite or with Apple’s new Apple Configurator tool for iOS.
The new management features seem to be primarily related to Siri on the iPhone 4S and they include the ability to prevent any use of Siri while an iPhone 4S is locked as well as the ability to filter out profanity. Additionally, as noted by the Intrepidus Group, a security consulting firm, is the ability to block location services on any iOS device.
Mountain Lion’s GateKeeper feature is designed to improve Mac security by harnessing the power of the Mac App Store and through a new developer program in which Apple will offer Developer IDs to members of its Mac Developer Program. Those IDs will let developers digitally sign their applications so that Mountain Lion Macs can verify an app’s authenticity and security before running it.
While this may seem like a new approach and an extension of the Mac App Store model, it’s actually based on technology that has been part of OS X since the release of Leopard.
As a parent, it is always important to keep tabs on what your children are doing on the computer. Whether it’s the sites they are visiting, the amount of time they spend online, or even what applications they are using, Mac OS X can cover it. OS X includes a set of parental controls that can be tweaked to anyone’s liking. In this video, you will see how to set up parental controls and use the features that work best for you.