How To Easily Childproof Your iPad

So you want to bring an iPad into your classroom or home. You know all about installing free apps, how to securely store them, sync them, etc. But what about child-proofing?

For example, how do you prevent students from downloading unauthorized apps, visiting suspicious websites, or simply not using the iPad how you want? The folks from iGameMom have offered up an extremely simply (and fast) guide to properly child-proofing an iPad for home or the classroom:

STEP 1. Get the latest update from Apple: current iOS settings have a lot valuable kid-proof features.

STEP 2. Backup your iPad periodically in case your students delete something by accident. You can get iOS updates and backup by plugging in your device to your PC or Mac with iTunes. Simple as that.

STEP 3. Go to “Settings”, then “General” to look at some safety options:

  • Passcode Lock: this is the password to get on the iPad. It is useful if you want to prevent the students from using the iPad without your awareness or help. Depends on the students’ age and how much you trust the students. You can hide the password or let them know it. Helpful to have activated either way though.
    • Note: Don’t use the option “Erase Data” after 10 failed passcode attempts. If your kids play with the passcode screen, you will end up losing everything on your iPad.
  • Restrictions: contains several useful kid-proofing settings. You will want to turn it on. It uses the same passcode as “Passcode Lock”. If you don’t want your kids to make changes, hide the passcode.

The settings marked with red arrows in the picture above need turning off.

First turn off “Deleting Apps”: it is two simple touches to have an App deleted. If you don’t want it happen by accident, turn this one off. You can always come here to turn it on if you ever need to delete apps from your iPad.

Next turn off “In-App Purchases“. This prevents the kids from buying stuff from within a game. With a few touches a little kid could spend your money if you didn’t turn this feature off.

In new iOS versions, you will also see “Require Password” under “In-App Purchases“. You want to turn it to “Immediately“. The default is “15 minutes”, which gives kids a 15-minute time window to download/purchase things without a password. You don’t want that to happen!

Next, if you don’t want strangers reaching your students through Game Center, you should turn off the Game Center options “Multiplayer Games” and “Adding Friends”.

Finally, you can choose the media ratings (G, PG, etc) for Movies, Music, TV shows, and Apps, based on your students’ age and classroom rules.

STEP 4. If you sign up for Game Center, You will want to turn off “Allow Game Invites” and “Find Me By Email“. This will keep the students safe from unwanted contact with strangers.

STEP 5. If your students will be using headphones, you probably want to protect their hearing. Many kids suffer hearing loss due to using headphones with the music too loud. The rule of thumb for headphones is 60% volume for 1 hour is generally safe. The iPad has an option to lock the volume for the iPod app. It is under Music, after you get into Settings. This is one setting most people don’t usually consider when child-proofing their iPads.

STEP 6. If the iPad was used for other purposes prior to being brought into a classroom, make sure to delete all the email accounts and irrelevant apps, such as Amazon. Remember to check Notes, Photos, and all the other pre-installed apps as well.

STEP 7. At last, load some fun educational apps on the iPad. You can check out the Edudemic Education App Directory, the iTunes Store, iGameMom, or just Google to your heart’s content. Enjoy!