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How to Set Up Safe Web Browsing on iOS7

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flat-ios7-safari-iconIf you subscribe to Yoursphere for Parents, then you know how much I advocate for Apple products in your home (and mine!) I’ve written time and time again about the parental controls that Apple offers through the Restriction settings of the iPhone, iPod and iPad. These have always been great tools for helping your child or teen have an age-appropriate and safe experience on their iDevice. As iOS7 makes its way onto more and more iDevices—especially with the recent lease of the 5S and 5C—it’s important that parents know what changes have been made to the operating system.

In my opinion, the biggest change in iOS7 is the ability to set specific limitations on web browsing with the Safari app. It used to be that if you wanted a safe and age-appropriate web browsing experience for your child or teen , you had to install a 3rd party safe web browser like Ranger Browser and then restrict Safari altogether.  Now you can be very specific about the sites that your child or teen has access to on their iPhone, iPod or iPad – just follow the step-by-step guide below to learn how.

1. From Settings, tap on General and then scroll down until you see Restrictions.

2. Set a passcode here. (This is a passcode you keep to yourself.)

3. At the top of the Restrictions screen, tap Enable Restrictions. This will now allow you to disable several functions on your child’s device, including deleting/installing apps, in-app purchases or using Siri.

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4. Directly below this section you will find ALLOWED CONTENT. Here, you can set limits on just about everything.

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5. For the purposes of this guide, though, Websites is where you want to be. Once you tap that, you will see a screen with several options.

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All Websites: This is pretty straightforward, and probably not the setting you want to keep.

Limit Adult Content: This setting will block most adult-intended websites, but if you’re unsure of one (perhaps it’s not obviously adult-intended, but you want to block it anyway) you should double check it in Safari and then manually add it to the Never Allow list.

Specific Websites Only: This setting is ideal for younger children as it provides a preloaded list of kid-friendly websites. These are the ONLY websites that can be visited in Safari. You can delete one by swiping to the right and tapping Delete, and you can add more by tapping the Add a Website button at the bottom of the list.

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As you can see, iOS7 offers parents even more control over the content their kids can consume on these devices, eliminating the need for 3rd party apps to do the job. If you’re in the market for a smartphone that your family can enjoy, you may want to consider an Apple product. On the other hand, if you’ve already got them all over the place, you may find the hour-long update to be worth it.

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