Tablet computers such as iPads have a huge amount to offer children, from educational games to drawing apps and even just the chance to watch some kids’ TV.
But before you hand your tablet over, there are a number of precautions you should consider taking to stop young ones accidentally buying new apps, for example, or visiting websites you’d rather they stayed away from.
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So how can you make your iPad childproof?
1. Put a lock on it
If you set up a passcode for your iPad, it means that only you can turn it on once the device is locked.
To do this, go to the 'Settings' menu and choose 'Passcode' – then select 'Turn Passcode On'. Choose a four-digit code that isn’t easy to guess and which isn’t liable to be typed in by chance or accidentally.
You can also select how soon after the iPad is locked the passcode is required – this can be anything from immediately to after four hours. Under the 'General' option on the 'Settings' menu you can change the 'Auto-Lock' settings – so the iPad will lock itself if left unused for anything between two and 15 minutes.
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2. Impose restrictions
Also under the 'General' option on the 'Settings' menu is a heading labelled 'Restrictions': this gives a host of choices over what apps and content can and can’t be viewed by other users.
Again you have to set up a passcode in order to enable these restrictions – and they can only be disabled by re-typing the code.
Here you can also put limits on what films can be viewed, for example by prohibiting those with 15 or 18 certificates. Further down the list is an option marked 'Password Settings': this lets you stipulate that your Apple account password is always required to make in-app purchases or even download free apps from the App Store.
You can also limit the websites that other users can visit.
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3. Get some physical protection
A robust screen protector and a case are a must if you’re planning on handing your tablet over to younger children. There are hundreds to choose from at retailers such as Amazon and eBay.
4. Get the right apps
The App Store has hundreds if not thousands of games that children will enjoy, but you might find something more appropriate under the 'Education' heading (choose 'Categories' from the top left-hand side of the App Store home page).
If you have games or other apps on your device that you don’t want youngsters to use, you can always delete them and re-download them later (you won’t get charged again for apps you have already paid for).
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