With children growing up in an increasingly digital world, it is a scary time for parents. It is normal to feel nervous knowing your kids are browsing the Internet, and they may stumble upon inappropriate content or may become a victim of cyberbullying.
For kids taking their first steps to explore the Internet and forming a life-long relationship with technology, Macs are an excellent device. Macs come with in-built parental controls and tools that ensure safe browsing practices for kids. Also, Apple products are not as vulnerable to malware and virus attacks as other operating systems. And Safari, the default macOS web browser, keeps updating its privacy and security settings with every new macOS version.
Despite all the security tools in place, some viruses may penetrate through the seemingly impenetrable Mac defense. For instance, the Yahoo redirect virus. There’s no evidence that the virus seriously damages the Mac but can decrease the overall system performance. If Chrome is used for browsing the web instead of Safari, you will notice heavy network bandwidth consumption and CPU usage. Whenever you try to search for something on the Internet, it will be redirected to Yahoo. Luckily, the steps on how to remove Yahoo search from Chrome Mac are straightforward. Go to Chrome Settings > Advanced > Reset Settings and then relaunch Chrome.
That said, let’s see the recommended parental controls on Mac you must use before letting your kid browse the web.
1. Create a child account
Create a dedicated account for your kid so that the restrictions implemented do not affect your app usage or browsing. By creating a separate Apple ID for your child, you can easily set age-based parental controls. And they can use the account for Messages, Family Sharing, the App Store, and other Apple services.
To create an account for your child, head to System Settings > Family > Add Member > Create Child Account > follow the prompts on-screen to finish the process.
2. Manage screen time effectively
Screen Time on your Mac lets you schedule downtime, monitor usage and set limits across all your devices. You can use this feature to see how much time your kids spend on websites, apps, and more.
When Screen Time is turned on, you can view detailed reports that show app usage, the number of notifications received, and how the device is used. These reports will help parents understand how their kids spend time on the Mac.
You can set up Screen Time by clicking the Apple menu > going to System Settings > Screen Time > turning on Screen Time. Then, turn on the following options:
- Turn on the option of sharing the setting across devices, and then Screen Time reports will show the time spent on other devices signed in using the same Apple ID.
- You can turn on the Screen Time passcode option to secure Screen Time settings. The passcode will be required if the user wants additional time when the limit expires. Parents can keep the passcode with them and not give it to their children.
Thanks to the Screen Time tool, you can limit the time your children spend on the Internet.
3. Refine parental controls by configuring Screen Time elements
Once Screen Time is turned on, the next step is to configure its different elements so you can refine the controls to your needs.
The various Screen Time elements include:
- Downtime – This lets you set specific times when the Mac will be unavailable to the user. It is useful if you want to restrict your child from binge-watching Netflix late at night or want them to stay away from the screen at specific times.
- App limits – This setting gives you control over the time your child spends on certain applications or app categories. You can click on App Limits and click the plus icon to select specific apps or app genres to set daily limits.
- Communication limits – This limits who your children can talk to during Screen Time hours. It can be restricted to existing contacts or anyone.
Configuring and tailoring these settings will give you peace of mind knowing your children are not doing anything they’re not allowed to.
4. Set up website restrictions
If you don’t want your children to visit certain websites, you can block them.
You can block websites on Safari using Screen Time. Open the tool and click on Content & Privacy > click Turn On Content & Privacy Restrictions > click on Allow Websites Only and then click Customize to select a list of websites you want to access through Safari. This will block the other websites not on the list from opening.
There are also other methods to block websites on Safari, such as using Terminal, third-party website blocker apps, etc.
The Bottom Line
Children’s minds are impressionable. Hence, parents must exercise control to protect their innocence for as long as humanly possible. Mac comes equipped with tools and features to make this journey easy.