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App Advice For Parents

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Roblox

Age rating: 7+

Chat Functionality: Users can join group chats with almost anyone through the chat and party function.  While the chat has some filters, predators still try to find ways around these to prey on young children.  There have been recent reports of adults pretending to be children.  They will attempt to chat privately in an unmoderated environment away from the game.

Advice for Parents

If you have any concerns over your child’s safety it’s advisable to block all messaging functionality.

If they have been chatting with friends who they know, messaging can be set to allow from specific groups or friends that they follow.

Roblox has controls that allow parents to moderate who their children can talk to and which games they can play.  To enable these add your email address to your child’s account through the security menu, and create a secure PIN to stop settings being tampered with.  Then head into the privacy menu where you can apply moderation to in-game chat, personal messages, invites and more.

 

Minecraft

Age rating: 7+

Whilst players 7 or over are able to play the game comfortably creating an account an account does ask you for your date of birth however this is not checked or verified.  Also this does not check if someone’s identity is real.  This means children under 7 could access the game. However more concerning is adults pretending to be children could use false information to access the game and be interacting with your child.

Griefing is when someone purposely upsets another player during the game.  This can be done by ruining somebody’s creation or generally doing something to spoil someone’s gameplay.  If the user is in an open server it can be difficult to track who is saying what. 

Despite the fact that private messages can no longer be sent in the game strangers may still attempt to interact with your child.  From the pause menu players can block chat and friend requests from other users. Usernames you know to be safe like your child’s friends or relatives can be added to a whitelist to create a friendly safe environment for your child to play in.

 

Tiktok

Age rating: 7+

Whilst most videos in TikTok are light hearted, some clips have been reported for featuring drug and alcohol abuse, themes of suicide and self-harm, or teens acting in a sexual or suggestive way.  Due to the sheer volume of uploads it is impossible to moderate entirely what your child is exposed to.

Connecting with others on TikTok is simple which includes reacting on videos, following their profile and downloading their content.  Most interacting are harmless however due to the increase of teen users TikTok has experienced problems with online predators.

Early 2021 TikTok changed its default setting for all under 16’s accounts to be set as private.  Keeping it that way is the safest solution. This means only users your child approves can watch their videos.

With the correct privacy settings applied TikTok is a safe place however if something does slip through make sure your child reports anything which is inappropriate and breaches guidelines.  Also your child can block users from their profile.

TikTok has a built in digital wellbeing mode which can also filter out any inappropriate content using restricted mode and then locked with a PIN. However it is always best to stay wise to watch what your child is watching.

 

Devices

Apple Apps

How to Restrict apps

  1. Open Settings

  2. Tap Screen Time

  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions

  4. Tap Allowed Apps ( You may need to switch this on at the top)

  5. Enable or Disable the apps you wish to appear or disappear on your childs device.

 

How to Restrict Game Centre

  1. Open Settings

  2. Tap Screen Time

  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions

  4. Tap Content Restrictions (you may need to switch this on at the top)

  5. Scroll down to Game Centre

  6. Choose between Allow, Don’t Allow or Allow with friends

  7. Only in the settings for each feature

 

How to Restrict iTunes & App Purchases

  1. Open Settings

  2. Tap Screen Time

  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions

  4. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases

  5. Select Allow or Don’t Allow for each feature (you can also lock these with a password)

 

Android Apps

How to Block App Downloads

  1. Open the Google Play Store

  2. Tap the profile icon in the top right corner

  3. Tap Settings

  4. Scroll down to the Family section and Tap Parental Controls

  5. Switch  Parental controls to ON

  6. Create a PIN and tap OK

  7. Confirm PIN and tap OK again

  8. Set the age limit

  9. Tap save to apply your changes

 

How to Stop Auto Updates

  1. Open the Google Play Store

  2. Tap the profile icon in the top right corner

  3. Tap Settings

  4. Tap Auto Update Apps

  5. Select Don’t auto-update apps then tap done

 

Restricting Apps through Google Family Link

  1. Open the Google Family Link for Parents

  2. Tap the three horizontal lines in the top left

  3. Select your childs account

  4. Tap manage

  5. Tap controls on Google Play

  6. Tap Apps & Games

  7. Select the age limit

 


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