Children’s Digital Safety Highlight: AirDrop and Restricting Settings

In-House

You might be a family who bought a new device for your children over the holidays, or just a parent wanting to make sure the access that comes with a device is appropriate and safe. It is hard to keep up with every possible danger, so I would like to highlight some things to start with.

I believe iPads are excellent for children who are just beginning to explore their digital world with more independence, because of the built in parental controls and restrictions that are offered.

How to Keep iPad Children Safe Online: an excellent blog post by a prominent New Zealand educator. Written in 2014, but the features in parental controls mentioned in the article are all still applicable in the latest iOS version.

Family Sharing and Apple ID for your Child: The first step in monitoring and choosing what your children can access on an Apple device is to set up an Apple ID for a child in Family Sharing, this article from Apple gives step by step instructions and has links to more information on managing restrictions on your child’s device.

AirDrop is a wonderful Apple feature which allows devices to easily connect, but it also potentially allows anyone access to send your child illicit content or files which could contain malware. Here is one of many posts with some warnings and advice on the subject. On the flip side, we often use this feature in school to share resources with students, have groups combine their work, or even hand in their work. As parents, especially when children have their own device, you need to decide if you will turn off AirDrop,or help your child to understand the settings and how to turn off AirDrop until it is needed. Just like we teach our children to be careful around strangers we need to teach them to be careful around popup messages, avoiding quickly clicking the OK or ACCEPT button without reading or asking an adult can prevent many problems from arising.

Allen Lindblad
Director Educational Technology

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