How Do I Keep My Kids Safe On iPhone?
A friend had recently been on a trip to Singapore and among the many purchases she made was her dream phone, the gleaming black temptress, the iPhone! From the time of their return, however, she hardly gets to use her iPhone or gloat over her new acquisition. The reason is her two middle-school going kids- they are both so excited about having an iPhone that they can hardly keep their hands, err… fingers off the much coveted gadget. Knowing full well that she would be unable to keep the brats off the phone unless she stopped using it herself, she came running to me.
“What do I do?” she wailed. “You have to help me with this, after all you are McAfee Cybermum India!” she added, almost accusingly, as if I had failed her somehow by not ensuring she was prepared to handle the menace.
I understand mothers; I do, after all I am one. And I also understand the excessive excitement of children over new gadgets. Been there….
I sat her down, offered her a reviving cup of tea and suggested a few simple steps that would help her keep her kids (and importantly her cherished phone) safe!
“Remember Reema,” I said, “your iPhone stores a lot of your information, some of which you aren’t even aware of. Depending on the apps installed, there may be your account numbers, your e-mail passwords, your family pictures, and even a history of your searches. So it is imperative that your data is not breached and misused.”
1) Install security software for iPhone like McAfee mobile security: It is as important to safeguard your iPhone today as it is to protect your PC. With over 100 million people using the iPhone globally, the chances of hackers targeting this new gadget is potentially high.
2) Enable Password lock: This is the most basic protection. Also set it so that it automatically locks after a specific period of inactivity
3) Set a difficult to guess password: You may write it down somewhere safe if you think you may forget it
4) Disable voice dial: This iPhone feature can be accessed even without unlocking the phone. So the first thing to do is to go to Settings and disable it
5) Delete keyboard cache: The iPhone is designed to store all your keystrokes for up to 12 months, including your account nos., netbanking passwords etc! So navigate to General and reset dictionary. Also don’t forget to delete your data base periodically
6) Choose apps carefully: Avoid apps that display sensitive information on the screen. Also, steer clear of those that ask for access to data like address books, picture gallery etc
7) Turn “OFF” geotagging and GPS: These features reveal your location and are therefore not safe. Turn off geotagging for pics by navigating to Camera from Settings. Also turn of your location tracker.
8) Enable ‘Block Pop–ups’ and Disable “Auto—Fills” : These features will help protect your kids from inadvertently exposing your data to the public
9) Enable ‘find-my-phone’: The Find My iPhone app comes free with iOS 4.2. It can be downloaded from the AppStore. You have to create a MobileMe account and then log into it using your Apple id and password. After that you can turn the settings to ‘ON’. Your McAfee Mobile security will also help you to track a lost phone, even if the GPS were turned off!
10) Enable restriction: Concerned parents can use the Restrictions option to lock down some of the iPhone’s capabilities
Reema sighed with relief, thanked me profusely and left. Hopefully all you Moms out there with iPhones picked up a helpful tip or two. For further details, you could read this exhaustive article by McAfee.