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Parental Controls for Mac Users

If you’re concerned about the content available to your children through the internet, it is probably a good idea to take advantage of the Apple Mac Parental Controls feature.

Getting Started…

Click on the Apple symbol in the top left and go to the fourth column down, “Parental Controls”. Select the lock image on the bottom left and type in your admin password, which will give you access to all the computer user accounts. Select the account that you want to administer. From here, you can decide how much restriction you wish to place on an account user.

Protecting Your Children

The “Simple Finder” option is suitable for young users of a computer. You can create a small selection of programs that you think your child will want to use. This prevents their account from being cluttered, and allows them to navigate through their programs with ease, whilst they get to grips with working with computers. You can also decide whether your child can, for example, administer the printers, burn CDs or change their password.

Under the “Content” tab, you can tick the box to prevent unsuitable material being shown when your child searches for something on the internet.

Internet Restrictions

Select “Website Restrictions” to set the access settings. You can prevent your child from visiting adult websites or any site you feel would be inappropriate. If you have selected “Customize”, the computer will ask for an administrator password if it is unsure whether the site should be accessed by your child. Then you can view the site and decide for yourself whether it is suitable. You can also manually select sites which are to be forbidden by clicking on the plus sign, and typing in the disallowed site. These will be added to the list below of sites which are specifically forbidden.

You also have the option to limit mail and iChat to ensure you know who is contacting your child. You can manually type in the addresses of people they are allowed to be in contact with. There is also the option of a permission request. You can type in your email address, and you will be notified when someone tries to contact your child, so that you can decide whether to allow contact to be made.

If you want to ensure the kids don’t get distracted from their homework, you can also put time limits on the period your child can spend each day on the computer. This can be customized to allow extra time, for example, on a Sunday.

Finally, you can keep an eye on what your child views on the computer by looking through the “Log”. This way you can ensure everything they do is suitable for their age, and disallow certain activities if you need to!

Hopefully with the use of this guide you can now feel safe in the knowledge that your child will be viewing only suitable material over the internet, which you have personally decided on yourself.

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