How do I activate and configure Parental Controls in MacOS quickly and easily? Step by step guide

Enabling parental lock on a Mac is a very wise decision you can make as a parent. You already know that your child is exposed to dangerous intentions from third parties who are either misrepresenting their identity or posing as harmless apps to access data that may be harmful to the child.

Fortunately, you can avoid this kind of cyberbullying by using a MacOS OS parental control. To do this, you will need to know the steps you need to take to activate this type of limit on the different factors you have on your computer.

The secrets you need to know so your child is protected when surfing the web can be found in this post, turning your Mac into a children’s bunker.

What is parental control and what are the main advantages of applying it in MacOS?

With Parental Controls you can set limits on the use of applications your child downloads when surfing the Internet. You can do this according to technological tools that will allow you not only to block those apps that are contrary to the education you want for your child, but also to determine the time of use that your child spends in front of the computer.

In addition, when you use these types of applications to monitor the activity of the youngest child in the house, you can set limits so that they cannot be purchased online and do not allow modification of settings that show the location of the computer or access to the camera and microphone. All of this means that your child will not see explicit content and will not allow the voice assistant, Siri, to perform actions that are contrary to the limits set.

Finally, there is the most important issue, which is the physical and psychological safety of your child. You must bear in mind that surfing the Internet without adult supervision is very dangerous, since there are activities such as grooming, bullying or any other cyber-attacks that generate irreparable consequences in children.  When you carry out a parental control, you will avoid all these risks from entering your child’s life.

Steps to enable parental lock in MacOS and configure it correctly

The first thing you need to do is create an administrator account and another one for your child. To do this you must follow the following guide:

  • Select the menu represented by the Apple.
  • Choose “System Preferences”.
  • Then click on “Users and groups”.
  • Click on the closed padlock.
  • Write down a manager’s name.
  • Click on “Add”, represented by the “+” sign.
  • Choose “New Account”.
  • Select “Administrator”.
  • Enter the full name for the new user. Wait a second and you will get the name of the user.
  • Write down a password so that you can access it whenever you need to.
  • Enter the same password again.
  • Click on “Create user”.
  • Select “Allow user to manage this computer”.
  • Choose the combinations you want from the preference panel.

To create your child’s profile, you will do the following:

  • Go to the Apple icon.
  • Click on “System Preferences”.
  • Choose “Users and groups”.
  • Press on the closed lock.
  • Enter the administrator’s name and password.
  • Click on “Add”.
  • Click on “New account”.
  • Select “Standard”.
  • Enter the new user’s full name to automatically get a new account.
  • Type 2 times the password for this user.
  • Click on “Create user”.

Using your administrator account, you’ll need to follow these steps to enable parental lock on your Mac:

Apps

Follow these steps:

  • Choose the Apple icon.
  • Look for the “System Preferences” option.
  • Click on “Parental Controls”.
  • Click on the padlock.
  • Select your child’s account on the left.
  • Click on the “Apps” tab.

Choose all the changes you want to make in order to have control over the camera, access multiplayer games, send emails, and above all, override specific applications.

Internet

Make the following guide:

  • Click on Apple.
  • Choose “System Preferences”.
  • Select “Parental Controls”.
  • Look for the closed padlock located in the lower left corner.
  • On the left side go to the Account you want and select it.
  • Go to the “Internet” tab.
  • Modify the permissions you need.

This way you can imitate the access to different websites no matter what browser is used.

Stores

In order to control the use of iTunes, you must limit access to movies and music with explicit content by following this step-by-step approach:

  • Select the Apple logo.
  • Look for the “System Preferences” option.
  • Click “Parental Controls”.
  • Pick the lock.
  • Click on the Account you have created for your child.
  • Select the “Shops” tab.
  • Make any changes you think are necessary.

Weather

One of the most important benefits you can find when using a parental control tool is that you can limit the amount of time your child spends in front of the screen. You will need to follow these guidelines to make successful changes:

  • Click on Apple.
  • Click on “System Preferences”.
  • Press “Parental Controls”.
  • Choose the closed padlock to unlock access and make changes.
  • Select the account in the left panel that you want to perform the parental control.
  • Go to the “Time” tab.

The limit per week or weekend. As well as you can determine the bedtime.

Privacy

When your child downloads applications that are within parental control, they will ask for certain permissions that your child must grant them.

If you want to maintain control over privacy so that apps can’t access your calendar, contacts, reminders, Twitter, Facebook, diagnostics, and anything else that’s private, you’ll need to follow this step-by-step:

  • Click on the Apple menu.
  • When you have the drop-down menu, choose “System Preferences”.
  • Then look for the “Parental Controls” option.
  • At the bottom left of the screen you will find a Padlock. Click on it to open it
  • Your child’s account can be found on the left side of the panel. Click on it.
  • Choose the “Privacy” tab.
  • Modify the permission to access different private elements that the applications will have.

Others

This section will allow you to disable Siri and voice dictation. You will also have the ability to restrict editing of the printer, scanner and CD/DVD burning lock in the Finder. If you prefer, you can also limit the explicit language in the dictionary and prevent modifying the dock and using a simple Finder.

To benefit from these parental controls you should follow the following guide:

  • Go to Apple.
  • Choose from the “System Preferences” menu.
  • Click on “Parental Controls”.
  • Unlock the lock.
  • Look for your son’s account.
  • Go to the “Others” tab.
  • Select the actions you want to restrict.

4 Tips to Make the Internet Safer for Your Young Children

In addition to the parental controls mentioned above, you should also consider other aspects that will help you make the Internet safer for your young children.

Here are some tips you can follow to help your children be protected when surfing the web:

Blocks all adult portals

This point is fundamental. Not only will you prevent your child from finding content that is inappropriate for their age, but you will also block links that can lead to the downloading of viruses, spyware and other malware.

Install advertising blocker

It’s important that you install an adblock on your Mac. This is because not all the ads your child can find on the pages are from Google (which is also not recommended from a psychological point of view).

You should not forget that these advertising guidelines will show you a buying tendency for everyday items, within the morals and good habits. But there are also other types of advertising (which pay more money to the owners of the websites) and which are not regulated by Google. These always have explicit content, making you have the same problems as in the previous point.

Blocks unsuitable apps for your age

It is true that all the applications you will find in the App Store and in official stores have a classification approved by Apple, according to the development and parameters chosen by this company.

But this is not enough, as you can find apps that are intended for all audiences and are not recommended for children under 12. This is the case with Call of Duty, which is a war game with futuristic overtones, or Free Fire, which also has destruction targets with weapons of war.

Therefore, you will need to pay close attention to your child’s app downloads that are within the filter you have imposed. Their contents may not be appropriate for young children.

Educate them about the risks of the web

This is certainly the best you can do. You will need to form a responsible conscience in your child, so that you can be sure that the technological parental controls did not fail.

It is important that they develop the idea that the Internet is dangerous, due to malicious people who only seek personal satisfaction, but at the same time the technology is also a very useful tool for their future.

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

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