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Monday, 18 August 2014

How to use Parental Controls in Mac OS X Mavericks and Yosemite

Mac OS X comes with substantial controls for parents. With Parental Controls, located in System Preferences, parents can allow their children freedom to use a Mac computer safely.

How to use Parental Controls: set up a child’s account
Create a child's account in Mac OS X Parental Controls
The first thing you will need to do is set up a separate account for your child. This won’t be a full account, like the one you use, but a restricted account (and you get to decide on the restrictions). Don’t worry about your child having their own account, you will get full access to it.
Follow these steps to set up an account.
  1. Open System Preferences (click Go > System Preferences).
  2. Click on Parental Controls.
  3. Click the Lock icon in the bottom left of the window.
  4. Enter your Password and click Unlock
  5. Click the Add (‘+’) icon in the bottom left of the window.
  6. Enter the Full Name, Account name and Password fields and click Create Account. Make sure your child knows the password (this is for their limited account).
You now have another user in the Parental Controls window. Select them in the left-hand sidebar to view the settings.

How to use Parental Controls: Limit Applications to an age range

Set age range for apps in Mac OS X Parental Accounts
You can limit the child’s Mac access to specific applications. Follow these steps to use Parental Controls to set limits on which Mac apps a child can run:
  1. Select the child’s name in the sidebar and select the apps tab.
  2. Place a tick in Limit Applications.
  3. Use the Allow App Store Apps option to select an age range for apps.
  4. Click the small reveal arrow next to App Store in the Allowed Apps section to view which apps are available. You can see the age range next to each app on the right-hand side.
  5. Use the reveal arrow next to Other Apps to view apps that were included in Mac OS X (like Safari). These will not have age ratings.
  6. Remove the tick next to any app to prevent it from running.

How to use Parental Controls: Simple Finder and Dock

A neat aspect of the Apps menu in Parental Controls is to tick the Use Simple Finder and Prevent The Dock From being Modified options. The Simple Finder options makes Mac OS X a lot easier to use for young children.

How to use Parental Controls: limit access to websites

The internet is one of the largest concerns when it comes to Parental Controls. Apple has you covered with three distinct ways your child can access the web. Open Parental Controls and click on the Web tab: here you will see three options:
  • Allow unrestricted access to web sites. Normally this is only for older children, and is not selected by default.
  • Try to limit access to adult websites automatically. This is the default option, and Apple runs a comprehensive list of websites that are appropriate and inappropriate for kids. Click customise to add and remove websites (that your child may require, or that you don’t want them to use).
  • Allow access to only these websites. This is an option for younger children. It blocks web access apart from just sites you add. There are a bunch of kid friendly sites, like Discovery Kids, National Geographic, and Disney. Use the Add (‘+’) button underneath the websites to add more websites to the Allow Access list.

How to use Parental Controls: People, Time, and Logs

Set time limits in Mac OS X Parental Controls
You can also use the Parental Controls preferences to adjust these settings.



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