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Securing your iOS device for your children, Part 3: removing apps, limiting social features and other safety options

There has been a string of high-profile cases where children have racked up thousands of dollars in credit card charges through in-app purchases. In these cases and others like them, the iOS devices used by the children have not been properly locked down by the parents.

In the first post of the series, we walked you through setting up a child-safe iTunes account and in part two we took a tour of parental controls (restrictions). In part three below, we put the finishing touches on your iOS device by removing stray accounts, deleting apps and turning off social features. Before you hand over an iOS device to your child, use this final checklist to clean up any leftover adult settings.

1. Remove all email accounts from your device. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Tap the name of your email account and then tap "Delete Account" at the bottom.

2. Remove all Facebook and Twitter accounts. Go to Settings > Facebook then "Delete Account." For Twitter, go to Settings > Twitter. Tap on each Twitter account and then select "Delete Account."

3. Turn off PhotoStream and other iCloud features, but leave on Find My iPhone. Go to Settings > iCloud and turn off all settings except for Find My iPhone. Find My iPhone will let you find the device or lock it if it is lost or stolen.

4. Remove all non-children apps, especially shopping apps like Amazon, PayPal and eBay. To remove an app, touch and hold any application icon on the Home Screen until the icons start to wiggle. Tap the "x" in the corner of the application you want to delete. Tap Delete to remove the application and all of its data from your device.

5. Set a Volume Limit for headphone use. Go to Settings > Music > Volume Limit and use the slider to adjust the maximum volume.

6. Turn off Game Center social features. Open Game Center and tap on the "Me" icon at the bottom. Then tap on your Account: name > View Account to access your Game Center settings. Turn off "Game Invites" and "Nearby Players" to prevent game invitations from strangers. Be sure the Game Center profile is set to private. Also remove all the email addresses from your email list by tapping "Remove Email from Account." Lastly, turn off Facebook Friend Recommendations at the bottom.

7. Get an Appropriate case to protect your iOS device. We recommend an Otterbox, Griffin Survivor or LifeProof case. For younger kids, there is also the iBuku Pets for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Once you have completed these final touches, your iOS device should be extremely child-safe. If you have any other suggestions that'll help secure an iOS device from the tap-happy hands of a child, please share them in the comments.



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iPhone iPad iOS

There has been a string of high-profile cases where children have racked up thousands of dollars in credit card charges through in-app...