In my last post you read about how to create accounts on your Mac and why they can come in handy. Well, a funny thing happened as I was prepping that post. Little did I realize that there were parental controls in the account management section of Accounts. And so I thought it would be great to do a followup post on what Parental Controls are and what they do. Like I eluded to in the previous post, I said this would be great for parents and not so great for kids. Let me show you why.
Basically, Parental Controls give the administrator, or in the case of a family, the parent, the freedom to choose how their children use the computer. What you first need to do is set up accounts for your kids. If you don’t want to have to do this for each individual child, you can make them all log into the same account. Once you have created their account, you can now turn Parental Control on. All you have to do is click on the person that you want to create the parental controls for, then click on the “Open Parental Controls” button.
Here you can now customize how your child uses the computer. There are 5 different areas where you can control how your children use the computer. The first one is called System. On this page you can control what applications your children can and cannot use. You can also decide whether you want them to be able to print, burn CD’s and DVD’s and/or modify the Dock.
In the Content tab, this is where you can choose what kind of content the children can look at when they are on the web. You can block certain sites or certain types of sites. You can also limit profane words to not be seen in the Dictionary App as well.
In the Mail and Chat tab you are able to put parameters around email and iChat. You can configure the two apps so they can only email and chat to certain people.
In the Time Limits tab you are able to configure weekly time limits for computer usage. You are able to configure how much time they can be on the computer during the week and during the weekend. There is also the option to create a bedtime during the weekdays and weekends. This is helpful in that even though a child may have a certain amount of time on the computer, they know that they can’t use it after a certain time each day.
The last tab is the Logs tab. This is where the administrator can check and see what their children has been doing on the computer and online. You can see the websites they have gone to, the apps they used, and who they have chatted with in iChat.
And there you have Parental Controls. I am so glad that I found this because I know as a future parent, I know I am going to want to use these to my, as well as my kid’s advantage. There are some great tools here to really help you as a parent monitor your child’s usage on the computer. With the way that tech is going, you can never be too safe. I hope this post helps you out parents.