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How to secure your child's iPhone

You can do almost anything with your smartphone, so Apple has provided a number of security features on iPhone and iOS to keep its users and data as safe as possible when interacting with the digital world.

If you're worried about your children's safety, security, and privacy, here are some security features and settings to consider if you've allowed them to use your iPhone.

Set passcodes

Source:(Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) 

Your child's Apple ID lock

The first line of defense when it comes to devising security is the passcode. When your kid delivers your iPhone, he'll need to create an Apple ID that connects him to Apple services and a passcode to access your iPhone.

Create a powerful Apple ID password with a set of characters (large and small) and numbers, and special characters. The more complex your passwords are, the harder it is to hack them. It may also make it difficult for you to remember, but we have some tips to remember difficult passwords.

The additional security step is to activate your child's Two-Factor Authentication for Apple ID, which requires additional credentials when accessing the account from a trusted device or via the web. This ensures that the account is protected even if someone else has an account password.


Turn it on via

Settings > [tap account at top] > Password & Security > Two-Factor Authentication.
Then, when your child first signs in to their account on a new device, or with a new password, he will enter a password and a six-digit code displayed on a trusted device or sent to a phone number. Note that once two-factor authentication is enabled, you can only turn it off within two weeks of being activated.

  • You can add your number as a trusted phone number as a backup.
  • Open Settings > [tap account at top] > Password & Security.
  • Within a trusted phone number, click on Edit > add a Trusted Phone Number.
  • Secure the iPhone itself

The next step is to create a passcode to access your child's iPhone. Apple by default suggests a six-digit passcode, but you can set a longer, more complex passcode or (I dare) a shorter. Work with your child to choose a safe but not scary passcode. Go to

[Settings > Touch/Face ID and Passcode > [enter passcode

You can set up a passcode, change an existing code, or turn off the passcode (not recommended).

In addition to the passcode, newer iPhones offer an additional option such as fingerprint verification or face ID personal for the user, making the device safer and faster to access in exchange for entering a passcode in certain situations

With passcode enabled and Touch/Face ID, your child's iPhone cannot be accessed without proper credentials, but some data can be accessed while locking your phone, such as Siri, notifications, wallet responses, and messages, which can contain sensitive information. To view/hide these features, go to

[Settings > Touch/Face ID and Passcode > [enter passcode.
Under Allow Access When Locked, enable/disable features that you feel comfortable accessing or seeing when you lock your iPhone.

Now that your Apple ID/password and iPhone passcode have been set, follow up these credentials because it's pointless to set up all this for your child just to forget the credentials. A strong password manager can get the job done.

Screen time restrictions

When introduced in iOS 13, Screen Time offered a way to track how much time you spend on your phone. Allows you to set time limits for apps (two hours a day on social media apps, for example), although time alerts are easy to pass and ignore.

Since then, Apple has stepped up screen time security. Parents can control the people their children communicate with and the apps they can access, as well as manage the general type of content that appears on their devices.

Open Settings > Screen Time. Here you can set up app limits, connection restrictions, as well as content and privacy restrictions. Click use the screen time passcode to claim a code in order to skip and exceed time limit alerts so your child can't skip the time allowed.

If you enable Apple Family Sharing, you can set up Screen Time for your child from your own device. Family Sharing also allows organizers to share the app and in-app purchases/subscriptions with family members, as well as request permission for specific family members before they can download apps or make in-app purchases.
Location Service

Setting up family sharing is also easy for the organizer or parent/guardian to track where their children are after enabling location sharing in Find My, apple's device location service. Open up

Settings > [tap account at top] > Find My > Share My Location and run it.

Once activated, the family sharing organizer or parent/guardian can view the location of all family members' devices from the Find My app without your child sharing their location individually with each family member.

Now that you've identified who can track your child's device location, it's time to select apps and services that shouldn't track the location of their Device location. Unfortunately, you can't use Screen Time or Family Sharing to adjust or manage this;

Start at Location Service, where you can determine whether you want Apple or third-party apps to track your child's location history in order to provide location-related information. According to these services, Location history will provide a "better comprehensive experience", but you may also want to block it at first, then carefully allow apps to rest assured.

Open Settings > Privacy > Location Services. Turn off Location Service completely, or allow or refuse to select apps to access your child's device location. Note: If you turn off location services, custom location settings set up in Family Sharing and Find My will be temporarily restored if your child's phone is placed in Lost Mode because, well... They're kids, you know.

If you enable location services, you can customize location settings for each app installed on your child's device. Within location services, clicking on an app gives you the ability to choose when the app can know the location of the device (never, ask the next time, while using the app, always), in addition to enabling/disabling accurate location tracking. For example, if your child is old enough to use flight-sharing services, you might want to enable the exact location of Lyft and Uber, which will provide an approximate location so your child can use the app correctly.

Browser settings

The last place you should secure is the browser, where children will also spend a bunch of time. There are content settings that you may have already modified with Screen Time, but you can go deeper by going to Safari's privacy and security settings.

Open Settings > Safari and within privacy and security, you can adjust settings such as alerting your child if he suspects that one of the sites they are trying to visit is fraudulent phishing (using websites or fake tools to get users to disclose personal information because, well... (You know the rest.)