One Step At A Time
In today’s habitually busy way of life, it can be difficult to separate a few minutes to decide what to do about online safety, never mind actually putting something in place.
In order to help with this, we’ve tried to at least start you in the right direction by laying out a few simple steps and providing the information you need to get started on it. Take it one step at a time, and let us know if you have any questions.
Review apps and remove the ones that are not wanted.
Apps on your phone are like tools in a tool box. You might use one app for taking notes, another app for taking pictures, and a third app for browsing the internet. Just like tools, there are usually a lot of options of varying quality and usefulness, and a person might have an ever-growing list of apps that rarely get used but are ‘just right’ for one particular situation (like the Red Cross First Aid app). On the other hand, some apps, like a texting app, are used almost constantly.
Just like parents keep dangerous tools from their children, it is a good idea to keep certain apps (or maybe all of them) away from your children as well. There are also situations where it would be wise to limit or restrict the apps we can use ourselves.
When open the store (you can find it among all the other apps), simply search for the app you want to install and tap the “Install” or “Get” button. Your phone will automatically download and install the app, and notify you when it’s ready.
Apple also has a shorter way of uninstalling apps. You can simply hold your finger on the app until it jiggles, then tap the “x” button that appears on the upper left of the icon. Confirm that you want to delete it, and you’re done.
Without going into specific details, here are some categories of apps to remove or keep.
If you have questions about a particular app, Googling its name is often very helpful in discovering what it is like. For instance, if you Google the name of the fourth most downloaded app in April of 2019 (Tik Tok), you will quickly find the Wikipedia entry which describes how it was banned for inappropriate content in Indonesia and has raised concerns about sexual predators.
- Remove or Avoid (time wasting, potential inappropriate content, or negative social influence):
- Social media
- E-books (unless content is filtered)
- Online picture/video apps (unless content is filtered)
- Misc Utilities (calculators, notes, etc)
- School-related apps
- Work-related apps
- App Lockers
After limiting the device to just the apps you want, you still need to filter them to only allow the content you want.
You can also use accountability software, which lets users monitor each other to keep tabs on online activity.
Accountability’s main focus is not filtering. The idea is to monitor internet use and send reports to an “accountability partner” who can review them and discuss any incorrect online behavior with you. Of course, you can use and accountability program and a filter together as well.