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How to restrict what staff can do on an iOS device using 'Parental Controls'


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This tutorial explains the 'parental controls' options on current iOS devices that allow you to set what level of access your staff have to the device outside of using the Tapestry App. For the sake of simplicity and consistency with Apple we will refer to them from now on as 'restrictions' as we appreciate most settings don't have a parent-child relationship with their staff.

An important thing to note is, when you set restrictions on your iOS device it will affect all users who use that particular device, and there is not a simple way to give different users different levels of access without temporarily disabling restrictions. It is possibly something an IT support person or company could setup for you, so it is worth discussing with them if you already have one, but it is far beyond the scope of this tutorial.

The other thing to note is you will have to set a 4 digit parental controls/restrictions password, and we recommend this is not something staff could guess or are told. If you forget this and need to change your parental controls settings unfortunately we will not be able to assist you, please see this advice from Apple.

To start setting parental controls on your iOS device, turn the device on and then tap the 'settings' app, and then tap 'general settings' (A) and then 'restrictions' (B). We are using an iPad for this tutorial so the screen you see may be slightly different on other iOS devices.




Tap 'Enable Restrictions' which is highlighted in red below:




If you have not set restrictions before you will then need to set a passcode. Please note, If you already have one set and don't know it, or you set one now and forget this unfortunately we will not be able to assist you, please see this advice from Apple.




You are now able to set restrictions. Each setting/user will have a level of restrictions appropriate to them and what their staff are expected to do, so we are not able to recommend a list of 'safe' restrictions you need to have, but we will take you through each area of restrictions and help you choose the level of restrictions required for your staff to use iOS devices in line with your safeguarding policy.


Part 1:  Allow the use of built in apps and features

These are apps and features included by default which you may wish to disable completely. It is possible to restrict these features rather than disabling them completely, but this section just covers turning them off. Disabling them does not uninstall the features, it just hides them from use. To disable a feature tap the green switch next to the feature, and the switch will turn white, indicating it is disabled.

(A) Safari web browser: This is the default web browser, and it will allow staff to browse the internet. If you don't want staff to browse the internet at all, including the Tapestry browser version, turn this off. If you want to restrict them to only using approved websites, you can set this. Please see part 2.

(B) Camera: Disable this if you don't want staff to take any pictures at all, including using the Tapestry app. Otherwise leave it active.
(C) Siri & Dictation: If you don't want staff to have access to the voice recognition assistant 'Siri', disable this. It is also possible to restrict what Siri can do. Please see part 2

(D) FaceTime: FaceTime is a video calling program. Unless your staff need to use it it's likely you want to disable it.
(E) AirDrop: AirDrop is a cloud storage system. Unless you use this or want to use this to save photos or other information you should disable it. Tapestry has its own servers so does not require this.




(F) iTunes Store: This is where apps, games, music and films can be downloaded and purchased. If you don't want staff using this you should disable it, though you may need access sometimes to install new apps or app updates. It's possible to have this active, but prevent staff from installing anything using setting (K)

(G) Music Profiles & Posts is a way of sharing music playlists with friends, so most likely not relevant to your setting
(H) iBooks Store: Where ebooks can be purchased and downloaded.
(I) Podcasts: If you don't want your staff to be able to use the Podcasts app, turn this off.
(J) News: If you want to disable this app, turn it off.

The most important settings are (K) and (L): Installing and Deleting Apps. Unless you want staff to be able to delete apps or install new apps you might want to disable this.

(M) In-App purchases: This allows staff to make purchases inside of an app either intentionally or accidentally. Tapestry has no In-App purchases, so it's best to disable this unless you need it for another reason.




Part 2: Allowed Content

The first part of the 'Allowed Content' section is is 'Ratings'. This sets what kind of music, video, apps and books can be downloaded or accessed on the device, so if you want staff to have some access to these things but want to restrict 'Mature' content, you can use these settings. If you already disabled access to this kind of content by turning off access to iTunes and podcasts, you may need to worry about this less. You can also choose if 'Siri' can access the internet if it is not already disabled completely.

The most important sections would be (A) Websites and (B) Password settings.




If you tap on 'websites' (A) you can choose what kind of websites staff have access to, assuming the Safari web browser is not already disabled.

The choices are (1) All Websites, (2) Limit Adult Content or (3) Specific Websites Only.

Generally unless you need your staff to access varied websites it is safer to restrict them to (3) Specific Websites Only. If you tap this you can choose a list of websites that can be accessed, and if you want staff to use the web version of Tapestry as well as the app you should add https://tapestryjournal.com/ to the list.




Part 3: Privacy

It's worth going through your privacy settings to ensure you only share the information you wish to with third parties.

For use of Tapestry it's worth making sure only Tapestry and other suitable apps can access your photo gallery (A) and microphone (B).




When you tap 'Photos' you can see the apps that have access to your photo gallery, and you can set it so no further apps can be granted permission by the user by selecting 'Don't Allow Changes'. The microphone option works in a similar way.




It's also worth checking the 'Allow Changes' and 'Game Center' section. Allowing 'Background App Refresh' will allow Tapestry to update without your permission.




How to disable restrictions

If you want to turn restrictions off, open the restrictions section again and press 'Disable Restrictions'

Please note: This will then return all your restrictions to default, so nothing will be restricted if you enable restrictions again. If you just want to allow access to something temporarily it would be better to change the relevant restrictions setting rather than turning them all off.




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