How to Secure Your iOS Gadgets When Connecting to Public Wi-Fi Connections

Wi-Fi connections have become a staple in many commercial establishments.  In fact, they proudly put a sticker on their door entrances proclaiming that their shop or store is a Wi-Fi hotspot.  In other situations, especially around the neighbourhood, there are also unsecured connections which you can access without the owners knowing that you are connecting online using their Internet.  The downside of course is that there is always that probability that your iPhone, iPad, or iPod might become compromised.  Thus, you have to initiate protecting your gadgets from any forms of vulnerabilities it can be exposed to. Here are some ways to secure your iOS gadgets when connecting to public Wi-Fi connections:

public wifi connection security

  1. Do not assume that Wi-Fi connections in commercial establishments are secured.  While it is mostly, there are other patrons who are malicious and have the capability to hack into your gadget to steal information about you.  Thus, check if establishments have installed methods to determine if you are protected.
  2. Do not get excited when you discover that there are several open connections around your perimeter.  It could be a trap for you to connect and allow hackers to penetrate your gadget to steal files or check on your messages and other confidential transactions performed on different apps through your device.
  3. Invest in your gadget.  While there are plenty of free apps available out there, it is not an absolute protection.  It is wrong to assume that paying for security software on your electronic gadget is an expense.  Just think of the possible threats you can become exposed to when you constantly using public Wi-Fi connections.  All the more for you to spend for paid security apps if your job entails you to keep sensitive and confidential data.  You might want to provide your own plug-in device for your own Wi-Fi connections too.
  4. Not only do you have to invest money on virus protection (Avast is recommended) but you also need to perform virus checks from time to time.  Your paid or free security apps may not be able to automatically detect threats and while a virus check is running.
  5. Be responsible and use common sense.  When accessing social network pages, use sound judgment if you want to accept strangers as part of your friends loop, like a page you are requested to do so, or open emails which contain addresses you are not familiar with.
  6. Do not forget to turn on firewalls and regularly check if it is enabled just in case it is accidentally disabled.

These are just very easy and simple steps to protect yourself and all your personal content.  Take note that it is your responsibility to secure your gadget.  You cannot blame the owner of the Wi-Fi if you are compromised by connecting to their Wi-Fi connections.

How to Protect Children from Accessing Unsafe Content through iOS Gadgets

Nowadays, it is popular to give children their own iPhone, iPod, and / or iPad.  It has become a necessity considering that these are used as educational tools for learning.  It is also an important tool to monitor them while they are away from home.  But this initiative can expose them to unsafe and inappropriate content.  Fortunately, there are several things that you can do as a parent to protect them from this content.

protect kids from unsafe contents in ios

The online world has several recommendations and these are the very popular ones.

  1. Restrict access using a different brower other than the inbuilt Safari. One that has content filtering built it. Log in to iTunes and in the store search for and choose a safe browser. K9 Web Protection is an example. Download the alternate browser from iTunes and load it onto their gadgets for protection. Enable “restrictions” as your default position to ensure safe browsing.  To do this, find the “Settings” icon, tap “General,” then choose “Restrictions,” and input a four digit password to enable the settings, and then disable the inbuilt Safari browser.
  2. Turn off browser installation. You need to do this so your children cannot install other browsers that can allow them to access unsafe contents.  To do this, go to “Restrictions” and find off, then choose “Apps.”  This will prevent them from installing alternative browsers unless of course they know the passwords you set.  So be careful when choosing passwords. Do not use personal numbers such as birthdays, initials, or favourite expressions.
  3. Learn relevant ideas on management of iOS gadgets for kids. Some recommended ideas are:
    1. Do not allow children to create their own Apple ID.
    2. Do not let them set up their own configurations.
    3. Do not permit them to install their own apps.
    4. Do not forget to set up restrictions on content.
    5. Set a time allowance for usage to establish limits on access.

All these ideas can give them the impression that you are in control as a parent.  But do not forget to explain why you are doing so.

  1. Physical engagement is a must. One of the reasons why children spend more time tapping and tinkering with their iOS gadgets is that they are bored.  It is important that you engage with them and spend enough time communicating or spending activities outside of your home.  This way, they will spend less time with their gadgets and engage in a fun and safe activity instead.
  2. Keep yourself updated. From time to time, Apple introduces new apps and ideas on child protection mechanisms so always check their site for updates.

What about Wi-Fi connections?  Turning this off when you do not need it or when you want to set rules on Internet access is highly recommended.  You can turn off password maintenance in their gadgets by tapping Network Settings and choose “Forget This Network.”  However, this is not enough though; Wi-Fi connection is just an accessory when accessing sensitive materials. It is still best to turn off or remove apps which lead to explicit materials.

These ideas work for great for younger children but as they get older, you will need to release the control back to them and trust in their judgement. Then as a parent you can switch to a monitoring role, rather than a controlling one, which will be the subject of a future article.

Top iPad Parenting Applications

Parenting involves a lot of skills; it is not easy to become a parent.  With so many things to attend to including preparing as well as cooking meals, working in the office, helping with children’s assignments, attending parent’s school meetings, consulting with teachers, and completing different household chores, one needs far more than wisdom to successfully manage all tasks. Fortunately, the evolution of electronic gadgets has helped parents balance time between work and family life. The iPad for one is a secret tool that parents can use to accomplish parental roles easily.

top ipad parenting applications

There are countless iPad applications for parenting but these are our top suggestions:

For Babies

Baby Connect is one of the most comprehensive tracking iPad applications for babies. It is loaded with important categories for taking care of babies from feeding to administering medication.  It is like having a medical profile, a diary, and schedule matrix rolled into one.  With this app, you do not need to keep too many profile files for your kids and easily reach them when you need it.

Controlling Sleep Time

Sleepasaurus is an ideal sleeping partner for toddlers who have inconsistent sleeping habits. Kids can select from any of the seven baby dinosaurs and let them sprinkle magic dust for sleeping before they go to bed.  When the dinosaur is asleep, it won’t wake up not until the alarm sets off.  It has also bedtime music.

Teaching Kids to Write

L’Escapadou’s Writing Wizard was created to assist children when learning how to write via methods that will keep them interested.  It can be configured to complement writing needs and check progress. It has 26 animated sound effects and sticker for them to trace too.

Feeding Your Family

Food on the Table helps mom or dad prepare weekly meals that are chef guaranteed and suited according to personal preferences.  It also helps find groceries for ingredients and organise grocery shopping list.

Monitoring Child’s Progress

Babies grow and what a wonderful application Parenting Ages & Stages is. You get all the information needed about kids in different ages and stages. Just add your children’s photo in the apps to customise and receive information about a child’s development.

Reading to Your Kids at Bedtime

MeeGenius is virtually a library on books for kids. It contains several bedtime story books which you can read to your kids or let them read to make their imaginations run creatively.

Helping Kids with Assignments

The dictionary is one of the most important reference books from childhood even up to the twilight years of an individual.  As your kids start to discover new words, it is your obligation as a parent to help them with vocabulary. In relation to that, Merriam Webster Apps is an application that do not only defines words but give sample sentences and find antonyms synonyms, among others.

Controlling Gadget Habit

ParentKit is a helpful tool for scheduling and gaining control over kids’ device.  It acts as a remote control for gadgets where you can monitor usage, purchase of apps, and other activities within the device.  This is useful when your children are too minor to search the Internet. You can permit them to go online but you can also shut down applications, websites and games during study time.

Monitoring Social Media Usage

There are iPad applications that let you know almost everything about your kid’s activity in social media.   You will know whom they are friends with and how much time they spend on social networks like Facebook for example. You can also restrict inappropriate texts and images and be alerted of your kid’s restricted activity. Some apps also have a map so that parents can trace children’s whereabouts and even instantly seek help in case of emergency situations.

Restricting Movies

Even adults need restrictions when it comes to watching movies.  Kids in Mind provide detailed information on movies.  This way, you can decide whether your kids can watch a certain movie or not.  It has more than 3,000 film reviews with ratings attached in the data base.  It has weekly updates on new movies with reviews and ratings as well.

Attending to Home Routines

Doing housework repeatedly can be annoying for parents. The good news is that there are applications that will make it easier to complete household tasks by creating a checklist of routine jobs and select a specific schedule when you want these to be done.  Once completed, the list is refreshed.  It can be synchronised with other devices too so  the entire family know their obligations as well.

Organising Family Activities

Family life has countless activities and in order for each family member to have common agenda every time, the Cozi Family Organizer can help.  It has a shopping list for sharing, to do list, status reports on activities, and a lot more.  It can be considered as a toolbox for parents integrated in an iPad.

The iPad is indeed an amazing tool for parents to manage and monitor not only kids but also different household and personal matters.  As a word of caution though, bear in mind that these applications are just tools to make some parental roles and activities easier to deal with. But these are not solutions against family quarrels, to rear up children positively, promote healthy family relationship, and become the best parent in the world.  There are other factors involved in maintaining a harmonious family relationship and you cannot consult your iPad for that.  Communication and understanding still play a great role in family life.