Safer Internet Day, Apple’s advice for safe browsing

Apple on the occasion of Safer Internet Day, a day that takes place every year on February 7 to raise awareness of network security, announces that it has redoubled its efforts to guarantee consumers, and especially the little ones, to be able to navigate safely. And to do this, it also inaugurates a cycle of free meetings in its Apple Stores dedicated to users, parents and teachers.

Apple’s web security tools

There are many tools and options developed by Apple and already present in devices such as iPhone, iPad and Mac to support parents in controlling the online activities of their little ones. The starting point is certainly the initial setting of these devices: setting up a smartphone or tablet with a children’s account is simple and also convenient, Apple explains, because it is possible to control the activities of the little ones in a unified way. Not everyone knows that, for example, one of the most interesting functions is Usage Time: this option allows you to decide how long you can use a certain app or a group of apps (for example games), allows you to set times (school, homework, etc) in which certain apps are not enabled and offers a convenient menu through which it is possible to check which apps are most used, which ones send the most notifications, even how many times a phone has been picked up during the day. Children have the possibility, always through simple intuitive screens, of possibly asking the parent to be able to play “five more minutes” (for example to save or greet friends) and the parents, in turn, can approve or decline the request through a notification that arrives directly on their smartphone and also grant extra play periods to reward the little ones (for example when they get a good grade in school). Parents can also decide which apps the child can download and possibly approve each download request from the child. Speaking of apps, Apple recommends – especially in the presence of small children – to download only the apps in the “For the little ones” section of the App Store, which contains a carefully curated collection of games and applications.

Beware of messages

Among the innovations introduced by Apple also in Italy is Communication Safety: it is a function available on children’s accounts that analyzes incoming and outgoing messages in search of any nudity photos. Using machine learning and working only on the device (therefore the images are not sent to external servers) the function identifies if a photo is not suitable and asks the minor several times if he is really sure he wants to send it or wants to open it, also providing useful information on how to get support in such situations; it also blurs the image and offers the possibility to contact a trusted person for help through a pre-compiled message. Furthermore, with the Communication Limits function, it is possible to decide which contacts in the address book a child can communicate with.

In-person sessions in Apple Stores

Among the initiatives put in place by Apple, one of the most interesting is certainly the possibility, for both children and adults, to take part in face-to-face sessions in Apple Stores throughout Europe free of charge called “The ABC: Children and Devices “ in which Apple experts explain all the features present on iPhone, iPad and Mac designed to protect minors and to protect their privacy.