Li Hao

Child Safety Using Computers: MacBook Parental Controls

When setting up a MacBook for your child to use, you’ll want to take a look at parental controls for greater child safety when using the computer.

Go to System Preferences and find the parental control solution that has already been installed by default. You can use the application to control the child account’s usage. For example, you can specify which applications can be used, which URLs can be browsed, as well as the time slot your child can use the computer.

When you click on Parental Controls (the yellow icon with a parent and child), the user interface prompts will prompt you to create a child account.

After that, it prompts for a detailed policy that applies to this child account.

1. Applications – select the applications you wish to allow.


2. Browse URLs – You can block your child from visiting specific URLs.

 3. Time limit

This tool can set the time limit on the child account. For example, like at most 3 hours on school days, and at most 5 hours on weekend and the child account can’t use the computer during 19:00-21:00 on a school day, etc. It is very useful to set limits automatically. Once the child account triggers the limit criteria, it will automatically lock and can only be unlocked when it passes the limit criteria.

4. Other Controls

Restrict Mail and iChat: the system will control the mail and chat communication of child account.

Logs: you can also review the child account’s activity history.

I found it to be fairly easy to set up these useful and common controls parents might want to enforce. It’s tools like this that make the MacBook a computer that can be used by whole family, and at the same time, it can make child account activities controlled by the parental account, if needed.


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