"Apple has gone a long way toward child-proofing the iPhone with the new parental controls in the iPhone 3.0 software, but those controls apply only to content that Apple itself distributes through iTunes and the App Store. They don't address the #1 source of objectionable material: the Internet," said Forrest Collier, CEO of InternetSafety.com. "If you combine Apple's parental controls with a browser that blocks pornography and other offensive websites, however, you can completely protect your child from harmful content both online and off."
In the latest iPhone software release, parents can enable age restrictions in Settings -> General -> Restrictions. Movies, TV shows, music, podcasts and apps that have already been downloaded but fall outside the age range designated by parents, based on standard industry ratings for media as well as Apple's recently implemented age rating system for apps, disappear off the iPhone's home screen to prevent user access. When the restrictions are turned off, the affected apps will reappear, permitting parents to share their iPhones with children without being forced to limit their own device usage to content suited for elementary or junior high age.
In addition, if parents have enabled age restrictions, the iPhone displays a warning about objectionable content if users attempt to download age-inappropriate content from the App Store.
Child protection on the iPhone can be extended to Internet content by installing a third-party browser that automatically blocks websites in select categories. Safe Eyes Mobile, for example, checks requested websites against a massive blacklist of potentially objectionable Web addresses that is updated on a daily basis. It prevents access to pages in the pornography, nudity, sex and tasteless/gross categories by default. Parents can also configure the software to filter sites in 31 other categories as well as by URL at www.safeeyes.com.
In contrast, the iPhone itself can control Internet browsing only by blocking Web access entirely, while AT&T's wireless MEdia Net Parental Controls do not work on the iPhone at all. Safe Eyes Mobile filtering works on both the AT&T cellular network and individual Wi-Fi networks to which the iPhone automatically connects when in range.
Safe Eyes Mobile offers the same pinch and tap zoom, bookmarks, built-in Google search and multiple pages features as the built-in iPhone browser, and has no noticeable effect on iPhone performance. The application costs $19.99 at the App Store and can be reached directly by clicking the appropriate link at www.safeeyes.com/iphone.
InternetSafety.com has been a leading provider of web filtering solutions for consumers and businesses since 1999. The company's flagship software, Safe Eyes, is the two-time recipient of the PC Magazine Editors' Choice Award, earned a separate Editor's Choice Award from LAPTOP Magazine, and was rated as the #1 parental control solution by America's leading consumer advocacy publication. Other products include Safe Eyes Mobile, the first family-safe browser for the iPhone; EtherShield, a network-level solution offering plug-and-play Internet filtering for business environments; and Safe Eyes Business, an end-point filtering solution for businesses of any size. The company's products are used by customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit www.internetsafety.com.