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Monday, January 12, 2009

Read this before giving kids an iPod touch

Read this before giving kids an iPod touch




The latest and greatest music players make great gifts. I’ve been getting mail from parents on just that topic. While shopping around, they’re realizing just how full-featured these players are. And that’s raising concerns for some.


The most popular choice is, of course, the iPod. And the top-of-the-line version is the iPod touch. The touch isn’t just a music player. It can do a whole lot more. That includes video and Web surfing. That makes it a full-featured multimedia player.


Inevitably, when you combine video and Web surfing, along comes pornography. This makes some parents hesitant to get one for their kids.


The iPod touch does have built-in parental controls. The parental controls can’t recognize and block adult content. Instead, you turn off specific features like the Safari Web browser. (All of these controls are also in the iPhone)


On the touch, tap Settings>>General>>Restrictions. Next, tap Enable Restrictions and enter a four-digit code. This will let you lock the settings. Now, you’ll have several features you can switch off. These are Explicit iPod Content, Safari, YouTube, iTunes and Installing Apps.


When you switch off content or features, they remain on the touch. They’re simply hidden and unusable. For example, iTunes tags some content as Explicit. Restricting this content makes it invisible on the touch.


If you want to block porn, restrict Safari and YouTube. Restricting Safari closes a lot of doors. Kids won’t be able to access online porn. YouTube is a separate application, so you must restrict it as well. Theoretically, YouTube does not allow porn on its site. But the site struggles to take down inappropriate content. It’s not hard to find adult videos.


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