iPhone and iPod Touch support parental controls where it is possible to disable access to many apps, including Internet browsing through Safari. You can access the article on how to set such restrictions here.
Once you restricted Internet browsing through Safari from your kid's iPhone or iPod Touch, you may still would like him/her to access kid friendly sites or reference sites, such as Wikipedia, for obtaining valuable information. Trying to fill in this need, there are several iPhone apps: Mobicip browser - a free app, iWonder Surf Web Browser available for $14.99 and Safe Eyes Mobile available for $19.99. All three browsers have mixed reviews, but looking at the iTunes reviews, Safe Eyes Mobile have better reviews than the other two. Here I review Mobicip browser, which is available for free.
First time you use the Mobicip browser, you need to setup an account at mobicip.com. When you are signing up, you select the level of filtering you like from one of three options: elementary school, middle school, and high school. The filtering levels are based on categories blocked and allowed for different age groups by schools. For example, gaming and entertainment related websites are blocked for elementary, but allowed for middle and high school kids. Dating, online shopping, and e-commerce sites are blocked for elementary and middle school, allowed for high school kids.
When you start the browser, you find shortcuts to many useful reference sites, such as Britannica, Wikipedia, HowStuffWorks, etc. Below is a video demonstration of how the browser works.
Even though Mobicip is a great start in addressing kid-safe Internet browsing, there is a lot of space for improvement. Some web sites are not rendered accurately. Wikipedia link on the front page is to the mobile version of Wikipedia, which provides a poor browsing experience compared to the full version. Nevertheless, user can go to the full version of the Wikipedia themselves and add this to the favorite links.
Do you have additional tips, concerns that you'd like to talk about? Drop us a note.
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