Protecting Your Devices From Your Kids

We’ve all been there.  One day my son threw my phone in the bathroom sink… filled with water… and plugged up… so it stayed submerged for about 30 minutes before I noticed.  My daughter is just as klutzy as her Mom, and is constantly dropping electronics.  And of course there is the time my Son put a passcode on my friend’s iPhone… and then forgot what he set it to. Kids do the darnest things with electronics, and it’s up to us to make sure our equipment is safe when they get their grubby little paws on it!

There are 3 ways you should protect your devices.

Protect the Hardware:

erica with broken phone 2

First you need to make sure it’s going to be safe from drops, spills and scratches.  For the scratches I recommend  I have the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, which has a curved screen.  This can make it difficult when applying a screen protector.  The Ghost-Armor was by far the easiest for me to put on, out of all the others I have tried.  It is also the best clarity on the screen I have tested, and it doesn’t lift up on the edges over time.  It’s everything a screen protector should be… completely invisible so I don’t even know it’s there.

You also need to get a quality rubberized case.  The cutesy cases LOOK great, but it’s not going to protect a ton in a meeting with the pavement.  There is no absorption in the impact, so not only will the case crack under pressure, but so will your phone.  Check out Poetic for some really great cases that will protect your device from even the naughtiest of toddlers!

Protect the Software:

This is the real reason you came to my website!  To find out how to lock down your device.  Windows and Android devices have a really excellent Kid Mode you can set up so you can be confident in handing over your device to your kids, knowing they won’t cause any harm to your phone.  What are you iOS’ers to do though?  There are two things you can do to help.  The first is to enable Guided Access before you hand the phone/ipad over to your child.

First go to General in your Settings.  Tap Accessiblity, then enable Guided Access.  Then you will launch the app you want your child to be able to play.  After you hand over the device, they will need you to enter your passcode in order to change apps, or do anything else on the device.  This will only allow them the ability to play that one specific app, until you do it all over again for another app if they want to change games.

If you don’t want to be that restrictive though, you can just enable some restrictions on the device.  You can disable various apps, for example, the web browser and itunes (so they don’t download and install new apps), and anything else in there that strikes your fancy.  Don’t want them creating various appointments on your calendar?  Make sure it’s disabled.  Etc.

Protect your Finances:

We all now know to disable in-app purchases in the Play Store or the App Store, right?  RIGHT?!?!  We also should make sure that a password is required when purchasing any apps.  What we might forget about, though, is various other shopping apps that store our credit card information.  Ordering from Amazon can be super easy with 1-click orders.  I LOVE using that feature.  I’d hate for a bunch of packages to show up at my house though, that I DIDN’T order.  So make sure you hop inside all of your shopping apps, and if they aren’t password protected, maybe remove your credit card information from the app so it’s not as easy for kids to buy something!

So, don’t be that parent who’s kids destroyed their device!  You totally got this now!


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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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