Set Parental Controls In Mac OS X

Mac computers come with parental control settings that can be used to set up protective measures for underage computer users. Not only can parental control come in handy in protecting young users when they surf the internet, but they can also be used to restrict what someone can do (and when) on your computer. For instance, you could limit computer use to a certain length of time every day, set a ‘bedtime’ after which users won’t be able to use the computer, you could limit what applications can be used, limit Finder functions, disallow certain actions like modifying the Dock or changing a password, among other things.

To set the parental controls open your System Preferences. You will find this in Applications > System Preferences.

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Click on Users & Groups

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If the padlock at the bottom left of the window is locked, click on it to unlock it. A prompt will appear that will request your account password. Enter your password to be able to make changes to a selected account.

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Select the account you want to set parental controls on. In my case, I selected the account named Other Account.

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Next click on the Open Parental Controls button at the bottom right. Then click on the Enable Parental Controls button.

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You will get the Parental Controls window which contains different tabs used for setting various functions. The tabs are Apps, Web, People, Time Limits and Other.

The Apps tab gives you options for setting which applications the user will be able to open. You can choose a simple Finder with limited functionality. Check the Limit Applications checkbox to enable the Allowed Apps menu at the bottom where you will select and add to the list of allowed applications.

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The Web tab enables you to set restricted websites.

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The People tab enables you to set permissions the user has when interacting with others over a network when playing games or when sending and receiving emails.

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The Time Limits tab enables you to set the period of time the account user can access the computer.

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The Other tab gives further settings for applications.

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You can monitor what the user did by clicking on the Logs button at the bottom left of the window. Here you will be able to see a log of websites the user visited and the applications they used.

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When done, click on the padlock to prevent further changes.

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~ Joyce

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