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How to Set Parental Controls on Mac OS X

Whether they're surfing the web, chatting with friends, or writing a term paper, keep your kids safe while they use a Mac computer by setting parental controls.


  • Step 1: Create a user account for your child Create a separate user account for your child by launching System Preferences. Go to the Accounts pane and click the plus sign in the lower left corner. Enter a user name and password and click Create Account.
  • TIP: Encourage your child to be creative and invent their own unique user name, password, and identifying icon.
  • Step 2: Enable Parental Controls Click the box labeled Enable Parental Controls. Click Open Parental Controls to begin modifying the settings for your child's account.
  • Step 3: Limit applications Select your child's user account from the left side of the window. Click the box labeled Only Allow Selected Applications and click to remove the check mark beside any application you don't want your child to use.
  • Step 4: Limit access to websites Click Content at the top of the Parental Controls pane. Under Website Restrictions, click the box labeled Try to Limit Access to Adult Websites or choose to manually enter a list of websites that your child has permission to access.
  • TIP: Talk with your child about internet safety. Be sure they never give out personal information or send pictures to people they meet online.
  • Step 5: Limit email and chat Click the Mail and iChat tab in the Parental Controls pane to enter the names and email addresses of the people your child is allowed to chat with or email.
  • Step 6: Set time limits Click the Time Limits tab to restrict the amount of time your child is allowed to use the computer on weekdays or weekends. Select a bedtime to have the computer automatically log your child out at a certain time each night.
  • Step 7: Track usage with Activity Logs Track your child's computer usage by clicking the Logs tab. See what applications have been used, who your child has been chatting with, or other use information from the past day, week, month, or year. Keep an eye on your child's computer usage and feel content knowing that they are safe.
  • FACT: On January 22, 1984, Apple ran a 60-second commercial during the Super Bowl to introduce its new Macintosh computer. The ad, produced with a budget of $900,000, is known as one of the most memorable commercials ever.

You Will Need

  • Mac computer

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