Should You Create A Separate Apple ID for Your Child?
Along with ballet vs karate questions or the piano vs the violin, these days, with gadgets being such a crucial part of our children’s lives, we are now having to ask new questions, including whether to create a separate Apple ID for our kids or to stick to only one.
The answers to this question all have their own pros and cons and what could be a pro for one household, could pose dangerous risks to another. The decision as to whether to create separate accounts for each member or keep only one account depends on the age of your children and the overall family situation.
Accordingly, rather than giving you a simple list of pros and cons, here is a list of all that you can expect from both situations, together with the advantages and the risks of each point.
Pros and Cons of a Separate Apple ID
Pro: Avoid confusion with data coming in from each member of the family – One Apple ID per family means everyone’s emails, messages, Instagram notifications, Facetime calls and more will beep on each gadget holding the Apple ID. This can be overwhelming and at times, very confusing. You may not want to have your kids’ music taking over your iTunes and it can be annoying to have constant incoming messages beeping from your kids’ friends or your partner’s colleagues.
Con: On the other hand, a single Apple ID means every photo shot will be available on all gadgets. This means your teen is less likely to send a compromising photo of herself to a stranger. You can also keep tabs on what your child is downloading and monitor the emails and messages coming in, so that online risks such as cyberbullying and online mistakes such as sexting can be avoided.
Pro: Choosing what to share with other members of the family – If everyone has their own Apple ID, then you can use ‘Family Sharing’ to share apps, books, photos and more with other members of the family and keep contacts, messages and other data private. This is great as an option to the first point to avoid confusion and excessive data. You will be able to hide the content that you downloaded from your kids, if it is not appropriate for them, and you can have only your emails coming in.
Con: A separate Apple ID, however, also means your kids can hide their photos from you and other data such as emails and text messages. If this is still a better option than having only one Apple ID, then you have two options — you can choose to trust your kids blindly or you can use built-in parental controls and apps to make the necessary restrictions.
Pro: A separate Apple ID will not cost you more money – Thanks to ‘Family Sharing,’ having separate Apple IDs doesn’t mean you will spend more money on apps. You will be able to share books or apps purchased with any member of the family.
Pro: More data – We can never have enough data on our gadgets what with so many photos and videos taken, notes saved, messages and the number of apps. With separate Apple IDs, every member of the family will have more data for their own personal use.
Con: Not always able to reach one member of the family – A shared Apple ID means calls will always be answered by someone in the family. The callers can be happy to have reached someone in the family, alternatively, they can get frustrated when trying to reach one member and always getting answered by someone else.
Pro: Apple ID for kids under 13 years of age comes with purchasing restrictions – Only an adult can create an Apple ID for kids because the registration form requires a credit card number. An account registered for someone 13 years of age, will have the ‘Ask to Buy’ setting enabled, which means your kid will need approval from an adult before purchasing apps from that card. You can choose to disable the ‘Ask to buy’ setting but it is a way of keeping tabs on what your kid is spending on apps with your credit card.
Con: There won’t be automatic restrictions with separate Apple IDs – Even if you register your kid’s Apple ID as 13 or younger, it does not mean there will be any restrictions on content. To protect your kids from inappropriate content, you will have to hide some of your data from ‘Family Sharing.’ You can also use the built-in restrictions found in the Apple software or use parental control apps for customized restrictions.
When There are Multiple Gadgets in the Household…
Ultimately, what we want is to protect our kids from online dangers and this comes as a result of the amount of control we have over their gadgets. Only you can determine the kind of control you prefer. You can choose to go for one Apple ID for all of your Apple gadgets and have everyone’s information on one account, so you can access your kids’ activity and vice versa.
On the other hand, you can choose to take control through parental control apps by giving your kids their personal Apple IDs — ones that will serve them for the long term — and have parental control apps help you to monitor incoming and outgoing data efficiently, and in your own time, through your phone.