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Some Unsettling Features Included in iOS 16 You Probably Don't Know About

While there are many cool and helpful new features with the iOS 16 update like family sharing updates, approving screen time requests in messages, focus features, health app updates, highly personalized lock screens, & FaceTime improvements, there are several new features that might be unsettling for parents.

We want you to be well-informed about the new features available to your teens, so we encourage you to discuss the new update with your teens, communicate with them regularly, and of course, work together to define what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate use of technology.

UN-sending Messages

Users can unsend or edit messages within 15 minutes of sending. This allows inappropriate texts, photos, and videos to be quickly sent to your child's phone. Thankfully, when a user unsends a message, the recipient and the user are notified.

Did you know...users can now watch

TV and movies in Messages with SharePlay?

Even if you block Netflix or have strict parental controls, your kids can still watch inappropriate. TV and movies with their friends if those friends don't have those same parental controls.They are also able to do this through the Discord app as well, a feature we discussed in an earlier blog. Discord not only allows private messaging but watching movies and TVs show being streamed from anyone anywhere. This is why it's important to discuss with our teens "Why" we have these standards rather than just expecting them to blindly listen to what we're saying. That critical thinking that can sometimes be annoying will also help them to develop their OWN standards and boundaries when we're not around to remind them!

Photos and Videos can be hidden or deleted and then locked

With iOS 16, Hidden and Recently Deleted albums are now locked and require authentication. Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode are needed to view these albums. Parents, if you don't have your kids' log-in information or if they change, they can store inappropriate content on their devices. If they have an older version of iOS aon their phone you can hide the HIDDEN FOLDER by going to Settings, Photos, and then toggling or untangling the "Show Hidden Album" feature. Another way kids hide photos is through using the deleted photos folder, a place parents often don't think to check since they are "deleted". The reality is that those photos are held there indefinitely until they are manually removed.

Public Note Links

With this update, you can collaborate with outsiders in the Notes app. Anyone with a link can have access to your teen's device. It's like a Google Doc, which makes it like a chat app for your teen. Even if you've restricted texting and social media, they may use this loophole. Once they share the note, they can leave messages for each other and even photos.

So, What can parents do?

  • Talk to your teen about the new features and the potential dangers. Remind your teen to not give out their number to anyone they don't know, including to peers who might try to use it to harm them.

  • Set boundaries with clear expectations regarding device usage (i.e., access to their hidden and deleted photos and videos).

  • Discuss how even if messages can be deleted, receivers can still screenshot and save what they send. Nothing is private and everything is permanent. Teach teens to be mindful of what they are sending and sharing with others.

  • Encourage activities and relationships outside of devices and brainstorm some options with them.

  • Set an example for responsible devise use by scheduling regular time together as a family without electronic distractions.

Click here to learn: How to Set Parental Control in iOS 16

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