Playing on a PS4/PS5 can be a great way to pass the time — as a child and as an adult. But there are certain features that you might want to pay closer attention to as a parent, to keep your child as safe as possible when gaming. In this blog post, we'll talk you through PS4/PS5 parental controls, why they're useful, and how to set them up.
What are parental controls?
Parental controls are settings on your family’s electronic devices which filter or block entirely age-inappropriate content. Different devices and applications have a variety of controls that can manage what your children can see, who they can talk to, how long they can use a device and at what time. Generally, these controls can be set to uniquely manage the devices of each individual family member.
Should I use parental controls on my child’s PS4/PS5?
If you have a child who uses a PS4/PS5 without your direct supervision, you could consider using parental controls. They are an essential tool for any parents whose children use electronic devices.
These controls will ensure that your child only accesses age-appropriate material and chats with people whose profiles you have approved.
In addition to limiting who your child can talk to or the content they are able to see, parental controls can also help you to minimise the time your child is playing with their PS4/PS5 to a set number of hours per day, week or month. For example, if you want to only allow your child to play on their PS4/PS5 for no more than one hour per day, your parental controls will enable you to do that.
Talking to your child regularly about online safety
The internet and our devices attached are wonderful tools, but they are also filled with potential risks that your child will not understand without your guidance. Parental controls are helpful, but there is no guarantee that your child will not be exposed to inappropriate or harmful content.
Once your child understands the dangers of the internet, it is important that you begin to introduce good internet safety habits as soon as possible. Talk to them about age-appropriate material, the need for strong passwords, the importance of not talking to strangers, and following good etiquette when engaging with other people online.
Finally, by establishing trust with your child around their internet activity by showing interest in their own interests, favourite apps, and games, you can ensure that they are comfortable engaging in an open discussion with you. Try to be supportive and have an open mind. This way, if they do come across something inappropriate, you'll be ready to have a calm discussion with them about their activity. By opening these lines of communication without judgement, your child will be more likely to talk to you if they face something difficult through their online activity.
Updating system restrictions on PS4/5
Just like any technology device that you own, your child’s PS4/PS5 computer system needs regular updating in order to utilise the software that is constantly being developed. Ensure that your child’s device regularly if there are any software updates because many of them are likely to be part of your parental controls. PlayStation might have fixed a flaw in its security design or simply added new features. Either way, it is very important that you have the most up to date parental controls. After you update your child’s console, make sure that you recheck your parental control settings. You might have to reset them or set new parental control features.
How to set parental controls on PS4/5
All of your child’s parental controls can be set up on your web browser. To set up parental controls, you will need your own personal account on the PlayStation Network and an account for each of your children (if you have more than one). By setting up your child's account, your account automatically becomes the family manager for their account (and for any other kids).
If someone else sets up your child's accounts, they can register you as a guardian. This guardian setting enables you to have full control over parental controls. This feature is helpful if both parents want to have authority over the parental controls for the family. One parent could set up the accounts and list the other parent as a guardian so that you both have the ability to change the settings.
Once your accounts are all registered, the online platform enables the family manager and guardian to set the parental controls for each of the child accounts in that family.
When setting the parental controls, it’s important that you set a system restriction code to prevent your child from changing these settings themselves on the console. You can do this on the console itself. First, sign into one of the parent accounts, go to Settings, then Family and Parental Controls, then PS4/PS5 Console Restrictions. The system will ask you for a passcode. The Default passcode is 0000. Select Change System Restriction Passcode and enter a new passcode that is memorable and only you would know. The system will ask you to re-enter your passcode again to confirm it.
How to set up age restrictions on PS4/PS5
You can change any of the parental controls for your PS4/PS5 on either your web browser or the console itself. In the web browser, log in to your account with the PlayStation network, go to Family Management. Select the child’s account that you want to set up the age restrictions on. There are five levels of age restrictions as outlined below:
- 3 - E (Everyone)
- 4 – E10+ (Everyone 10+)
- 5 – T (Teen)
- 9 – M (Mature)
- 10- AO (Adults only)
To set up the age restriction from your PS4/PS5 console, go to Settings, then Parental Controls/Family Management, then Family Management. You need to enter your account password or passcode. Select the child account that you want to set the age restrictions for, then select Age Restrictions and choose one of the options outlined above.
Learn about why age restrictions are important on your child's electronic devices.
How to set up time limits on PS4/PS5
Time limits are a very important feature for the PS4/PS5 parental controls. They essentially ensure that your child does not spend too much time playing video games. Once your kid reaches their allotted time allowance as set by your restriction, their account will be locked until the time period resets itself. Like the age restriction setting, you can set up time limits on either your web browser or on the console itself.
How to disable chat functions on PS4/PS5?
Without restricting the chat functions on your PS4/PS5, your child can send text messages and voice chat with other players, see other players’ user-generated content, and share user-generated content created by themselves.
On your web browser, sign in to your account, go to Family Management, select the child’s account you want to disable the chat function for, then select Communication and User-Generated Content, and then finally select Restrict. You will be able to do the same restriction directly from the console by selecting Parental Controls/Family Management, then selecting Family Management. Select the child’s account that you want the restrictions for and then select Communication and User-Generated Content.
Under this function, you can authorise pre-written messages and voice chats with approved players. User-generated content such as screenshots, video clips and gameplay broadcasts will be blocked.
How to block purchases on PS4/PS5
On your web browser, sign in to your account, go to Family Management, then select the child’s account that you want to set restrictions for. Select Edit to adjust the Monthly Spending Limit. On the console, go to Settings, then select Parental Controls/Family Management, then select Family Management. Choose the child’s account that you want to set the restrictions for, then select Applications/Devices/Network Features, then select Monthly Spending Limit.
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