A PlayStation 4 can be a great gift for your children, as it offers a lot of entertaining content and gives them a very enjoyable way to spend their free time, but it also has its downsides. Since PlayStation 4 constantly requires an Internet connection, and a lot of games are multiplayer-oriented, you can expose your kids to all the bad stuff that you can find on the Web. If this is one of your worries, then here you will find a handy guide about how to set up parental controls on a PS 4.
Let's begin with the thing that all parents need, no matter how old their children are: restrictions on store purchases. As you probably already know, PlayStation 4 gives you access to PlayStation Store, the best place to purchase games for the console. However, since your credit card information is going to be there, your kids might use it to buy games without your permission. Fortunately, there's a very easy way for you to stop this from happening. All you have to do is visit the account management page on Sony's website, login with the PlayStation Store account, then go to the "Account" section and click on the "Wallet" button. Once there, press the "Edit" button from the "Account Settings" section and change the "Require Password at Checkout" option to Yes. Once you've done that, every purchase made in PlayStation Store won't go through without your password, so your kids won't be able to use your card information even if it's stored on the console.
The next thing that you should learn is how to set up console-wide parental controls. Using these, you will be able to restrict the kind of games that your kids can play, the DVDs that they can watch, and filter the web content that they can see. In order to do this, you will need to get to the Home Screen (simply press the PlayStation button that's at the center of your console), then press the Up button and go to the Settings button in the row in the upper part of your screen. When the cursor lands on Settings, press X to select it. In the settings menu, press Down until you get to the Parental Control option, press X, then choose "Restrict Use of PS4 System" and press X.
Next, the console will be asking you to enter the PIN code. If you didn't change it, the default one is 0000, so you can simply press the Square button four times to advance. Now, you've finally reached the Parental Controls menu, and I will explain all the available options:
- Games - this option will allow you to restrict access to games based on the age of your children. I can't tell you exactly what these ratings are, because they're different in every country, but the lower the age that you select, the tighter the content restrictions will be.
- Blu-Ray Disc / DVD - this menu will allow you to either completely restrict the access to Blu-Ray discs and DVDs or filter the kind of DVDs that can be watched. Sony didn't make the exact filtering criteria public, but you can select a level between 1 and 8, where 1 is the most restrictive filtering available, while 8 is the most permissive one.
- Internet Browser - from her, you can either block the Internet access altogether or choose to use a Web Filter.
- Web Filter - this setting will allow you to define your Web filtering criteria. However, if you want to do this, you will first need to purchase a Trend Micro license from PlayStation Store, so you might be better off disabling the Web browser completely.
- Select New User and Log in to PS4 - from here, you can disallow creation of new users and restrict the use of the PlayStation 4 to only those who already have a username and a password.
- Change Passcode - this last option will allow you to change the PIN, something that I advise you to do if you don't want your kid to simply undo all of your changes to parental control settings.
The last thing that you should learn is how to protect your kid in a multiplayer environment. This means that you will need to create a sub account which will force the child to stay within a confined area of the PlayStation Network. To do this, you will need to use the Settings menu from the Home Screen and follow the above-mentioned steps, but this time, instead of pressing "Restrict Use of PS4 System", select the "Sub Account Management" option and choose "Create New Sub Account". You can create as many sub accounts as you need and impose various restrictions such as disabling online chatting, hiding mature content in the store, restricting user-created content or establishing a monthly spending limit for store purchases.
Now that you know how to set up parental controls on a PS4, you might also want to learn about setting up child user accounts on Windows 10, find out "How to control the internet traffic on your computer" or check out the "Top 5 parental control programs".