It’s the holiday season so we have family on the brain. But, of course, as your local ISP, we are thinking about the technical aspects of how to bring families closer together this season, and all year long. Managing devices and apps can be a challenge, especially when you have a family. Fortunately, family sharing settings can help you stay organized and in control. When used properly, family sharing settings help lower communication barriers within the family, while strengthening security barriers beyond the family. In this guide, we’ll explore the advantages of setting up family sharing and how to get the most out of these settings, focusing on the family settings available on iOS devices.
Understanding Family Sharing
Family sharing is a feature that allows multiple users to share purchases, subscriptions, and other content across various platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows. With family sharing, you can save money by sharing purchases, setting up parental controls to restrict kids’ access to inappropriate content, and more.
To set up family sharing on an iOS device, go to Settings > [your name] > Set Up Family Sharing. From there, you can invite family members to join the group and set up shared payment methods.
Once you set up your Family Sharing everything will be organized under “Family” in the Settings app. If you have an iPhone, the Family Checklist is where you can add:
- Recovery Contacts
- Legacy Contacts
- Emergency Contacts
- Location Sharing
- Parental Controls for Kids
- Family Subscriptions and Services
To optimize shared purchases, it’s important to communicate with family members about which items are being shared and avoid purchasing duplicates. Additionally, some platforms allow you to set up shared payment methods for the family group, making it easier to manage purchases. You can also control whether or not your children are allowed to make purchases. (You know, just in case you don’t want them running up your bill with lots of $20 iTunes movie rentals, for example.)
When it comes to family sharing settings on iOS devices, you can share purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Books with up to six family members. You can also share subscriptions, or set up family plans for Apple services such as Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and iCloud storage.
These days it’s easy to lose track of the subscriptions you’re paying for, and no one wants to find out that they are paying for 3 different Spotify accounts. By sharing apps, you may be able to save money on app subscriptions, music, movies, and books among family members.
An iCloud subscription is a great way to keep all of your family’s devices connected. With an iCloud subscription, you can share photos, calendars, and other information between devices. This can help keep everyone on the same page and ensure everyone has access to the same documents, photos, and data.
Family sharing on iOS devices allows you to set up screen time limits and parental controls for kids (or adults). You can set restrictions on apps, content, screen time, and in-app purchases for kids. To set up parental controls, you can set up a child account or enable restrictions on existing accounts. This will allow you to control what content your kids can access and set limits on screen time.
Location sharing is an excellent way to keep track of your loved ones, especially if you have children or elderly relatives. Sharing your location with your family sharing group ensures that everyone is safe and accounted for. On iOS devices, it can also be used to find missing devices.
Having an emergency contact is crucial in case of an emergency. Make sure everyone knows who to contact in case of an emergency and that you have designated that person as the emergency contact in their phone or devices’s contacts.
You can share passwords or passkeys with family members or others you trust on your iPhone. Shared password groups are an easy and secure way to share passwords and passkeys with your family and trusted contacts.
Security and Privacy Considerations
To maintain privacy within family sharing settings, it’s important to safeguard personal information and sensitive data. Some devices offer additional security features, such as two-factor authentication, to protect your account. Additionally, it’s good to establish clear rules around sharing personal information within and outside your family group. Make sure you know what your children’s AirDrop settings are and that you are comfortable with the levels that they have set for sharing information.
Best Practices for Using Family Sharing Settings
It’s important to communicate guidelines and limitations to family members to ensure smooth operation and management of family sharing. This will help avoid confusion and ensure everyone understands how to use the settings effectively. Additionally, it’s important to regularly check in on the settings and adjust them as needed.
Family sharing settings are a powerful tool for managing devices and apps within a family. By following the steps outlined in this guide and exploring other features, you can maximize the benefits of family sharing settings and ensure a smoother digital experience for your family.
Green Light Wireless is your local ISP. With us, you’ll enjoy reliable, high-speed Internet services from a locally owned and operated company. We’re all about family! Check out our Internet service comparison chart to learn how Green Light Wireless is different from other big Internet companies.