If you’re not sure what your children are getting up to on their PlayStation and need some stronger PS4 parental controls then a couple of apps can put your mind at rest. Or make you even more worried…
I admit that it’s my fault that my kids love games consoles so much. I have been a fan since the 90’s and I think my enthusiasm has been passed on to them. My kids soon got fed up of watching me play and wanted their own console. In the end, out of an act of sheer generosity (not because I hated sharing) I bought by son a PlayStation 4.
Keeping him safe
I consider myself as fairly savvy when it comes to online safety. Afterall, I have been online gaming since the late 90’s, so I knew a lot of the issues to keep an eye out for.
I set my son’s PS4 up for him and explained the importance of online safety. However, except for watching him all the time, I thought there was little else I could when it came to PlayStation parental controls.
Then, I discovered that he was receiving messages from complete strangers, even though I thought I had disabled the option. And I’m ashamed to admit that I told him off. But after some digging, I found it wasn’t his fault.
It appears that Sony allows your online friends to add you to chat groups with complete strangers. One of my son’s friends had done this and he was now receiving messages from over 50 people. And let’s just say that the language wasn’t appropriate for an 8-year-old.
After a little digging, I discovered there was a great way to keep an eye on your child’s PlayStation usage, simply by downloading a couple of apps.
The first app you need to download is simply called “PlayStation App”. First of all, this app can help you keep track of the PlayStation games your child has been playing. It doesn’t give you a comprehensive breakdown, but lets you know when they earn a trophy from a game. The app also gives you a list of your child’s PlayStation friends and any current friend requests. So if a stranger sends a request to your child, you will know about it.
But the PlayStation app is the only one you need. Next up, you need PlayStation Messages. This app lists all your child’s friends and when they’re online. But more importantly, it monitors all messages on your child’s PS4 – both incoming and outgoing. And if you really want to annoy your son/daughter, you can send messages to their PlayStation friends from your phone.
Once you download the apps, all you need to do is input your child’s username and password. You should really know these anyway, and if you don’t, find out!
You can have the option for all notifications from the app to ping on your phone. Although very useful, it can be annoying when one of your kid’s friends keeps sending your son invites to a game… especially when you’re at work.
These apps are a must-have and a great way of giving you some extra PS4 parental controls. And best of all, they are free.
And the chances are, if your child has a PS4, they also have a Fortnite. Take a look at my parent’s guide to Fortnite.