How to turn on the kids’ iPhone Messages safety feature

iOS 15.2 comes with a new optional tool for parents that helps kids be safe when texting. Watch for how to enable the kids’ iPhone Messages security feature, which warns when photos may contain nudity.

The new opt-in feature is officially called “communication security in messaging, here’s how Apple describes it:

Turn on communication security to help protect your child from viewing or sharing pictures that contain nudity in the Messages app. If Messages detects that a child is receiving or trying to send this type of photo, Messages obscures the image before it is viewed on your child’s device and provides guidance and age-appropriate resources to help them make a safe choice, including contacting someone they trust if they choose.

It’s important that Apple has created this feature so that it do not do have access to one of the pictures in Messaging. All processing is performed on the device to tell if an image is nude, and messages retain end-to-end encryption.

How to turn on the kids’ iPhone Messages security feature

You’ll need Apple’s screen time feature on an adult’s device to set up the kids’ iPhone Messages security feature (requires family sharing). Read more about setting up Family Sharing here if you have not already done so.

  • Make sure both your child and your iPhones / iPads are updated to iOS 15.2 (or macOS 12.1)
  • On an adult’s iPhone or iPad, open Settings app
  • Choose Screen time
  • Swipe down and select the child for whom you want to set up iPhone Messages security
  • Choose Communication security
  • Press the button at the top next to it Check for sensitive images

Here are the steps on the iPhone:

 How to enable kids's iPhone Messages security feature goes through

You can also read more about Apple’s child safety resources with the link below the feature change (shown above).

This is what it looks like with the feature turned on when it recognizes nudity in Messages:

 How to enable children's iPhone Messages security feature - Review 2

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