HOW TO CREATE A PARENTAL CONTROLLED USER ACCOUNT
In the previous section you were shown how to create another Administrator User Account so that a second person could have their own user account, with administration rights, on the computer. In this section I will show you how to create a user account that is Managed With Parental Controls (has limited functionality) and then how to change some of the parental control settings. A Parental Controlled user account is an ideal solution for a parent, with an administrator user account, who wants/needs to monitor a child's computer activities and limit if necessary what that child is doing on the computer - Limit their days and hours and block the types of website they visit for example.
To create a Parental Controlled User Account, otherwise known as: Managed With Parental Controls, first open the SYSTEM PREFERENCES application. Either click on its docked icon (Fig 1.0) or double click on its application icon within the APPLICATIONS folder (Fig 1.1). Doing so will display the available System Preferences (Control Panels) whereby you then need to click on the one called USERS & GROUPS (Fig 1.2).
After clicking on the System Preferences (Control Panel) called USERS & GROUPS the Users & Groups window will appear. In its bottom-left corner is a Padlock icon, which might be locked. If so, it means the security feature of OS X (Mountain Lion) is currently preventing you from making certain changes to the system preferences (settings), such as creating a new user account; hence why some buttons and options are faded/greyed out. So the next step is to make changes possible by making sure the locked Padlock icon is unlocked - Click on the locked Padlock icon to continue.
Clicking on the locked Padlock icon brings up (displays) the following security message requester that basically asks you to enter the password of the currently logged-in user account in order to grant it modification permissions (privileges) - The permission to create a new user account for example. Or put another way; You need to type the password of your currently logged-in user name (i.e. John Cairns) into the security requester's PASSWORD edit box in order to authorize the creation of a new user name (user account). When you have typed in the correct password click on the UNLOCK button to continue.
With the locked Padlock icon now unlocked the next thing to do is click on the PLUS (+) button just above it. Doing so will then bring up the New User Account window (Fig 1.6) which, by default (normal behaviour), thinks you want to create a limited Standard user account; In this example though I will show you how to create a Parental Controlled (Managed with Parental Controls) user account and how to set up its permissions (privileges / limitations).
To create a new Parental Controlled (Managed with Parental Controls) user account, as opposed to a new Standard user account or Administrator user account, you need to click on the NEW ACCOUNT drop-down menu located at the top of the New User Account window and then select its MANAGED WITH PARENTAL CONTROLS option.
The next requirement of the New User Account window is the Full Name of the account user (i.e. the child). This is the name that will appear on the log-on screen when the account user first starts up the apple mac computer and also the name that will identify the account user, as a user, in certain applications they use for example. Look at the full name as a Display Name. In this example I cannot use John Cairns as the full name because I have already used it as the full name for my main user account, therefore I will use Child Account instead - You would use the name of your child of course, such as John Smith.
When you have typed your Full Name into the FULL NAME edit box the next step is to pick an Account Name (User Name) for the Parental Controlled user account. As you click inside the ACCOUNT NAME edit box, or press the TAB keyboard key to get from the FULL NAME edit box to the ACCOUNT NAME edit box, the ACCOUNT NAME edit box is automatically filled in with your chosen Full Name minus spaces and converted to lowercase. So if I had typed John Cairns into the FULL NAME edit box the ACCOUNT NAME edit box would of automatically been filled in with johncairns (lowercase). As it stands now I have chosen Child Account as the Full Name, which has resulted in the ACCOUNT NAME edit box automatically being filled in with childaccount (lowercase) and therefore given the child the Account Name (User Name) of childaccount (lowercase).
It is important to note at this point that the Account Name (User Name) will also be the name of the User Name folder placed on your hard drive. So with this in mind you might want to use a proper full name (i.e. John Smith) as your Full Name and a business name or nickname as your Account Name (User Name). In this example I have since changed the Account Name (User Name) to LimitedAccount to denote the account has limitations (i.e. Parental Controls).
The next three steps involve setting up an optional password for the new user account. If the new user (i.e. child) requires a password, perhaps because certain people in your premises cannot be trusted for whatever reason(s), the new user will need to type a new password into the PASSWORD edit box and then repeat it (retype it) inside the VERIFY edit box.
The second typing of the password, inside the VERIFY edit box, is needed so that OS X (Mountain Lion) can compare the two passwords and establish if the new user has made a typing error. For example. They may have thought they typed JIM as their password into the password edit box when in fact they typed JIN, because their finger caught the N key instead of the M key. So when they type JIM, correctly, into the verify edit box OS X (Mountain Lion) is able to see the mistake and inform them of it. If OS X (Mountain Lion) only asked them for one password and they typed JIN instead of JIM by mistake they would not be able to log-in to their new user account because they would not know the now correct password of JIN.
The last edit box is the PASSWORD HINT edit box. The new user (i.e. child) can type an optional Password Hint into it that serves as a clue to what the password is, without actually revealing the password. This is good if they tend to forget passwords in general. In this example the password hint Flower has been used, to remind them that the password is the name of a flower, but there is nothing stopping them from deterring people further. For example, they could of put Animal as the password hint so that anyone trying to break into their user account would think the password is something to do with an household pet. In other words, the password hint doesn't have to relate directly to the actual password.
In order for the Password Hint to be available when logging into the new user account (user name) you need to make sure the SHOW PASSWORD HINTS setting is ticked within the Login Options part of the USERS & GROUPS system preferences. Otherwise the new user will not see the Question Mark to the right of the PASSWORD edit box when they try to login.
When you have entered the password information click on the CREATE USER button to create the actual, new, user account. After clicking on the CREATE USER button you will be returned to the USERS & GROUPS window whereby the new user account will be listed as the selected user.
At this point you could use the new user account AS IS, without any iCloud and general Apple support, but because the whole experience of using one or more Apple devices is about using the Apple iCloud, iTunes and general Apple Support services I would highly recommend you click on the SET button now located on the USERS & GROUPS window (below) in order to setup the AppleID that will be associated with the newly created user account. Clicking on the SET button brings up a mini window (Fig 1.14 below) that allows you to either enter an existing AppleID for the new user account or create a new AppleID for it.
You normally create an AppleID when you first set up your Apple device - Macbook Pro laptop, iMac computer, iPhone mobile phone or iPod music device. That AppleID can then be used to authorize (register) up to five apple devices. So if you authorize your Macbook Pro laptop (as Authorized Device #1), and then your iPad (as Authorized Device #2) both of those devices will be able to view the same files from the cloud. So they will both be able to see the same documents in Pages, the same music files in iTunes and so on; simply because they are both linked to the same cloud (storage space). If both devices had separate AppleIDs they would only be able to view their own cloud's files. Here are the information pages about AppleID and iCloud from the Apple website.
The AppleID is not needed to use the new user account, but as said it doesn't make sense buying of an apple mac device if you are not going to utilize its 5GB FREE iCloud storage allowance, its integration of iTunes and general cloud features. Anyway, regardless if set up an AppleID now, later or never; you should now restart the computer so that the new user (i.e. child) can then login and initialize their new user account's desktop and software for example.
After clicking on the new user account and entering its password the new user account will then inherit certain applications and settings from the main user account, which is quite normal. From there they can customize their new desktop, set up their iTunes application, e-mail application (e-mail accounts are not inherited), etc. In the next section I will show you how to apply restrictions (limitations) to the new user (parental controlled) account.