The family-friendly pros and cons of iPhone 6 and iOS8 functionality

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Cyber Safety for Kids and Families with Joanna and Jodie on The Fish Family Morning Show 103.9FM

The new iPhone 6 and iOS8 was released last week, and as is always the case, new releases of technology bring changes that can be good and potentially problematic. So parents need to be aware of what is involved and have a plan to handle it.

Related: Cyber rites of passage – Setting age-appropriate boundaries

Here is a heads up on some of the significant features parents should be aware of so that you can make cyber-safe decisions with your family about using the new device and functionality.

ApplePay. ApplePay is a game changer for mobile payment methods because the premise of this app is to protect the privacy of the user by not storing and selling the information about the transaction; so from an identity security aspect this app is innovative and perhaps conveys a measure of respect for the consumer as individuals who are more than marketing and sales targets.

According to a Granite Bay mom who uses iOS technology for her family, ApplePay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the phone which you have with you every day. “You can use your iPhone 6 to pay in an easy, secure, and private way, with Touch ID,” she said. “The iPhone 6 has a Near Field Communication antenna – just hold your iPhone near the reader with your finger on Touch ID. You will receive a subtle vibration and beep that lets you know your payment information was successfully sent.”

She explains that instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element, a Dedicated chip in iPhone. These numbers will never be stored on Apple servers. The Device Account Number along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code is used to process your payment. Your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared with merchants. “Apple doesn’t store the details or your transactions so they can’t be tied back to you,” she said.

New features that could create a security risk

Pre-installed items

Group Messaging. The item parents will want to monitor with iOS8 release, and pre-installed on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, is the Group Messaging. There are options to share your location for one hour, share until end of day, or share indefinitely. Parents might want to restrict this in the Restrictions setting for Messaging.

Geo-tagging – My Location. There is also an option to Send My Current Location which also might need restriction by parents. This feature allows you to send a map of your location to the person you are texting. Parents will probably want to disable this feature and have conversations with their children about communicating on line with only those people you know in person no matter how many nice or intimidating things they say to persuade you to meet in person.

Self-destructing photos. According to a report by the Telegraph, the iPhone 6 boasts a feature that enables the user to take a photo that will self-destruct – very similar to the SnapChat functionality. Parents will want to make sure that their children know that in the cyber realm, the images can be captured and used against them. The rule of thumb is: never post or send anything that would not make your parent proud. Think , think, think before you post and send.

To learn more about iPhone 6 and iOS 8 functionality, consult your local Apple store.

Related: What every parent needs to know about iPhone 6 and iOS8 functionality


Joanna Jullien (Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show 103.9FM  started a blog called, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show 103.9FM started a blog called, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens

Jodie Stevens, hostess of The Fish Family Morning Show on 103.9FM The Fish offers insights and lessons learned about faith and recovery from addiction. Check out her blog, Genuine Life with Jodie Stevens, weekday mornings on the Family Morning Show.


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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna ( and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.