How to set up the Playstation 4's Parental Controls

Control access to films and games using the PS4's parental settings

How to set up the Playstation 4s Parental Controls  Everybody Plays
19th July, 2016

With a huge array of games available, from family friendly titles like Knack, through to adult-oriented blockbuster shooters like Killzone, the Playstation 4 has something to appeal to every taste. But if you're a family with young children, the chances are you may not want them to freely experience everything the Playstation 4 has to offer. As an all singing, all dancing, connected console, the Playstation 4 has a heavy focus on online connectivity - from friends lists to messages, from sharing screenshots and videos to online play, there's a huge amount of ways for players to get involved - and, luckily, a raft of parental controls to go alongside it, helping you stay in control.

But, before we get going, a word of warning. While the Xbox One almost goes a bit too in depth, it at least gets parental controls right, letting you apply restrictions only to individual user accounts. Unfortunately, the PS4 doesn't. Somewhat incredibly, this means that any restrictions you set on the PS4 are currently totally universal - there's no way to set different limitations for different users. If you play a lot of games yourself, but you don't want your 7 year old playing anything above a PEGI 7, setting the parental controls to the PEGI 7 equivalent will block every user of the console from playing anything above a PEGI 7 - and there's no workarounds, and no tricks you can use to bypass this. The only option you have is to remove the parental controls every time you want to play, and then remember to re-apply them when you come off. We're hopeful that better controls will be added in a future update, but for now, the PS4 pales in comparison to the Xbox One, and even the Wii U.

In the meantime, here's our quick guide to what you can do with the PS4's Parental Controls, and how to best ensure a safe environment for your kids to have fun in.

Creating a Sub Account

How to create a Sub Account
Adding the Sub Account to the PS4

Setting up Playstation 4 Parental Controls

How to set up PS4 Parental Controls Intro
How to restrict access to age-inappropriate games
How to restrict access to Blu-Rays and DVDs
How to restrict access to the PS4 internet browser
How to restrict the creation of new user accounts
How to change the PS4 Parental Controls Passcode

Sub Account Management

Sub Account Management Intro
How to change a Sub Account password
Setting up Sub Account Parental Controls
How to restrict access to online chat and messaging on the PS4
How to restrict access to streams and user generated content on PS4
How to set a monthly spending limit on PS4 for a sub-account

Privacy Settings

Privacy Settings Intro
How to hide my activity on PS4
How to stop people viewing your trophies on PS4
How to stop people tagging you when sharing pictures and video on the Playstation 4
How to control and block friends requests on PS4
How to control who can see my real name on PS4
How to manage who can view your friends list
How to prevent, or restrict an account from live streaming
How to block messages from strangers on PS4

First Step: Creating a new Sub Account

On the Playstation 4, the best account to create for your child is a sub account. While they can do all the things a normal account can do - like collecting your save games, letting you earn trophies for doing certain things in games, and keep up to date with your friends - these accounts also come with a number of extra parental controls for you to make use of, and a few extra restrictions. For starters, sub accounts can't have a credit card associated with them, giving you extra peace of mind - and, as an added bonus, you can set a monthly spending limit, which they can't go over. So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at sub accounts, and how to add them.

First up, you'll need to log in as your (master) account on the PS4 (or create one from scratch). Once you've signed in, push up on the control pad, and scroll across to access the settings menu.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Select Settings, and then in the next menu, you'll want to scroll down to, and select Parental Controls.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Next, select Sub Account Management. You'll be prompted to enter your password again for security, but once you're in, you'll be greeted with a screen that looks like this. Only you won't have a fetching sub account already set up, so you'll want to choose "Create New Sub Account"

Playstation 4 Screenshot

After clicking through a brief spiel about how the sub accounts work, you'll be presented with a screen like this, where you'll want to choose Create User.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

You'll then be greeted with a redundant screen that says "Now create a sub account on the next screen". Choose next, and carry on.

The next few steps are fairly straightforward. This is where you'll actually get to create a sub account for your child. You'll choose a language for the sub account to use, enter your child's date of birth (they'll need to be under 18), and click through another screen that warns you about data protection.

This bit about data protection can be a bit tricky to understand. As you're creating a sub account, you'll need to enter information about your child - like their birthday, post code and town, etc - which is fair enough. However, this information will also sometimes be passed on to "partners", such as game publishers - EA are one such publisher, who will use the details to create an Origin account for you when you play one of their games, in order to access their online services. After clicking through the warning (you don't have any say in the matter), the process transfers across to PC (for reasons known only to Sony), and you'll find an email waiting in your inbox, sent to the email address you used to set up your main account, ready for you to carry on.

Follow the link, and log in online, and you'll be greeted with a screen that looks like this:

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Here, you'll need to enter an email address to be associated with your child's new sub account (you can always create a brand new email address that your child won't have access to), optionally select a gender, and enter a password for the sub account to use. It's important that you remember this password for future use, but your child won't need to know it - they'll be able to log into their account, and do everything they need to on the PS4 without having to put their password in.

You'll also be asked to choose a date of birth, which will effect what your child will be able to purchase and view on the Playstation Store.

Once you've entered the details, click "I agree", and you'll be almost done! All you need to do now is to head to your child's email account, and click on the big link included to tell them that yes, this is a genuine email address.

The final step of the set-up process lets you set up a handful of different parental controls for the account, although as we're going to go through this on the console later, you can skip over these for now.

Right! That's the Sub Account created - now all you need to do is add it to the PS4.

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Adding the Sub Account to the PS4

To get started with adding the account, first, hold the PS button (in the center of the controller) until the Quick Menu appears.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Then, go down to Switch User, and on the Switch User screen, choose New User

Playstation 4 Screenshot

On the next screen, choose Create a User, and then accept the license agreement.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

If you want your sub account to be able to access online features on the Playstation 4, from things like the Playstation Store, where you can buy new games; TV and video on-demand services; and the ability to share great gameplay clips and screenshots with friends, you'll want to go through the Playstation Network sign up process too, which pops up next. If you skip this, you'll still be able to have an account on the console, with all the save games and benefits that come with it, but you'll only be able to play games offline.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Click next, and you'll be prompted to either Sign In to the Playstation Network, or create a new Playstation Network account.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

As we've already created an account, we'll sign in here, using the details we entered for our sub account.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

With your details accepted, Click next, and then choose an appropriate username, and enter your child's first name and surname, before choosing an avatar.

Playstation 4 Screenshot
Playstation 4 Screenshot

The next two pages actually involve some privacy settings, but you should set these to the default now - we'll come back to them later.

Playstation 4 Screenshot
Playstation 4 Screenshot

After entering your postcode, city, and "State/Province" (by which they seemingly mean "country"), you'll then have to wait a short while for a verification email to come through. Once this has arrived, follow the link in the verification email, and continue the process on the PS4. If the email doesn't show up, you can always click "Help", and then click on "Resend Email" to have Sony send it again, or change the email address it should come through to.

Playstation 4 Screenshot
Playstation 4 Screenshot

Once logged into the Playstation Network, you'll be asked if you want to Activate this PS4 as your Primary PS4. The long and the short of this is, unless you have several PS4s and your child will mostly be playing on a different one, you want to click Yes.

If you have a Playstation Camera connected, you're then asked if you want to add face data to your account, in order to sign in automatically if the Playstation Camera recognises you. We personally wouldn't bother, but if you fancy the cool touch of technology, feel free to set this up.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

And that's it! You're done! Phew! Now to get on with setting up the Parental Controls proper.

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How to set up PS4 Parental Controls

So, to recap - if you're at this stage, you'll have set up your child's sub account, you'll have chosen them a Playstation Network username, and you'll be ready to go! Time to start tweaking the parental controls, to the make the PS4 a bit safer for the little ones.

In order to get to the Parental Controls, you'll want to log in as your main account, head to the Playstation 4's main menu, then push up on the control pad, and scroll along to the toolbox icon to access the settings menu. From here, choose Parental Controls, and then select "Restrict Use of PS4 Features". You'll now need to enter your passcode - by default, this is 0000 (or square square square square), although you'll certainly want to change it afterwards.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

On this screen, you'll be greeted with an array of options - however, it's important to note the one big gotcha: these parental controls apply on a system wide basis, for all users. That means if your whole family uses the PS4, it's impossible to set one level of access to games for your kids, and another for the adults of the family - you either all get restricted to a maximum PEGI level, or no-one does. This really limits the usefulness of the parental controls on the PS4 - and in all honesty, you'd probably be better off just telling kids what they are and aren't allowed to play, rather than using the game limitation.

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How to restrict access to age-inappropriate games by age rating

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Restrict Use of PS4 Features -> Games

Playstation 4 Screenshot

The PS4's games restriction settings aren't as easy to set up as they could be. Rather than letting you enter your child's age, or simply choose a level of PEGI rating (ESRB in the US) you'd be happy with your child having access to, you instead have to choose from a seemingly arbitrary system of levels. Scrolling down the list will cause the PEGI ratings shown at the bottom to gradually disappear, as each level makes the console slightly more restrictive. As there are 11 levels of restriction to choose from, and only 5 PEGI levels, there's a lot of overlap here, and redundant levels.

When setting these ratings up, it's best to simply keep your eye on how many PEGI levels are showing at the bottom, rather than trusting the "Approximation" shown in the box. For some reason, for example, level 8 ("15 or older") lets 15 year olds play games rated as a PEGI 16. If you simply slide down through the levels, until the only PEGI ratings shown on screen are the ones you want your child to have access to, you should be fine. However, please bear in mind - and we can't reiterate it enough - that these settings apply on a system wide basis, rather than just to individual accounts, so any restrictions you apply here will apply for all users of the PS4. And there are no workarounds.

For more on PEGI ratings, and how they work, check out our illustrated guide, PEGI Age Ratings: Video game ratings explained

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How to restrict access to Blu-Rays and DVDs

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Restrict Use of PS4 Features -> Blu-ray Disc/DVD

Note: This section would ordinarily explain how to restrict access to Blu-Rays and DVDs - but, there's currently one big issue. The restrictions don't actually work. Even with everything set to the most restrictive settings, where we presume we're only meant to be able to watch U or PG rated Blu-Rays and DVDs, we watched several 12, 15 and 18 rated DVDs and Blu-Rays with no issues. In other words - if you want to restrict what films your children can watch on your PS4, as things stand, you can't. The parental controls don't do anything.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Were these settings working, in order to restrict access to Blu-Rays and DVDs by age, the first setting you'd want to tweak is Country or Region for Parental Control. Even though we're based in the UK, for some reason, this defaulted to being set for the United States, so you'll want to change this just in case. Select this option, and you'll be presented with an alphabetically ordered list of countries to choose from. You can find the United Kingdom exactly where you'd expect it to be in an alphabetical list - somewhere between France and Greece...

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Once you've switched the Country or Region settings across, if you thought the arbitrary level system for games was unusual, you ain't seen nothing yet. By choosing Blu-Ray Disc, you can set a maximum age rating you'd happy with, which will prevent Blu-Rays, or DVDs with an age rating higher than that being watched on your console. The only problem is, the ratings scale the console gives you goes from 0, to 254. And we don't know about you, but not only do we not see many 254 year olds strutting about the place, but we haven't seen many Blu-Rays restricted to only them either.

DVD meanwhile, has a slightly more mellow rating system, with a selection of levels on offer ranging from 1 to 8, with the default (allow) letting you watch whatever you want. However, there's nothing official that says what these eight levels relate to (as there are only six levels of BBFC rating), and, as mentioned above - at the moment, they don't actually work anyway.

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How to restrict access to the PS4 internet browser

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Restrict Use of PS4 Features -> Internet Browser

Playstation 4 Screenshot

With everything from the 3DS to the Wii U having a web browser lately, it'd be remiss if the PS4 didn't - and Sony is no slouch, packing its console with a pretty nifty browser. That said, it's also potentially not the sort of thing you might want children having unfettered access to - as there are plenty of sites you'd probably rather the little ones don't see. On the PS4, there are a few ways you can limit access to the browser, although only one of which is free.

The free way

Under "Restrict Access to PS4 Features", you can choose whether to Allow or "Do Not Allow" access to the web browser. It's a bit of a blunt tool, but it does the job well enough - there's no way of accessing dodgy sites with the Internet Browser turned off, although they also won't be able to use the web browser, at all. If you want a more nuanced approach, you'll have to go for plan B...

The paid way

By choosing the "Web Filter" option, located directly below, you can purchase a subscription to Trend Micro's Kids Safety Filter, a package that promises to block children from accessing any websites that contain things they deem inappropriate, from drug use to sexual content. How well this works, we don't know, but there's a handy FAQ for more information here

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How to restrict the creation of new user accounts

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Restrict Use of PS4 Features -> New User Creation and Guest Login

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Lurking in the PS4's parental controls settings is a little known setting for "New User Creation and Guest Login". With two potential settings again - either Allow or Do Not Allow - this is a binary choice, and one it may not be immediately obvious why you're being asked to make.

The best we can come up with is that allowing a sub account to create a new user would allow them to effectively bypass any controls on spending - if they made a new user, they could assign a parent's credit card to it, and buy whatever they wanted - although you'd have to have a phenomenally dishonest child for this to be an issue. With that in mind, we're not sure it really matters how you set this one.

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How to change the PS4 Parental Controls Passcode

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Restrict Use of PS4 Features -> Change Passcode

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Of course, it's not much use setting up your parental controls if your kids can just go in and change all the settings whenever they want - and that's why it's important to change your passcode. Under Change Passcode you can create a new, four button string that you'll have to enter before being allowed to change the parental controls in future. As you can see from the picture above, each button corresponds to a certain digit, and as this screen pops up every time the console needs you to enter the pin, you can create a passcode that's a little bit more memorable than a random string of numbers - although the usual advice about avoiding anniversaries and birthdays applies. With the passcode set, any restrictions you've made to the system will be secure. Be very, very careful though, to make sure you remember this passcode - if you forget it, you'll need to do a factory reset on your console, which could cost you all your data if you don't back it up.

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Sub Account Management

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Sub Account Management

If you've been following this guide from the start, you'll have made your child a new sub-account, which brings with it a whole host of additional, sub-account specific parental controls, which apply only to that account. Under Sub Account Management, there's a few things you can restrict, to ensure your kids have access to safe, fun console.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

After selecting Sub Account Management, and entering your password again, you'll hopefully be greeted by a screen that looks a little bit like this, with the option to create a new sub account, or edit the one you made earlier - in our case, the fetching RalphTheSubAcc.

Choose the sub account, and you'll be greeted by another menu, this time with just two options: Parental Controls (a different set of parental controls to the ones we've already set), and Sub Account Password. Just to break with tradition, we'll start with the second one.

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How to change a Sub Account password

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Sub Account Management -> [username] -> Sub Account Password

This option is actually an incredibly handy one to have, as it lets you change the sub account's password at any time. Should your child forget their password (or, if you want to for any reason prevent them having access to their account), you can come in here and change the password, without having to enter the original one first.

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Setting up Sub Account Parental Controls

How to restrict access to online chat and messaging on the PS4

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Sub Account Management -> [username] -> Parental Controls -> Chat/Message

A handy setting, and one that only applies to the specific sub account you're editing, this option, labelled Chat/Message, lets you use control access to the PS4's online chat and messaging systems. Unfortunately, this is a pretty blunt, binary choice - while the Xbox One offers you the ability to restrict messaging and voice chat to only friends, so your kids can happily chat with their buddies, without having to worry about strangers, on the PS4 the only option is block or allow. A bit disappointing, admittedly, but perhaps it's better than nothing. Switching this to "Block" will mean your child can't receive messages from anyone, whether friends or strangers - and when playing online, they won't talk to people using the PS4's party or game chat systems either.

According to the description that pops up, setting this option to block will also block your child from being able to see any comments other players leave on and around the PS4, too.

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How to restrict access to streams and user generated content on PS4

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Sub Account Management -> [username] -> Parental Controls -> User Generated Media

Like the Xbox One, the PS4 comes with a whole host of facilities to make sharing short clips and screenshots of your gaming activities easy. On the plus side, that means you can share great moments from your gameplay - on the downside, it means kids might see rude, violent, or otherwise explicit imagery from games that are unsuitable for them. While the ability to filter out content from games by PEGI rating would be nice, the User Generated Media filter only offers a choice between "Allow" or "Block", meaning your kids can either see everything, or nothing. Setting this to block will also prevent your child from seeing other user's streams - a fairly popular PS4 feature, where players will broadcast footage of themselves playing a game over the internet. Of course, as you're watching another user playing, you have no idea what they'll be saying or doing, but it would still be nice if Sony offered a more faceted approach to these things - only allowing streams and screens from friends, for example, as the Xbox One does, would be a nice bonus.

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How to set a monthly spending limit on PS4 for a sub-account

Location: Settings -> Parental Controls -> Sub Account Management -> [username] -> Parental Controls -> Monthly Spending Limit

Sub Account finances are a little bit weird. As you can't assign a sub account its own credit card, any purchases the sub account makes will draw on funds from the associated master account (which, in this case, will be yours). If there's no money already in your wallet on the Playstation Network, then the sub account won't be able to make any purchases - if the wallet on your master account is empty, then even if your child's spending limit is set high, it won't take money from your credit card to pay for it. The money has to already be in your wallet for them to use it.

This is as confusing as it sounds, and is a bit of a strange system to begin with - giving a child a spending limit, as though saying "you can buy £5 of games every week", like they're sweets or a comic, doesn't make as much sense as having absolute parental control over their purchases . Requiring a parent to log in and give their approval to purchases would seem more logical.

With this in mind, you're probably better off taking one of two approaches.

  1. Keep your master account's wallet empty, and instead add funds to the sub account by buying Playstation Network credit vouchers. Rather than having your child know they have £5 they MUST SPEND THAT MONTH, they should then only end up buying things they actually want!
  2. Set the spending limit to £0.00, and instead buy anything your child wants to play through your account. Games you buy digitally on the PS4 will be automatically unlocked for all users of that console, so long as that PS4 is your primary PS4. Once again helping you bypass the "have money, must spend" mentality a spending limit creates, this helps you run all purchases through one account, and double check your child isn't wasting their (or your) money.

So, it seems like that's it for the Sub Account Privacy settings, right? Wrong! There are actually more things you can tweak - you'd just never find them!

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Privacy Settings

Playstation 4 Screenshot

Although they're hidden away outside of the parental controls section, there's actually a range of privacy settings you can adjust on the Playstation 4, on a per account basis, that let you control your child's visibility online, helping keep them safe online.

As a connected console, there are plenty of ways for your activities to be shared across the Playstation Network, even when you're not playing a game. From the console's activity feed, which keeps a track of what you and your friends have been getting up to, to the ability to share screenshots and video of your finest (or worst) hours, the Playstation 4 offers plenty of ways to socialise - and plenty of privacy settings to reel things in. We'll run you through what each setting does below.

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How to hide your activity on PS4

Found Under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing Your Experience -> Activities

Playstation 4 Screenshot

When you perform certain activities in PS4 games, the console will automatically make a log to the PSN activity feed. This feed shows your friends what you've been getting up to recently, letting them know which trophies you've earnt (achieving certain goals in games will earn you trophies), and which games you've been playing. Much like social media, your friends can "like" what you've done, and leave comments.

Mostly simply messages like "Ian played Knack for the first time", "Ian earnt 4 Trophies on Ratchet and Clank" or "Ian watched YouTube", there's nothing all that personal revealed here at all, as they're all automated messages. Perhaps as data-revealing as it gets is that if you watch a film through one of the online stores, it will sometimes post a message saying which film you've been watching, depending on the service you're using. In this menu, you can set to share these message with Friends Only, Friends of Friends, or No One. We'd recommend setting it to Friends Only. For added privacy, you can also use the tick boxes below to disable any posts about videos you watch - but it's safe to leave trophies ticked. If you want to err on the safe side, feel free to disable likes and comments.

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How to stop people viewing your trophies on PS4

Found Under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing Your Experience -> Trophies

Rather than the activity feed, the Trophies List is a more static list of your achievements and progress through games. On the Playstation 4, the trophies list contains a list of all the games you've played, and the trophies you've earnt on each one, along with a completion percentage. There's little in the way of personal data shared here, though, as it simply logs which of the built in trophies you have and haven't earnt, so it doesn't really matter too much how you set this. We'd recommend leaving it set to Friends Only, but setting it higher likely won't make too much difference. If you're that way inclined, you can even exclude showing trophies for certain games, on a game by game basis.

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How to stop people tagging you when sharing pictures and video on the Playstation 4

Found Under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Sharing Your Experience -> Tags

In the age of social media, tagging is all the rage. This setting determines whether people can tag you when sharing a screenshot or video. Tags can be made using either your real name, Playstation Network ID, Facebook Profile, or Twitter Account. If a friend takes a screenshot of your group of friends playing a game, and then uploads it to Facebook, tagging you in it, it may end up tagging you with your real name. Really, what this does is create the potential for things you'd rather keep inside the confines of the Playstation Network to be shared publicly on your friends' social media accounts. This may not be as much of an issue with normal games, but if you're playing a game involving the Playstation Camera, which will film you, there are privacy issues to consider. While we'd recommend setting this one to Friends Only, so only those you trust tag you in things, those who want a bit more privacy may want to consider turning this non-essential feature to Block.

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How to control and block friends requests on PS4

Found under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Connecting With Friends -> Friend Requests

Playstation 4 Screenshot

As an online system, your friends play a big part in the fun on the PS4. After all, you can't see what your friends are getting up to, view their screens and clips, or play games with them if they aren't on your friends list. At the same time, it stands to reason that you might not want absolutely anyone to be able to send your child friends requests - and so there are plenty of ways to exercise a bit of control over your privacy on the Playstation 4.

On the PS4, your Playstation Network account may show up in various places - on leaderboards of games, on screenshots you or your friends share, and obviously, when you're playing online. If people think you're a good player, they may want to send you a friend request - and many people do do this, even if they don't know you. Of course, for a child, there's always the potential for meeting strangers, and so to keep things a bit safer, you can set this one to Friends of Friends - allowing those your friends have made PS4 friends with to send you a request, but cutting out invites from total strangers. Of course, you'll likely need to add your first few friends without this restriction in place in order for things to work...

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How to control who can see your real name on PS4

Found under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Connecting With Friends

While your username is your main representation in the world of the Playstation Network, the PS4 does sometimes show your real name to people. Friends can send you a real name request, which will then make you show up in their friends list by your real name, rather than your PSN account name, and will sometimes use your Facebook or Twitter profile picture, depending on your settings. There are three main ways to prevent the PS4 from showing your real name to anybody.

First, the "Friends of Friends" privacy setting will let you choose whether you want to show your real name (and personal profile picture) to close friends of other close friends (i.e., do you want to show your real name to people who your friends have shown their real name to). It's a bit of a complex scenario, but we'd recommend leaving this set to "No One". Anyone your child is close enough friends with to want to befriend on the PS4, they're probably close enough friends with to share PSN names anyway.

Similarly to above, there's also the "Search" setting in the same menu. This allows you to choose whether you want people to be able to search for you by your real name. While this may be a really handy feature for finding people you didn't know had a PS4, you can probably leave this to "No One" on a child account.

Another setting you'll want to tweak is found just below, and labelled "Players you may know". Another PS4 feature designed to let friends know of other friends who also have PS4 accounts, the "Players you may know" section is a list of people the PS4 has reason to believe you might know (through mutual friends, etc), displayed by real name. Disappointingly, there's no way to have the PS4 list you in this section by just your username - you either show up by your real name, or not at all. For privacy's sake, we've always left this switched off - and for a child account, it's probably best to do the same, leaving both options unticked.

Finally, you'll also want to head back out of the Connecting with Friends menu, and then choose Managing Your Friends Lists and Messages to see the final option you'll need to adjust. Labelled "Games", this option lets you set who can see your real name and profile picture in games. There's really no real need to show anyone your real name in Playstation 4 games, as a bit of anonymity goes a long way. With that in mind, while you have options for "Close Friends" and "No One", we'd recommend going for the latter.

Playstation 4 Screenshot

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How to manage who can view your friends list

Found under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Managing Your Friends Lists and Messages -> Friends

This option lets you choose who can or can't view your friends list - essentially your PS4 contact list. You can set it to Anyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only or No One. It's probably worth setting this to Friends Only at least.

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How to prevent, or restrict an account from live streaming

Found under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Managing Your Friends Lists and Messages -> Requests to Watch

One of the cooler things the PS4 lets you do is offer a stream of your gameplay, so your friends can watch a key grudge match, or an attempt at doing something cool live over the internet. This setting lets you enable/disable requests to watch, with settings for Friends Only, or No One. We'd recommend going for Friends Only, as this is a cool feature to have when two friends are about to engage in a titanic FIFA battle, and they want a real crowd!

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How to block messages from strangers on PS4

Found under: Settings -> Playstation Network/Account Management -> Privacy Settings -> Managing Your Friends Lists and Messages -> Messages

And finally, the last section in this list lets you control who can send you messages. With this one, it's worth going for one of the more restrictive settings, as some Playstation 4 players have a tendency to fire off angry messages to people if you manage to beat them - or taunting messages if you lose. To cut out the nastiness, and ensure nice, safe experience for your child, it's worth setting this to Friends Only.

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And that's it! While there are a few other pages in the privacy settings, most of the options are actually duplicates of things you've already set elsewhere! If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a message below in the comments, and one of our writers will get back to you as soon as possible!

Disclaimer/disclosure: Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Links to Amazon are affiliate links, and we may receive a small fee should you choose to complete the purchase using these links. This doesn't affect the price you pay for your product - but it does help support Everybody Plays and our team!
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