Your children have unsupervised access to a variety of technologies connecting them to the interweb. Given the recent onset of online education, every parent or teacher should implement parental controls to ensure that these technologies aren’t misused.
Parental controls can help with decreasing the likelihood of your child encountering inappropriate and explicit content on the internet. In addition to setting parental controls, it’s critical to keep an eye on your child’s online activities and use device settings that are appropriate for his or her age.
What Can You Do With Parental Controls?
Parental controls are device-specific tools that allow parents to keep track of their children’s online activities, restrict what they can do with the device, and limit screen times of selected apps or the device itself.
They keep kids away from improper, unsuitable, or unlawful stuff on the internet. This can be implemented by your ISP(internet service provider), Search Engines, OTT streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon, chat applications, and other apps.
The following preventative measures can be implemented through parental control software:
- Restrict access to certain videogames with Parental Controls
- Limit screen time with Parental Controls
- Filter and restrict access to certain websites with Parental Controls
- Prevent your children from making transactions with Parental Controls
- Using safe-search you can safeguard your child from searching inappropriate content
- Safeguard your child from inappropriate video content with Parental Controls
Why Set Up Parental Controls For Your Child?
A child being glued to a phone or tab is the last thing a parent would want as they are neither being physically active nor is it engaging the brain. Nothing they can do online is a replacement for real-life sports and activities that instill cognitive growth and good health in your child.
Apart from attending online classes and going through educational research, they are far more active in internet surfing, social media, watching videos on Youtube, playing games, etc.
In the course of browsing, your kids might encounter adult content that is inappropriate for their age, and they might even make in-app purchases of some games or videos, giving you a headache and credit card bills. These are known and common issues of every other family with a growing child in this technology-driven world.
The primary advantage of using parental controls is restricting screen time, which is good for your child’s physical and mental well-being.
When you set up parental controls on your child’s device to restrict screen time and limit online activity, they won’t be able to go through adult-sensitive content and they will be protected from straining their eyes which, over prolonged hours, can build up into serious health issues like Hypermetropia.
You can restrict access to some of the websites or set ground rules that block content that is inappropriate for their age. You can supervise their social media activities and get history on what they did on their android devices all day.
Likewise, you can also restrict your child from making in-app purchases through parental controls. You get an alert whenever your child is about to purchase games or buy other online goods and services through parental controls.
Save yourself from getting in trouble by setting up parental controls on your child’s Android device to restrict their screen time and online activity.
How To Set Up Parental Controls on Android
In this section, we present to you a detailed how-to guide that walks you through how to set up parental controls on your kid’s Android device. So you know they are safe and secure when they go online.
Enable Google Play Parental Controls
Google Play marketplace is the single most popular and trusted Android application marketplace. All the apps that you download on your phone are downloaded through Google Play Store.
Other than being a marketplace to upload or download applications, Google Play features some inherent parental control settings that you can avail to protect your child from downloading and playing dangerous or inappropriate applications.
When you set up parental controls on an Android device, you are able to restrict and filter the content that can be downloaded or purchased from Google Play on that device based on maturity level settings.
Here’s How to turn on Google Play Parental Controls
STEP 1: Sign in to Google Play with your or your child’s account.
STEP 2: Launch the Google Play Store application and click on the ellipsis(three dots).
STEP 3: You will be met with a listicle of options and configurations.
STEP 4: Scroll down and navigate your way to the Parental Controls.
STEP 5: Tap on the Parental Controls and set your 6-digit PIN and confirm it on the prompt that follows.
STEP 6: Now, the Parental Controls feature should be up and in action. Moving forward, tap on each setting and configure it to your liking.
Since you’re locking out Parental Controls with a PIN code, it is natural to think what if you forget your google play parental control pin or your toddler is sharp and has figured out the PIN. How do you reset your Google Play Parental Control PIN then?
Well, we have that covered too!
Reset or Forgot Google Play Parental Control PIN
In this section, we will walk you through how to reset your google play parental control PIN. If you’ve forgotten your PIN, you need to clear your Google Play app store settings. So, before you begin, do make a list of all your current settings so that you can restore them afterward.
If you have forgotten the parental controls PIN you set it up, you can reset it by following the steps below.
STEP 1: Fire up the Settings app on your android device.
STEP 2: Click on the Application Manager or an equivalent feature
STEP 3: Scroll through the list of Installed Applications till you reach Google Play Store. Note that sometimes you will find Google Play Store app under the Default Applications tab instead of Installed Applications.
STEP 4: Tap on the Google Play Store. It should lead you to the configuration page of the application. The config page contains data usage and internet usage analytics and metrics.
There is an additional setting that lets you clear the cache or data of the app in question.
STEP 5: Click on the Clear Cache first then click on the Clear Data.
Now, your Google Play Store application will be reset to factory settings. You can re-open the Parental Controls in Google Play and configure it from scratch.
Use Family Link Android Application
If your child is 13 or younger, you can make use of the Family Link application by Google and set him/her up a personalized and supervised Google Account. If your child already has an account or is older than 13 you can still utilize the features of Family Link by linking your child’s account to the application.
Here’s What You Can Do With Family Link
Whether your children are in kindergarten or budding teens, the Family Link application equips you with tools so that you can remotely set digital ground rules from your own device to protect and guide them as they explore the internet.
Here’s an extensive list of what you can do with Family Link:
- Create a personalized and supervised Google account for kids under 13 years of age.
- Filter content on Google Search, Google Chrome and YouTube
- Set up screen time restrictions
- Tamper protection from teens. If your kids attempt to breakout or tamper with the settings, you will be notified and the device will be immediately locked out of use
- Approve or Deny what they download on the android device
- Track and view their activity history
- Get curated app recommendations for your kid’s age
- Find their current location
How To Set Up Family Link Parental Controls Android
Family Link can be set up with a handy budget of just 15 minutes. Follow along the steps to effectively set up Family Link on your and your kids android devices:
STEP 1: Open the Google Play Store and install the Family Link android application.
STEP 2: Once installed, fire up the Family Link android app.
STEP 3: In the app, look for a + sign or a setting that reads ” Create an account “. Click on it.
STEP 4: Proceed to fill in the necessary information to create your account.
STEP 5: Link the account to your child’s Android device by booting up their phone and signing in using their account.
STEP 6: Enter your own password and proceed with Next.
And that’s all the work you need to do to set up the Family Link Application. To enable/disable the various parental controls on Android go through this official Family Link help article here.
How To Set Parental Controls for Chrome
Now that device and application security and surveillance are done and dusted with, let’s take a look at how to enable parental controls in Chrome so your kid is protected while browsing the web.
Here’s how you can limit and supervise your child’s activity on Google Chrome
- Use the Family Link application to set ground rules for Chrome Browsing
- Block a list of sites or allow only approved sites
- Use safe search filter to protect your kid from NSFW search results
- Limit run time of Chrome Browser
- Decide whether your child can give camera,location and other sensitive permissions to the websites they visit.
Parental Controls For Social Media — Instagram Tiktok Facebook
Social Media is acting as a huge distraction for teens and younger children alike. Your kids end up wasting time mindlessly scrolling on social media like Instagram and Tiktok. This is a persistent concern for parents with kids of all age groups.
Let’s take a look at how to set up parental controls for social media like Instagram Facebook Tiktok.
How To Set Up Instagram Parental Controls
There are no dedicated parental controls for Instagram however, you can make use of a few intuitive workarounds and safety measures.
- Make your child’s instagram account private
- Enable safety settings for the search and explore features on Instagram
- Limit instagram screen time through third-party parental controls or Family Link
- Change message settings to follower’s only so no outsider can bug your kids
- Set a healthy daily screen time reminder inside the Instagram app
How To Set Up Tiktok Parental Controls
Tiktok has a few inbuilt features in the application that you can enable to protect your child from inappropriate and explicit content and limit his/her browsing activity. Furthermore, the recently added Family Pairing mode widens your grasp over your kid’s interactions on the app.
Family Pairing enables you, parents, to restrict screen time, manage direct messaging settings, and filter the type of content their child can see on the app.
How To Set Up Family Pairing on Tiktok
Follow these steps to set up family pairing on Tiktok:
STEP 1: Open your child’s Tiktok account on their phone.
STEP 2: Tap on the three dots (ellipsis) right next to the user profile.
STEP 3: Scroll down till you find Digital Wellbeing. Tap on it.
STEP 4: From Digital Wellbeing, tap on Family Pairing and select whether the device belongs to you or your child.
STEP 5: A QR code will be displayed on the screen.
STEP 6: The last step to successfully link your accounts is to scan the QR code with your own device.
Now, you will be able to access and manage all the parental controls on Tiktok.
What Can You Do With Tiktok Family Pairing
Now that you are aware of how to set up parental controls on Tiktok android, in this section, we further address what exactly can you do with family pairing on Tiktok.
Here’s a comprehensive list of what you can do with the Tiktok Family Pairing option:
- Manage and limit screen time
- Restrict who can send direct messages to your child. Note that direct messaging is by inherently disabled for users between ages 13 to 15
- Turn on Restricted Mode that filters out content
- Adjust who can view the list of people who have liked your child’s content
- Control who can comment on your child’s post
- Control whether your child’s account will appear in suggested profiles
Parental Controls on Facebook
Despite not having a dedicated parental controls toolset, Facebook does boast of privacy features that can protect your child when they are browsing on Facebook and socializing with strangers.
Here’s a list of intuitive workarounds to make sure your child is protected on Facebook:
- Protect your child’s account with 2FA authentication
- Set location setting OFF
- Make contact number and email private
- Limit post visibility to friends only
- Lock your child’s facebook profile so no stranger can stalk them
- Manage who can send your child a friend request on FB
- Filter NSFW explicit content
- Control which apps are linked to your kid’s account
- Block users who pose a threat
If you are concerned about your child’s mobile or online activities, you can remotely control their tech activities. By installing parental controls, you can view your child’s phone activities, including social media, multimedia content, books, visited webpages, etc.
Online safety and security of children is a growing concern for all parents in the pandemic era, with this article, we hope to solve your doubts and queries regarding how to set up parental controls on Android.
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