Children are getting exposed to the internet at increasingly younger ages. It has become more important than ever to protect your family’s young ones from online content that can harm them. Smartphones are fast overtaking PCs as a means of internet surfing, particularly via social media apps.
Google Family Link is a service Google provides for parents to supervise the app usage of minors. Here are the steps to set up the service:
Setting up the Link
On both your device and the device of the person you wish to supervise, download the Google Link app. There are two versions of this app.
The parent version needs to be installed on your device, while the Children version should be installed on the device needing supervision.
Configuring the Parent App
1. Open the app and press Next to get through the navigation screens.
2. Click “Next” or “Okay” on a series of permissions and notifications that the program will present to help you understand the full scope of the linking features.
3. In order to link the two accounts, a link code will be present on your phone which you will need to input in the children’s app when prompted.
Configuring the Children App
1. Open the app and select the “This Device” option.
2. Select the account which needs to be supervised.
3. This is where you will be asked for the link code previously sent to your account. Input the code into the child’s account.
4. Click “Join” on the page asking your phone to become a part of the parent phone’s family link. Also, select “Yes” on the parent phone’s family link app when it shows the child’s Gmail account and asks if you wish to link to it.
Keep selecting Yes or Next to all the permissions that the apps ask for on each phone. Your two accounts will be linked after a few minutes.
Ways of Using the App
1. You can access your child’s Google account and stop Google from storing data about the online activity of the account.
2. If the child is below the age of 13, you can edit their Google Account profile from your own device.
3. As a final option, you also have the power to delete the Google account of your child, if they are below 13 years of age. You can also remove their account from any particular Android device.
4. You can set up restrictions that require your child to ask for permission before downloading an app, before paying for online app transactions, or from accessing apps that might be unsuitable for them. These options are found in the Settings section of your child’s profile on the parent app.
5. Using your child’s account, you can flag content on the Google play store which you deem to be inappropriate.
6. On the App Activity card on your child’s app’s profile, you will be able to view their online activity so you can keep track of the type of content your child is spending their time on through their device. You can then set time limits for how long your child can use an app before it gets locked down and becomes unresponsive.
With the help of the Google Family Link app, you will be able to keep an eye on the type of content your children are viewing via apps. If needed, you also have the ability to use the app to forcibly prevent them from visiting certain webpages or spending money on the wrong type of online transactions.