Do I need to set up parental control on my kid’s Android?
When their teenage daughter Jill transformed from enthusiastic and social, to insecure and angry, Frank and Susan (not their real names) went looking for answers. They found them on their daughter’s computer—she’d become a victim of cyberbullying.
Frank and Susan found the evidence after they installed parental controls on Jill’s devices. These controls allowed them to see insulting and harassing social media posts that targeted her, and were contributing to her depression.
Why parental controls
Stories like Jill’s are becoming all too common and can end in tragedy. All parents understand how important it is to monitor their child’s online consumption. But at the end of an eight-hour work day, it’s tough to find the time. It’s even harder to determine whether mood changes are indicative of serious problems or just typical teenage behavior. That’s where parental controls can be a parent’s best friend.
For Android users, parental controls can be an effective solution for managing the media their children watch. But online safety means more than just protecting kids from situations they aren’t ready for—it’s also about keeping them from inviting a nasty virus onto your device.
What are parental controls?
Parental controls are designed to give parents more control by denying access to specific content, limiting screen time, and monitoring activities on apps. However, they aren’t a failsafe solution. Parental controls should go hand-in-hand with careful planning, education, and maintenance. Here are a few guidelines for helping your kids make good choices when they’re online:
Being a good digital parent means educating your kids early and often. Be honest about what types of content you want them to avoid and why. The more they know, the more they will trust your motives for protecting them. Open communication and setting expectations will help when they inevitably balk at their content restrictions.
If you’re not sure about a site your child visits, find out for yourself what type of content it offers. Search online with your kids and become a role model for safe surfing.
Recent studies show that on average parents spend almost eight hours each day devoted to “screen time” activities. Evaluating your own media consumption is a great way to get your kids to do the same. They’ll appreciate your sacrifice, even though they’ll never admit it.
Strategies like these help build a strong foundation for your kid’s online habits. But until they’ve grown up to become perfect little darlings, continue to monitor their online activities. Activate parental controls on your devices and help protect them from inappropriate content. Trust, but verify.
Android parental controls
Most devices and operating systems offer some level of parental control. For Android device users, the process includes setting up a separate device user account for your child. After following the steps for setting up Android parental controls, you can control whether your child can access the Google Play Store and what rating level of content can be downloaded.
To give access to the Play Store, you will need to create a Gmail account for your child or sign into your user account to download something for them.
For parents looking for more control, Google’s Family Link lets you manage app usage, monitor screen time, and remotely lock a device for bedtime hours.
Family Link is viable option, but the app does have a few limitations:
- It’s restricted to compatible Android devices, for you and your kid
- You must create a Google account for your child
- You must have your own Google account
- It doesn’t protect your devices against viruses
Monitoring the amount and appropriateness of content is only one factor in keeping your kid’s online activities safe. You also need to know what your children download, email, and click.
Virus protection with parental controls
Viruses and malware are more pervasive than ever. Damage to your devices, theft of your identity, and the destruction of your data can happen with one careless click. Some apps give parents content control along with virus protection for their devices.
Panda Protection Complete lets you also protect your child’s access to specific apps and track the location of their device under Windows, Android and iOS. Panda includes a lot of characteristics to allow fathers to monitor and also control youngs, like:
Geolocation of the kids.
Prevent kids from accessing websites that contain unwanted content.
Parental controls give parents the power to help
Once Frank and Susan saw the hateful messages aimed at their daughter, they used the parental controls to detect the problem—They also deleted the messages—but not before making copies and taking them to the authorities. The complaint they filed helped end the harassment. Jill needed help, and parental controls allowed Frank and Susan to detect the problem and provide help to Jill.
In a digital world, information is power. Parental controls gave Frank the information he needed to intervene before things got worse.