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How do I set up parental controls on my kid’s Android phone?

The internet is a strange and wonderful place, especially for children. Everything is new to kids, so it’s easy for them to click from one site to the next to the next. But what happens when they go a little too far down the rabbit hole?

You don’t want your kids to end up on creepy websites and you definitely don’t want their faces stuck in their devices all day long. Need help setting boundaries? Tap or click here for Kim’s free internet safety contract for parents and children.

Then it’s time to dive into parental controls. Setting these up is easier than you think. Let’s start with adjusting a few settings.

Built-in parental controls

Before we get into the details, remember your 6 year old will require different parental control settings than your tween or teen.

The Google Play store is rife with malware. The last thing you want is for your child to download an app they think is a game, only to discover it can destroy their phone and your bank account. Tap or click here for 9 popular apps carrying malware.

To restrict app purchases from Google Play, you must manually adjust settings on each of your kids’ phones and tablets. Here’s how:

  • Open the Play Store app.
  • Tap Menu >> Settings >> Parental controls.
  • Turn on Parental controls.
  • Create a PIN to keep your kids from adjusting these settings. Make sure it’s a series of numbers your children won’t be able to guess easily. Avoid using your address, phone number or important dates like birthdays or anniversaries.
  • Tap the type of content you want to filter.
  • Chose how to filter or restrict access.

Note: Children will still be able to see all apps in Google Play. They just won’t be able to download the ones you’ve restricted.

Use an app

Google’s Family Link app helps families create healthy digital habits. With it, parents can:

  • Set digital ground rules
  • View a child’s activity
  • Manage apps
  • Access teacher-recommended apps that are safe for kids to use
  • Set time limits and a bedtime for the device
  • Remotely lock smartphones and tablets
  • Locate a child’s phone, thus locate the child

Interested in Family Link? Want to see how to set it up and use the app? Tap or click here for step-by-step directions.

Now that you know how to utilize Android’s built-in features and Google’s Family Link app, there’s no way your kids can wander over to unsafe websites or download apps that may or may not contain malware. Like our tips? Sign up for Kim’s Android Updates newsletter.

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