It is challenging to keep track of the websites your kids visit and who they communicate with. Fortunately, there is help. For example, Facebook rolled out new privacy settings so you can see what your kids do.
Unfortunately, things can slip through the cracks. This became shockingly clear recently as an investigation found that the popular storytelling site Wattpad is rife with sexual predators.
Thankfully, Google is stepping up in the fight to keep children safe online. Keep reading for two Google tools that you can take advantage of.
Here’s the backstory
There are several ways to limit your kids’ access to the internet. But some can also restrict websites and services that encourage learning. It’s a delicate balance between knowledge and possible danger, and Google still wants kids to learn safely.
So the company recently introduced new features to Family Link and Google TV to make it easier for parents to manage all aspects of their children’s browsing experience. Google explains in a blog post that its goal is to help parents find the right balance for their families to their relationship with technology.
You’ll first notice Family Link’s redesigned interface, putting the most-used tools to the forefront. This makes it easier to find the settings you need without digging through the menus. There is also a central space to view notifications and requests.
Another feature is setting screen time with an option for “Today Only.” This setting is handy when on vacation or if extra time is needed to complete a project.
Google also explains that the Control panel now includes supervising with the ability to set screen time limits for each device or specific apps, set content restrictions and manage app data permissions. The free Google Family Link app is available for iOS and Android.
One of the most valuable services for any parent is Google TV. Similar to other streaming services, several parental controls monitor what kids watch, one of which is having dedicated kids’ profiles.
Google added three changes to kids’ profiles, the most significant being the introduction of parent-managed watchlists. If you spot something on a streaming service that your kids might enjoy, you can add it to their watchlist.
But when they are finished watching, even kids can struggle to find something else to entertain them. As part of the update, the tech giant is introducing Google-powered recommendations. This automatically suggests titles that the kids might enjoy.
The last change to how Google TV makes it easier for parents is the introduction of better controls for YouTube. There are kids’ profiles on the streaming app, but the content might not align with slightly older kids.
To get around that, parents can now supervise the experience that comes with content settings for pre-teens and older and adjusts the features their child can use. The free Google TV app is available for iOS and Android.