Android allows you to protect your children from all Internet-related activities. You will do this thanks to tools that achieve parental control. This way, you will be able to know about your child’s activities from your mobile.
We’ll talk about the Family Link app, from Google. With this application you will have absolute control, remotely, over the smartphone of the smallest in the house. You must bear in mind that this control is done by device and not by user, so if your child changes mobile, you will have to do all the process that we will show you in the following paragraphs.
If you want to know how this tool works or want to know about others, keep reading because you will find all the information related to parental control for Android.
Top reasons to set up parental controls on Android
One of the main reasons you will find when setting up a parental control on Android is that you will have full control over your child’s phone. This will let you know what activities he does on the Internet and also how much time he spends in front of the screen.
Once you perform a parental control on the smartphone of the little ones, you will make them not see contents that are not suitable for their psychological maturity. This is because you can prevent them from downloading apps with images, music and even explicit books.
Moreover, when you explain to children the responsibilities of surfing the web they learn little by little that technology is a very good tool for the intellectual development of all people and that they can generate good actions. Therefore, in the future, your child will enjoy a computer maturity that will allow him/her to have certain advantages in certain situations.
When children understand the scope and magnitude of technology, they will also learn the dimensions of people who have harmful intentions about them. In this way, you will avoid cyber-bullying, as well as any bullying and grooming activities.
Finally, when you’re not around your child, you’ll know that he or she won’t be able to incorporate people or play multiplayer games online. This will make you feel at ease and keep your child safe.
At what age should we give our children a smartphone?
While it is true that the functions of a smartphone are designed to be as simple as possible and that any child from the age of 3 can operate the mobile, it is advisable that your child receives his first device from the age of 5.
At that age they are psychologically mature enough to make the right decisions about their social environment and understand the meaning of the applications. In this way they can enjoy not only all the functions that a smartphone has, but also their social development to interact between the real and virtual worlds.
How does Family Link Parental Controls work? Main aspects
The Family Link app was developed by Google and allows remote control over the child’s mobile phone. It is necessary to install it on both devices, both the parent’s and the child’s in order to access different functions.
To do this, you need a Gmail account on your child’s device. After you install the application on both computers, you’ll give your child permissions to control web-based applications and tools.
To help you in the technological upbringing of your children, we will teach you the main aspects of this application:
Tracking of the mobile phone
This Google tool lets you know where your child’s device is at all times. This is possible thanks to the permission given to the app to access the phone’s GPS.
In this way, you will have on your smartphone screen, in a simple way and in real time, the location of the mobile.
Apps and use of these
Family Link has the ability to limit the use of the applications, both downloading and the way your child uses them. This means that with this Google tool you can control that your child does not download apps that are not suitable for their age, as well as making purchases through them.
Therefore, an important advantage when using the family bonding application is that you will be able to permanently know all the activities your child is doing on his or her mobile. This will give you peace of mind because you will not be able to access content that you consider inappropriate.
Time on screen
While you’ll be restricting all those applications you don’t want, you should also consider the time it takes to interact with approved apps. You can have this report in detail by each application and by time spent.
This will prevent your child from acquiring social behaviors that are not appropriate for their age, as well as you will be able to control that their eyesight does not deteriorate at night.
You can manage permissions and settings of the controlled device. This means that you will be able to change location-related settings and permanently monitor the permissions granted to the apps installed on the device.
You can also add or delete users and manage all the permissions that are granted to the applications by each one.
Steps to set up Family Link and activate Parental Controls on Android
The steps you will need to take to set up Family Link are:
Download the application
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Google app to both your and your child’s devices.
Please note that in order to download the program to the child’s smartphone, you’ll need a different Gmail account than yours. So, if you don’t have one, you’ll need to do so before continuing this process. If you don’t know how to create a Google Account, click on the link.
Configure your mobile
Once you’ve downloaded the application, you’ll need to start with the setup, which will require you to open the app. You’ll see “Who will use this phone?” on the screen, and you’ll need to choose the first option “Parent or guardian”.
Get close to your child’s smartphone
When continuing the setup process, you should keep in mind that you will need to have your child’s phone on hand. This is necessary in order to continue with the subsequent steps we will mention.
Once you have everything ready and have clicked on the parent or guardian option, you will have a new question to answer which will make you the family manager. In order to continue you must click on “Done”.
Take the cell phone that’s going to be monitored
On your smartphone, the application will ask you if the child has a Google account. If you don’t have one, you will have to create one according to the link we showed you in previous steps.
When you have finished that process, or directly have an account for your child, you should click on “Yes”.
Enter the code
- After you agreed to be the family manager, a 9-digit code appeared on your mobile phone. In this step you will need to enter that PIN into your child’s device.
- You will automatically get a message that the parent or guardian wants to set up the device for monitoring, using the Family Link application. In this case you will have to enter the email and password you created for the child.
- Then you must click on “Next”.
Bring your little one’s smartphone into the family
- What remains to be done is to click on the “Join” option. This will bring up a new screen in which you will see all the things that parents cannot see or do.
- It will also tell you that your child can stop the supervision, but you will receive a notification on your mobile phone of this situation.
- To finish this part you must click on “Next” and then on “Allow”.
Accept Family Link’s permissions
The Android operating system will show on your child’s phone that there is another device that wants to control it through a third-party application. In order to successfully complete the process you must click on “Activate”.
Check the apps installed on your child’s mobile
Finally, you can make any changes to the list of applications that are installed on the child’s smartphone. For this you will need to press the switch on each of them.
Manage Family Link
You’re done with your son’s cell phone. It’s time to get back to your smartphone to manage the Google app. What you’ll need to do now is configure whether you want to manage the location of the phone, the use of applications, the screen time and the device settings.
This will allow you to remotely control all the actions that your mobile phone does.
List of the best alternative parental control applications to Family Link
Family Link is not the only option you have for exercising parental control over your child’s Android phone. Here are some of the best alternatives to this Google tool:
Samsung Kids Mode
It’s an app you can download from the Samsung store. It allows your children to have a parental control without them noticing, since they will be able to play and navigate with their device freely. Just choose the applications you want them to be able to access through a 4-digit PIN.
It is free to download from the official website and you can choose the applications according to the age of your child.
GPS Family Locator and Parental Control
This app is intended for children a little older than those in the previous application. It has features that allow you to get exclusive benefits, as it uses GPS to determine the location of your child’s smartphone. You can also use it to exercise control over downloaded applications and time spent in front of the phone. It is free to download.
With this tool you will have the possibility to choose remotely which applications you want your child to be able to handle. You will only be able to do this thanks to the link you will make between your device and the child’s one.
You can block websites, applications and calls. You will also have the ability to locate the device and have a button for emergency calls. If you want to know in detail which apps you use the most and how much time you spend with your phone, you can use its statistics function.
You’ll have a home screen that allows you to customize applications for your child to use, preventing them from downloading other apps that may be dangerous to them. It also allows you to block those apps that can be purchased online.
When you download this tool, you will be able to add a fun wallpaper, making sure your child does not get bored with the content on his or her mobile. You can also disable all Wifi network signals.
This Android-compatible app allows you to incorporate parameters to set the usage time of games and applications. You can also block all adult content and monitor your child’s activity on the YouTube platform.
You’ll also have the ability to block incoming and outgoing calls, but your child will always have a button on hand to make emergency calls.