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Google Family Link and Parental Controls

Google Family Link

Kids need laptops but not access to many websites on the internet. School age children, especially in the U.S., start clamoring for their own laptops or phones once they get into school. Parents, especially those who want their children to have an educational advantage in school, have no problem investing in technology for their kids.

Still, we all know that the internet poses major dangers, especially for kids. Thankfully, technology companies are doing what they can to help parents help their kids.

Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world, produces smartphones, smartphone software (Android), and laptops. Google also has dozens of applications on its own app store (Google Play), and knows how important online safety is for parents.

Google also knows that the government expects technology companies to sell and promote products that are safe for the public. Although Google doesn’t and can’t control the internet, they can provide help to customers who purchase their products.

The good news is for parents is they do.

Google Parental Controls for Androids and more. The help parents need.

That’s where the Google Safety Center and Google Family Link come in. There is plenty of information online on Google’s website for both topics. Best of all, the information and many of the parental control features Google offers are free.

If you’re a Google/Android based family, you can implement a plan to control what your kids access online. (Admittedly, it’s not perfect, but it is a solid start every parent should be aware of.)

Here is the link to Google Safety Center, which includes a link to Google Family Link. Here is how Google puts their solutions to family protection into words:

“We help you manage what’s right for your family online. Children today are growing up with technology, not growing into it like previous generations. So we’re working directly with experts and educators to help you set boundaries and use technology in a way that’s right for your family.”

Google

Parents can take control of their family’s internet experience.

If you’re family uses Chrome, uses Google Chromebook computers and Android phones, then you can use special solutions, settings, extensions and apps to monitor screen time, filter website content and more.

Google Family Link gives parents a clear idea of what parental controls are about.  The features lets parents take action to restrict online content, approve or disapprove installations on phones, set screen times limits, and more.

Without these parental control options, children would be able to visit any website they wish at any time. And they’d be able to be on their phones and other devices anytime they wanted.

That is not a good thing, and it’s an issue affecting kids worldwide.

Parents can take control of their family’s internet experience.

If you’re family uses Chrome, Google Chromebook computers and Android phones, then you can use settings, extensions and apps to monitor screen time, filter website content and more. Additionally, it can help families begin to talk about important topics, including defining and developing healthy online habits and discussing harmful internet content and behavior.

Here are some of the basic yet important features that Google Family Link offers. This allows you as a parent to keep tabs on what your children or watching online.

  • See when your children or on their devices.
  • Limit times when your kids can be online.
  • Turn off access to apps under your control.
  • Define and control times where their devices are offline.
  • Set screen time by time of day, and for how long.
  • Supervise YouTube content for older children.

In short, it gives you control over all the products and apps Google offers. Google just streamlined the Google Family Link user interface to make it easy for parents to monitor their families’ activities.

You need to know that Google Family Link cannot block websites, however other parental controls software can.

Google Family Link is an excellent start and introduction to parental controls. However, it may not be enough for today’s fast- and ever-changing online environment.

Because beyond using Google devices and Chrome, you can use top-notch parental control software for any brand of laptops and phones. More than that flexibility, these parental control app providers allow you to take much greater control of your family’s internet usage.

For a more deeper look into parental controls and why parents need to get involved, read this article on our website.

(The top software providers are listed in our article.)

Google isn’t the only game in town.

One huge drawback regarding Google Family Link is that most kids ask for and prefer iPhones.

Often, consumers are split between devices made by Apple, Inc,. and Google.

  • Apple produces their own hardware and software: Mac computers, that use macOS, and iPhones that iOS software. Of course, they make the popular iWatch and iPads too.
  • Devices and apps from Google are everywhere, particularly their apps. The Android mobile operating runs on nearly all non-iPhones. They also sell a computer (Chromebook) and a phone (Google Phone) but that isn’t their market.)

Google is primarily a gigantic owner and operators of software applications.

So, few families will likely choose to buy and use only Google products and services. Nearly all households use a mix of PCs and Macs, iPhones and Android-based phones, Chromebooks, Surface Pros and iPods. That’s just the products and services aspect.

There is another challenge parents face.

Kids today are very tech-savvy and drawn to the internet.

Unfortunately, when it comes to understanding all the intricacies of technology, most (if not all kids of all ages) can run circles around their parents and grandparents where devices and app features  are concerned.

That’s just part of the issue. Kids are curious, under great peer-pressure and live in a social-media driven, technology connected world. They want to explore, not be denied.

Conclusion.

So, while using Google devices and their parental controls is a great start, you may have much greater success managing your family’s internet with one of the many independent parental control software apps available.

The choice is totally yours—it depends on what you think is best for your family and how much involvement and control you want when it comes to protecting your kids online.

Fortunately, the parental control app and software developers do  their best to make it simple for parents to download their programs use the features available. At WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, we listed some of the top parental control software available in our overview of the topic. You can find them at the link below.

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