Family link is a new service launched by Google last year. It is created to help parents keep track of what children below the age of 13 years old is doing on Android devices. This includes monitoring the apps they use and amount of time they spend on the device.
What is Google Family Link
- Designed by Google to help families create healthy online habits
- You can view your child’s phone activities. For instance, how much time they spend on a particular app
- You can block app that your child wants to download. You can also hide specific apps from their devices and control their in-app purchases
- Google Family Link will also provide with teacher recommended apps to help parents decide if a particular app is right for your child.
- Parents can set time limit on children’s devices.
- Parents can also lock kids devices remotely when they think it is time for children to take a break. For instance, during bed time or dinner time.
- Parents can also track child’s location using Family Link.
New Family Link feature extended for Teens:
So far Google has targeted family link for children under the age of 13 years old. Yesterday, Google announced that it has extended its feature for teens. Parents are able to set time limit and lock their teen devices remotely. Using the new feature parents can also track their teen’s location and block apps deemed inappropriate.
Parents can also lock their children phone using Google Assistant. You can say “Ok Google, lock Ryan’s phone”. Your child will be alerted and will have few minutes to wrap up what they are doing before the phone gets locked.
Problem with Family Link for teens :
✅Both parents and teens must consent before enabling this feature.
❌If your teen does not consent they will not give you the password that would enable you to monitor their device through Family Link.
✅If you have been monitoring your child’s device and now they decide to opt out from it they can easily do so. This will put their phone in shut down mode for 24 hours.
How to set up Google Family Link:
- Download Google Family Link on your device from Play Store
- Enter your personal details like name and date of birth
- Enter your Gmail account
- Download Google Family Link on your child’s device from Play Store
- Enter your child’s details
- Start customising the settings on your child’s device
For step by step setting up read this guide
Other ways to monitor your teen without being intrusive :
1. Use the apps that they are using
The best way to understand what your teen is doing online is to be on the same app with them. This will give you an insight into what the app is all about and what type of content your teen is exposed too. You will also know the possible dangers of the app .
2. Google search the app
After downloading the same app as your child do a Google search the app. Type in keywords such risks , reviews, privacy and teen use. These keywords can give you a wealth of information about the app.
3. Talk regularly to your teen about online safety
Speak to your teen regularly about what they watch and read online. Having a one off conversation is not enough. Talk to them about the latest online trends so they know that you are aware of what is happening in the online. Join our Eparenting group to keep yourself updated on the latest digital trends
Here are other tips to you keep children safe in the digital age :
3 simple ways to keep children safe online
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