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The internet is a vast space, unlike anything that has ever existed before. You can go from watching cat videos on YouTube to the most graphic of internet forums in just a couple of clicks, which is why it's so important for parents to be on the ball when it comes to their children using the internet.
Seeing inappropriate internet content at a young age can seriously damage the mental wellbeing of children, especially when it comes to content like pornography. Of course, if you're like most people, you and your children will use Google to find the content you're looking for.
Thankfully, to help protect your children, Google has a SafeSearch feature, ensuring that you'll only access the content you deem safe for you and your children, helping you manage the content they see online.
What is Google SafeSearch?
Google SafeSearch is the name given to the Google-developed tool that filters through content to see whether it's appropriate or not. When the SafeSearch filter is turned on, you'll be blocking things like pornographic content, gambling content, graphic content, swear words, and other types of content you probably won't want your children to see.
Of course, you'll be able to customize your settings, so you can allow through certain content if you think it's suitable.
How to Enable Google SafeSearch
Enabling Google SafeSearch is effortless. Simply head over to the Google homepage, and click "Settings" at the bottom right-hand corner of the window. In the drop-down menu, select the "Search Settings" option.
Right at the top of this page, you'll see the SafeSearch toggle. Simply turn this on, and SafeSearch will be enabled. This method works for both desktop computers and mobile devices.
How to Set Up Parental Controls on Google Play
Another form of protection that Google offers its users is Parental Controls. This is so parents can have even more control over the content their children see online, which of course you can customize to suit your personal preferences.
Note that you are only allowed to have an individual Google Play account if you're 13 or above, so bear this in mind before creating an account for your child.
To set up the controls on your child's account, open the Family Link App, select which child you wish to apply the settings to and then navigate Settings > Manage Settings > Controls on Google Play. Select the content you wish to filter and then save your preferences for them to take effect.
You can customize your parental control settings in a number of ways, depending on the type of control you're referring to. Parental control settings can be accessed through the options menu of each content form.
- Apps & Games
With apps and games, you'll be able to choose which rating your child is able to see. Apps and games are divided into age ratings, much like films are; such as PG, 10+, 13+, 16+ and 18+. However, games and apps will still be accessed if the link is typed indirectly.
Movies are ranked in the same way as DVDs, and online content is ranked. When you're setting up the parental controls, you'll be able to choose the highest rank that you wish for your child to see for buying, rental, and playback.
Much like the categories above, you'll be able to choose the highest-ranking that your child will be able to see while searching for content, and while browsing content that has already been purchased. The categories are divided by age rating.
Books are ranked based on how sexually explicit they are, and much like the categories above, you'll be able to choose the highest ranking you wish your child to see.
Music is only divided up into two categories; Explicit and non-explicit. Turning on parental controls will mean you'll be able to filter out the explicit music from the Play Store and your personal library.
How To Set Up Parental Controls On Google Android Phone?
While Google may have featured a lot of protective features to keep your child accessing only suitable content, we'll be the first to admit that the features aren't exactly perfect. Most of the content can still be accessed if searched directly, and proxies will render the filters useless.
However, another solution you can pay attention to is FamiSafe. This is a complete parental control app that can be effortlessly installed onto your child's Android device and then used to monitor, block and filter any app or internet content you care to name. Here's how it works.
Step 1: Install FamiSafe on Both Parent and Kid's phones. You will need the device in your hand to install it, but the entire process will only take a few minutes.
Step 2: Register a FamiSafe account inside the App. You may register on either your phone or your kid's phone. The same account is applicable to both devices.
Step 3: Make some settings on both Kid's and parent's phones.
Step 4: FamiSafe is the most reliable parental control app for location tracking, app blocking, web filtering, screen time control and more. Once you're set up and ready to go, you can sign in to your FamiSafe account using your email and password on your mobile famisafe app. This will take you to your control panel where you'll be able to navigate all the features. You can start your control now!
Some of the leading features including;
- Monitor all calls, messages and SMS messages on the device
- Real-time GPS location tracking and location history
- Geofencing capabilities
- Set up schedules and usage limits
- Block and unblock apps with a tap of a button
- See all internet browser and download history
- Apply content filters
As you can see, while Google puts a lot of effort into making sure their services are safe for your children to use, there is another fantastic option out there that can provide you with the level of protection and control that you actually deserve.
FamiSafe is pioneering the parental control industry, and since the software is currently free for a limited time only, there's never been a better time to try it out for yourself.