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Parental Controls on Android: Setup Tips and Apps

Tips • Aug. 5, 2022

Living in the era of the internet has its advantages and disadvantages. While connecting us to the entire world over calls, messages, photos, and more, it also exposes us to dangers and malicious intentions and content.

While surfing the internet, browsing sites, downloading games, or doing anything, they might to exposed to a lot of other things, like viruses, phishing sites, adult sites, or many malicious programs, which in turn compromise your kid’s safety. However, we adults understand this, but kids have a tough time dealing with all these. Therefore, you must check on what your kid visits, sends, receives, and much more.

RELATED: How Parental Control Apps Can Help Parents

What is parental control? Why it matters?

Parental Control is one feature that helps you check your kids’ smartphone usage, controlling or observing what they surf or do on the internet. Credits to the availability of this feature, you can easily control what your child views and downloads without having to keep a check on his phone every time. Some stats that show why it matters:

  1. There has been a 70% increase in cyberbullying/hate speech on the internet since Covid Lockdown Began
  2. 71% of young generations say they are concerned about cyberbullying
  3. 4 in 10 minors (40%) said they had been approached online by someone they believe was attempting ‘to befriend and manipulate’ them, with 47% of teen girls saying they have experienced this.
  4. 79% of parents use controls currently or in the past; 2/3 of parents are unsatisfied with the tools they need to keep kids safe online.
  5. 71% of teens admit to blocking parents with social media privacy settings, using private browsing, disabling parental controls, or having e-mail or social media accounts unknown to parents)
  6. 2 in 3 (65%) minors said they have experienced an online-only contact to invite them ‘to move from a public chat into a private conversation on a different platform.’
  7. Many teens said they had seen non-consensually shared privileged information of other teens.

Data: Enough.org

The above is just the start; there are things we cannot mention here; however, you can do your research. All this requires you to closely watch over your child’s internet activities. Since they do not understand what is good or what is bad for them and many people and organizations exploit this for their own benefit.

So, let us see how you can set up parental control settings on the smartphone. But before you proceed to set up parental controls, you should follow these tips.

Keeping your and your child’s phone updated and secure

To stay safe on the internet, it is necessary that you regularly update your phone and apps, as well as your child’s. Updated devices and apps make sure that there are no loose ends that expose your data and even keep you safe from malware. The steps to do so are:

Updating the device
  1. Open Settings -> About Phone.
  2. Here you will see your Android Info, tap on it and then Check for Updates.
  3. If updates are available, go on and install them. If not, you are good to go.

The steps are the same for every device. However, in place of About Phone, you might see System Info or System Update.

Updating your apps
  1. Open Play Store on your device.
  2. Now tap on your Profile and then Manage Apps and Device.
  3. You will see either ‘Updates Available’ or All Apps Up to date

  1. If you see the former, tap on Update All else, all your apps are up to date, and you are good to go.

If you are on an unlimited network connection, we suggest auto-updates so that you do not always have to do this.

Set a screen lock

Applying a screen lock makes sure that only you and your child can access the device. Also, do instruct your child not to share passcodes and passwords with anyone. The steps to do so are:

  1. Open Settings -> Security (or Passwords & Security).
  2. Now you will see different Screen Lock

  1. Choose according to what you think will be the best to remember and hard at the same time and done.

How to setup parental controls in Android device?

Parental Controls can be set in diverse ways, either using specific apps or for the entire device. Depending on where you want to control your child’s usage, you can use separate ways.

Setting parental control in Play Store

Parental Controls can be set up in the Play Store to prevent your child from downloading content above their age. The steps to set it up are:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Tap on your Profile -> Settings.
  3. Under Family and Parental Controls and toggle it on.

  1. Set up a PIN when asked and proceed with the prompts.

Now every time an age-restricted content is accessed, this PIN will be required. This setting works in Play Store and Google Films.

Setting parental control in other apps

In the era of online content, kids also watch videos, cartoons, and shows on different platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and more. But they also have age-restricted content you will not want your child to see.

Now, the steps to set up parental settings in such apps are different; therefore, we cannot mention them all. However, you can always visit the apps help central and Search for Parental Control setup. They have more detailed info.

Top parental control apps

When it comes to your child’s safety, nothing is enough. Therefore, we are discussing apps specially built to keep track of your child’s internet activity. The special thing about these apps is that they track much more data than and hence allow better

KidsGuard Pro for Android

KidsGuard by ClevGuard is an excellent app to keep your kids safe online by keeping astonishing track of what they do, what they watch, whom they text, who they call, etc. The tracked data is all stored online in ClevGuard’s server so it can be accessed from anywhere; also, it runs in stealth mode, so your child will never know.

It is a premium app with a monthly plan of $29.95 and a yearly plan of $99.95. Read our full KidGuard Pro review for more.

Features

  • Location Tracking
  • Call History and recordings
  • SMS Monitoring
  • Social App Monitoring
  • App Activities
  • Check online search and Watch History
  • Record Screen

Pros

  • Stealth Mode – Hidden from your child
  • Easy-to-use and understand
  • No root required
  • Set Risky keywords for instant alerts

Cons

  • Data sync issues sometimes
  • The interface could be better
Google Family Link

One of the best ways to set up parental controls is by using Google Family Link. Google Family Link is a Google app that allows you to establish control over your child’s phone.

  1. Download Google Family Link on your phone and your child’s phone.
  2. Make sure your child has a Google account. If not, create one. Also, you can create a Google Account using the Family Link app.
  3. Open Google Family Link, and now the app will guide you with the much-detailed steps. Follow them to set up parental controls on your child’s device.

Features

  • Block or Unblock an App
  • Set Approval Request for new apps
  • See and Set Screen Time
  • See and Change App Permissions and set them only to Parent Control
  • Set Purchase Limits
  • Check App Activity
  • Lock and Unlock your Child’s Device
  • Check Location

Pros

  • Good for Location tracking
  • Managing Chrome Sites
  • Great for Control over all Google Apps

Cons

  • Not useful for apps other than Google Apps
  • Limited, only controls basic activities
  • Not useful for third-party applications
Bark

Bark is one of the best apps to keep a much-detailed track of your child’s social media activity. It is dedicated to keeping track of Gmail, iCloud, Outlook, Kik, WhatsApp, Instagram, and many more apps. Bark uses a trend-based AI system to see if your child is getting into something bad.

This is because most of the crimes are being conducted through social media, where kids are being brainwashed and asked for their private info, then blackmailed, and so on. Bark is priced at $99 annually.

Features

  • 30+ app support
  • View messages and e-mails
  • Web and social media filtering
  • Location Updates
  • 24/7 Alerts if illicit and unsafe patterns found

Pros

  • Award Winning Dashboard
  • Filter Websites
  • Check-in Alerts
  • Regular safety and parenting tips

Cons

  • No Geo-Fencing
  • Numerous Alerts
  • Only social media and E-mail Support

RELATED: Best Android Monitoring & Tracking Apps

Additional safety for your child

We all know that it depends on how you raise your child, with what expectations and teachings. But for a child aged 13-14 years, you cannot expect much and cannot even trust his words and actions because kids are often afraid and think what they are doing is correct. It is never too easy since there are a lot of different factors to look over, therefore some additional tips you can follow are:

  1. Setting Data Limits.
  2. Tracking Mobile, Wi-Fi and App data usage.
  3. Teach them about Privacy and Protection
  4. Instruct them to prevent from clicking on Pop-ups
  5. Listen to your Child if he/she tells you about something related to their online activity
  6. Do not allow them to shop online without supervision
  7. Teach them to never meet some they met online without your permission
  8. Teach them to never share personal details like phone number, images, family details, school details and addresses.
  9. Teach them to tell you if they receive threatening emails, messages or posts.
  10. Use strong passwords and tell them to never share it with anyone other than parents.

The above tips would help you keep your child safe even better because it is better to teach them since you cannot track every aspect of their life. With this, we hope you learned the apps and tips to keep your child safe over the internet. Let us meet again with something new.