February 6th saw the world celebrate the Safer Internet Day with a theme of “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you.” This theme is a call to action for stakeholders to play their part which involves creating a better internet for everyone, especially for the youngsters. Apart from the better internet, it’s also an invitation for everyone to engage with others in a respectful way aimed at ensuring a better digital experience.
Digital experience involves the use of smart devices, but the most risk and threats are directed to the kids who are still naïve on what to do and what to not to do. In such situation, parents and guardians ought to exercise some sort of control on their kids’ digital life without being intrusive in regards to their privacy.
Google, the makers of the Android operating system, has been looking into ways to better android and make it suitable for everyone. With the mobile’s technology power to access a better digital experience, its hard to distinguish what to present to a certain age, especially kids. Most kids are creative and curious naturally, and with the power of a smartphone, they’ll end up exploring areas where they are not supposed to. To avoid such situations, Google developed a solution to this problem, Family Link.
Family Link solution brings kids and their parents into the Android ecosystem to navigate technology and have a better digital experience in a way that makes sense. With this solution, parents/guardians can now create a google account for their kids and manage it from their device using Family Link.
Before anything else, in order to start using the Family Link solution, there are prerequisites you must take care of, they include;
- A compatible Android device for your kid and your compatible device (Android or iPhone)
- A Google Account for your kid that you’ll manage with Family Link
- Your own Google Account
- And you must be in an eligible area since some places are not supported.
At the moment you’ll start setting up the Android device for your kid, Google will prompt you to create an account. Googles recommended age is 13, but if your kid is under that, you’ll be required to provide consent in order to proceed with creating the account. After that Family, Link will be downloaded to your kids’ device automatically and then you can choose what type of apps and settings you want for your kid. One that is done, you are also required to download the Family Link app to your device so that you can control other things.
What you can do with Family Link
As a parent or guardian, here is what you can control with the app;
- Manage the apps your kid can use: You can approve or block the type of apps your kid wants to download from the Google Play Store.
- Keep an eye on screen time: You can see how much time your kid spends and set a daily limit for their device on.
- Remotely lock their device: Whether it’s time to play, study, or sleep, you can enforce them by locking their device at specified times.
Family Link helps you set certain digital ground rules that work for your family but does not block inappropriate content.