Android is one of the world’s largest mobile phone operating systems, with a recorded market share of 46% in November 2017. Developed by Google, Android is a little different to Apple’s iOS software, as it isn’t limited to one company – instead it’s available on a range of handsets by different manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC.

 

However, just like iOS, Android also offers a range of parental control features designed to help protect your child when using a mobile phone or tablet. Here at Mobile Phones Direct, we have created an in-depth guide which talks you through the steps of setting up parental controls on your child’s device.

 

Setting up a new user account

Parents, if you or your child own a mobile phone or tablet which runs Android 4.2 or higher, you’re able to add a new user account immediately.

The new account can be the one with restrictions enabled, meaning you can then easily switch between your account and the ‘safe’ account if you let your child use your device – or if it’s their phone – only use the ‘safe’ account.

To set up a new user account, just follow these simple steps:

 

  • 1

    Tap on Settings.

  • 2

    Scroll down and select Users & accounts.

  • 3

    A list of accounts already on your phone will appear. Tap on Users.

  • 4

    Select Add user.

  • 5

    A pop up will appear which provides information on how user accounts works. Tap OK to continue.

  • 6

    Select Set up now.

  • 7

    Your phone will now lock, so swipe to unlock.

  • 8

    Important information will appear. Read the information and tap Continue.

  • 9

    If the user has a Google account, they can sign in. If not, select More options to create one.

  • 10

    Enter the Password for the Google account and tap Next.

  • 11

    Tap on I agree to complete the process for adding a new user.

  • 12

    Press Next to learn more about Google Assistant.

  • 13

    Untick any of the Google Services that you don’t agree with and press Agree. Now you have created a new user account for your child, you can customise the account’s parental control settings to match your child’s age.

How to block unsafe content in Chrome

If your child has access to the internet via a mobile phone or tablet, it’s a good idea to enable Safe Browsing in Chrome.

Chrome is Android’s pre-installed web browser, so you don’t have to install any third party apps for safe internet browsing. Safe Browsing helps block sites which can be malicious and contain any malware, viruses, phishing attacks and cyber security threats.

To enable Safe Browsing, follow the steps below:

 

 

  • 1

    Select your child’s account which you want to enable Safe Browsing for.

  • 2

    Tap on the Chrome app.

  • 3

    Once the browser loads, tap on the three vertical dots on the top right hand corner of the page

  • 4

    Scroll and select Settings.

  • 5

    In Settings, scroll down and tap on Privacy.

  • 6

    Scroll down and tap on Safe Browsing until the box is blue with a white tick.

  • 7

    That specific user profile now has enabled Safe Browsing.

     

How to control activity in the Play Store

The Google Play Store offers a wide range of different apps, many of which could benefit your child’s education and skills. However, when left in little hands, there’s a chance you could be left with hefty bills at the end of the month, thanks to in-app purchases and paid-for apps, which can easily be downloaded.

 

There are also a range of apps which are age inappropriate for your child and may contain imagery of gameplay unsuitable for your child’s age. With the Play Store’s Parental controls feature, however, you’re able to control what apps can be downloaded – including preventing in-app purchases and filtering content.

 

How to prevent app and in-app purchases

There are plenty of free apps available on the Play Store, but also apps that come with a price tag, as well as ‘buy’ including in-app purchases. To prevent racking up large bills, you can easily disable the function for apps and in-app purchases.

 

  • 1

    Select your child’s account which you want to prevent app purchases for.

  • 2

    Open the Play Store app.

  • 3

    Tap on the Menu, represented by three horizontal lines in the top left hand corner.

  • 4

    Tap Settings.

  • 5

    Select Require authentication for purchases.

  • 6

    Tap For all purchases through Google Play on this device.

  • 7

    Once selected, you are required to input the password associated with the account.

  • 8

    The Play Store will now require authentication from the parent when your child wishes to download an app.

Filter content and apps by age rating

Using parental controls in the Play Store, you’re also able to restrict what content your child can download by age rating. The filtering can be changed as your child grows.

 

  • 1

    In your child’s user account, open the Play Store

  • 2

    Tap Menu (three horizontal lines).

  • 3

    Tap on Settings.

  • 4

    Tap Parental Controls.

  • 5

    Tap the toggle to turn parental controls on.

  • 6

    A prompt will appear which asks you to create a PIN. Type your memorable PIN, tap OK, type it again and tap Continue. A PIN code stops your child from being able to change the settings.

  • 7

    Tap a content type (Apps ∓ games, Films, TV, Magazines and Music) and select the appropriate age rating. Any content rated ABOVE the selected age rating will be blocked from your child’s Play Store.

If you have followed some, or all, of the steps included in our guide, your child will be safer when using their Android device. As your child grows older, don’t forget to change the ratings or apps and features to ones that you feel are more suitable.

Does your child also have access to an Android device or Nintendo Switch console? We also have guides on how to keep your child safe with those too.

 

 

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