With the upcoming school year, parents everywhere are beginning the annual ritual of preparing their children with all the new supplies they will need to succeed, and more than ever, a new Chromebook is being added to this list.
Formerly, parents were primarily responsible for providing their children with clothing, notebooks, pencils, and the best backpack they could afford. Now, however, technology is a vital component of every child’s education. And parents want the greatest Chromebooks for their children’s education.
But parents also know better than anyone what the internet can be like today, so it’s understandable that they want to ensure that their children are as safe as possible when they are online. Family Link, which is a built-in feature of Google Chrome, allows parents to restrict their children’s online activities and block any apps or websites they feel unsuitable or unsafe.
With so many first-time Chromebook purchasers picking up a new computer for their children during any number of back-to-school sales, many will be learning about the device’s safety features for the first time. among the most crucial of all of them.
Fortunately, we’re here to show you how to get Family Link, how to set it up, how to block and allow websites and apps, and how to monitor your child’s Chromebook web browsing so they can remain secure online.
1. Check and update Chrome OS
The Google Family Link parental controls were added with the release of Chrome OS version 71 at the very end of 2018. Check to see if your Chromebook is up-to-date, and if not, update it. The quickest method is to type chrome:/version into the address bar and examine the release number at the very top.
Choose Notification (bottom right) > Settings > About Chrome OS to view the version number. If your device is not updated, check the Further Information for information about scheduled updates and whether a restart is required to activate a more recent version.
2. Add your child
If you have not previously done so, you will need to add your child to the Chromebook in order to administer their account. Typically, there is a ‘Add person’ button on the login page that allows you to immediately add them there; however, if this has been disabled, pick Notification area > Settings > People > click your account > + Add account from within your account.
You will require their Google account email address and password. You will need to follow the steps and sign in before allowing the account to set established.
3. Tighten up access
Google emphasises that if you are the principal “owner” of an account, you should disable Guest Mode and the ability to add new users from the login screen; otherwise, a child might easily avoid Family Link settings and parental controls by using these alternative alternatives.
To disable these notifications, navigate to Notification area > Settings (cog) > People > Control other individuals in your account. Here, you must disable the Guest option and select “Limit login to the following users.” You can add the email addresses of potential Chromebook users who do not currently have an account.
4. Enable Parental Controls
Within your child’s account, navigate to Notification area > Settings > People > Parental Controls. Prepare to commence the procedure.
It will confirm the child’s account for which you want to enable Family Link Parental Controls, then list the devices that can be protected (Family Link extends to Android and Google Smart Speaker devices with the child’s account enabled), and finally, it will confirm the parent account that will be doing the monitoring.
In addition to the email address and password, you must also input any secondary authentication. Afterwards, you will be shown what the system can and cannot do, and your child will be asked to confirm the supervision using their password.
5. Set browsing restrictions
Family Link isn’t quite finished yet; you’ll be guided through the basic selections. Don’t worry too much; these options can be changed later, but they’re used to build the initial settings.
First are Chrome browsing, Google Search, and in-app purchase safety controls. It offers sensible settings, but you’ll need to verify each one; for instance, we want to prohibit all purchases.
Choose all appropriate devices on which Family Link should be installed and managed access granted. The account must now be logged out and the child must log back in. At this stage, the parent must confirm the first access granted.
6. Family Link for Parents
Assuming you have an Android device, if the Family Link for Parents app is not already loaded, go to Google Play and download it. If you do not have an Android device, you can access the majority of functions via a web interface at https://families.google.com.
To regulate and monitor a child’s activity, simply tap the child’s profile image on the app’s home screen. All of the general access controls to Google services that were indicated during initial setup can be modified here. In addition, there is a simple YouTube filter, Location permissions, and the…more area is where the Family Link system can be disconnected.
7. Setting time limits
Google Family Link provides effective controls for limiting screen time in three specific areas: overall device time, a scheduled bedtime when the device is locked, and individual app limits.
Device and Bedtime are managed from the same page, allowing you to set different times for each day, allowing for later nights and extended use on the weekend.
You can also set a time limit per app, perhaps for games, although the list of programmes on a smartphone is not exhaustive. Finally, a quick “Lock Device” button is available, but we cannot be held liable for its use.
8. Control cameras and sensors
At the bottom of the Family Link controls is a list of devices, which will include any linked Google smart speakers, Android devices, and Chromebooks. These offer detailed control over the sensors, cameras, microphones, and other App permissions for each device.
This might perhaps prevent your child from installing a messaging app that requests access to a device’s camera and microphone, but it would also limit their ability to use creative apps.
Hence, it is generally preferable to have a talk about potential concerns associated with specific sorts of apps, as opposed to a blanket ban.
9. Using Family Link notifications
If you attempt to set up your child’s Chromebook in the evening and have a bedtime set, you will find that you are already locked out. It is worthwhile to do restricted activities like as online browsing, programme installation, and others to ensure that everything functions as planned.
Any of these actions will result in an email and Android notification being sent to the Google account of the parent. Android notifications make it quite simple to accept website access with a tap, and if you feel that your email notifications are stacking up, they provide a link to disable these.
Limit adjustments display as notifications on the child’s smartphone and can also be viewed on it. So they are aware of your activities!
10. Family Link web controls
Head to https://families.google.com and check out the online web controls for Family Link parental controls.
This has a mix of features not everything in the app is here, but the web version mixes in control of the Google Family Group system.
If you’re setting a rigid set of web sets you’ll likely find it easier entering those via the Child > Websites on Chrome > Manage sites option.
Also Read : How to screenshot on a Chromebook