The Internet is a resourceful platform with loads of useful information. In fact, most are times when Google searches provide so many results that you get overwhelmed. Despite that, you probably want to help your kids expand their knowledge through the Internet.
But there’s one problem. The Internet is full of harmful content no parent wants their kids to access. But how do you protect your kids from all the harm on the Internet?
Google’s SafeSearch is an effective solution for preventing inappropriate websites from appearing on online searches. It’s easy to activate and blocks most adult sites successfully.
Safe Search is located on google.com/preferences. It’s the first thing on the page. Head over there and click on the icon located adjacent to ‘Turn on SafeSearch.’ You can also choose to lock SafeSearch, and Google will block both texts on adult websites and images associated with these sites.
As Google admits, however, SafeSearch doesn’t filter out 100% of inappropriate content. The search engine depends on keywords and its algorithms to determine what’s explicit and what’s not. And that means there will be sites with inappropriate content that sneak through Google’s algorithms.
If you are like many parents, porn isn’t the only harmful content you want to protect your kids from. You probably don’t want them to view violent videos. Maybe you don’t want your kids to learn about hard drugs yet, or you don’t want your pre-teen kids to read online news altogether.
Parental controls give you the power to determine what your kids and do not do online. And the best part is that it takes less than 20 minutes to configure settings. What’s more, parental controls can help protect your kids on multiple devices, and not on browsers alone.
Before you find a parental control program, however, research an excellent parental control. Some programs come free of charge but are ineffective. Others like https://parentalcontrolnow.org/parental-control-software-reviews/qustodio/ are premium programs that work on multiple devices. But you’ll need to pay a subscription to access them.
Restrict Specific Sites
If your kid visits a specific website you would want to restrict; there’s an easier way to do it. Visit the ‘Settings’ section of Google Chrome and scroll downwards. Click ‘Advanced’ settings, ‘system,’ and then ‘Open Proxy Settings.’
A new interface will open up with a section about ‘Security.’ List all the websites you want Google to restrict and click ‘add.’ Save the changes and try searching the websites. If you follow the procedure correctly, these sites won’t appear.
Play Store Restrictions
Most kids spend a significant amount of their time using apps. So, it makes sense to want to regulate how your kids download and use android apps. Google has a series of features you can use to protect your kids against apps with inappropriate content.
The most effective feature is located under the ‘Settings’ section. Tap the icon on the top left section of Google Play and choose ‘Settings.’ Tap ‘Parental Controls’ to activate the feature. Google will ask you to set an access pin ode.
After that, you can restrict apps based on your kids’ age. For very young kids, you can limit most apps except for a few. For pre-teens, you can allow access to a wide range of games and educational apps. And if you have adult children, you’ll probably want to speak to them first.
Restrictions on Mac
If you have a Mac computer, you don’t have to place restrictions on Google Chrome. Apple has a parental control feature that works like a charm. The feature is located on the drop-down Apple Menu. However, you’ll need to navigate to the ‘System Preferences’ before accessing the features.
All in all, it’s labeled ‘Parental Controls’ and has a yellow color theme. Tap or click the lock symbol located at the bottom part of the left corner. Apple will ask you to provide your administration password before unlocking the symbol.
Ideally, you should have a user name for all the people who use your Mac computers. That way, you can restrict the specific user, especially if they are kids. Either way, the particular restriction feature is located under ‘Web Tab’ and helps filter out adult websites from appearing on the Safari browser.
Use Web Blockers
Web blockers provide one specific service, and that’s to block unwanted websites. They exist as browser extensions, plug-ins, or programs. Some web blockers filter out a significant amount of inappropriate sites.
Because many extensions are designed by independent developers, you can’t be guaranteed of perfect protection. That means you need to research online to find the best-rated blockers. You also need web-blockers with password protection.
Obviously, you want to find web-blockers that restrict both text and visual content. And if you also want to protect your kids from social media and other sites, find web-blockers that restrict a wide range of content.
Google’s Family Link
Until January 2018, Google Chrome had an added way to protect your kids. It was called ‘Supervised User’ and looked like Apple’s parental control feature. Unfortunately, Google removed the feature for unknown reasons.
As its replacement, Google introduced Family Link, an app that you can use to regulate your kids’ online use. The app works on relatively new android and iOS devices, preferably those running Android 7.0 or later or iOS 9.0 or newer.
Family Link is connected to Google Chrome to ensure your children can’t visit restricted websites when they use their laptops or mobile browsers. What’s more, Family Link is a detailed app that helps you manage how your kids use apps, search the Internet, and learn. It’s also free of charge and allows you to set password protection to make it effective.
If you have tech-savvy kids, you must be worried they could visit parts of the Internet with inappropriate content. Lucky for you, there are lots of ways to restrict their searches. You can use Google’s search engine features, make prohibitions through Chrome, or any of the methods we highlighted above.