More than ever before, there is so much tech in our hands and our homes. It’s pretty cool to have the world at your fingertips, but with that comes extra responsibility, especially when it comes to our kids and tech. Not sure where to start? Google, our favorite search engine, has our back yet again! They’ve put together this informative hub with articles containing simple instructions on keeping in control of your kids’ online experience. Check out these five excellent online parental controls. Looking for more? Explore the Parental Controls section of the new Google Families hub.
1. Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch is a massive hit with kids of all ages, but did you know there’s a Parental Controls app for the Switch? Game changer! You can set play-time limits, learn how to turn off voice chat on the Switch system and turn off other social features. You can also learn how to limit mature content, which will prevent kids from playing mature-rated games. Wondering how your kid got that new game on their Switch and then you get the credit card bill? Not to worry, you can learn how to restrict Nintendo eShop purchases and block spending and auto-renewals on both the Nintendo eShop and on Nintendo.com.
2. Google Family Link
No matter your child's age, it's important to establish your family's rules for the digital playground. Google's Family Link app helps parents establish boundaries and healthy internet habits with their families, so kids can safely explore with technology. This free app gives parents all kinds of additional controls for their kid's Android and Chromebook devices—setting screen or app limits, viewing where they're spending their time online, blocking or allowing apps, seeing where their device is currently located and even remotely locking a device when it's time to take a break!
3. Parental Controls on Netflix
Some may argue that Netflix is the best thing since sliced bread, and we agree. With so many choices for all ages and interests, it’s a goldmine of entertainment. Create a password for each kid. Now they can only access their account, and you set controls as you see fit. You can then enable the Netflix Kids experience, limiting what they can view based on age and even adding title restrictions.
4. Apple's Screen Time
Too much of a good thing? You have the power to set time limits on Apple devices too! Just go into Settings > Screen Time and select your child's device to get reports on what apps they're using and how often they're using them. Once you set your passcode, you can set limits for downtime (so necessary!), how long apps can be used, which contacts your kids can get in touch with and even block content, purchases and downloads.
5. Parental Controls on Amazon Echo
Kids love asking Alexa about all kinds of things, and we agree, it's pretty fun. But don't forget to set some limits with your robot pal. It's easy! Enable the Amazon Kids Settings in your Alexa app. Once you've added it, you can manage the settings either through the app or by logging in to your Amazon account and going to your Parent Dashboard.