Parental Control Apps and How to Use Them

Buying your child their first phone can be daunting.  The internet is an unlimited database of information, both good and bad; and the constant stimulation can limit the time they spend having real interactions with other people.  But whether it is to communicate with your child while they are out of the house, or keeping them in the loop of their friends, the convenience of buying them a smart phone outweighs the cons.  It is good to be prepared for when you purchase their first phone.  Whether it is an iPhone or an Android, you can protect your child from potential harm.

For the iPhone

Every model of the iPhone has built in parental controls.  Within the settings you will be able to limit which music they can listen to our which apps they can download.  Explicit content and content ratings can be filtered accordingly.  You can place restrictions on Siri, the Game Center, web content, and privacy settings.  Anything that you do not want your child to see you can prevent, simply by going into settings and setting up parental controls.

However, if you feel that the built-in parental controls are not enough there are additional apps you can download. 

Apps for Android and Apple

Because the android interface is used on many different phones they do not feature built in parental controls.  However, on the Google play App-store as well as the Apple App Store, there are many apps available to download that can ensure a safe and protected phone for your child.  One of those apps being Family Link, which is a free app available for download on Google Play.  Family link lets you set digital ground rules to help guide your child as they learn, play, and explore online.  Family Link allows you to view their activity and screen time.  Not all screen time is the same, with activity reports you can see how much time is being spent on each app.  This can allow you to help your child make healthier decisions about what they do on their phones.  You can also block your child from downloading specific apps on their device.  Family Link also shows you teacher-recommended apps that you can download directly to their device. 

Not only can you see how they are spending their time on their phone, but you can limit how much time they spend on their phone.  You can decide what the right amount of screen time is for your child.  You can set time limits and even a bedtime for their device, allowing them to find a healthy balance between the real and digital world.  Family link also allows you to remotely lock their device from your own phone whenever it’s time to get homework done, have quality family time, or just to encourage them to get outside and play. 

Perhaps the most useful feature of the Family Link app is being able to track the location of their phone.  So as long as they are carrying their device you will always know where your child is. 

Children are becoming more technologically savvy at younger ages.  And with the abundance of information and potential for learning available on the internet, you can allow them to foster their curiosity in a safe way through apps and parental controls.  Gen Mobile is aware of the dangers of the internet.  We understand the importance of being able to find foolproof methods of filtering the content they can see and limiting the time they can spend on their phones.  At the end of the day using parental controls and buying your child their first smartphone is gifting them access to the largest database in the world, without all the harmful content.

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