Parental Controls You Should Know About for Your Child’s Android Phone

The debate on where the line is on parental control over our children’s mobile phones is a hot one!  Some of us have not really even considered the sheer extent of the dangers that our children are exposed to as a result.  Fear not; the solutions below will ensure that your child can continue to enjoy the fundamental benefits of their mobile phone without risk of inappropriate content, unwanted tracking or potentially high bills.


Android Parental Controls – The Basics

To initiate the parental control feature, you need to set up a PIN first. Once it is confirmed, you can turn parental controls on apps, music, movies, TV shows, magazines and games.

You can also restrict purchases by visiting the Play Store settings and tapping on the “Require authentication for purchases” option. Here, you can select the kind of restriction you want to implement

Set up parental controls

  • On the device that you want parental controls on, open the Play Store app.
  • At the top-left corner, tap Menu Settings Parental controls.
  • Turn ‘Parental controls‘ On.
  • Create a PIN. …
  • Tap the type of content you want to filter.
  • Choose how to filter or restrict access


Disable third-party apps

If the third-party download option is turned on, then your kids might download apps from sources other than Play Store as well. To avoid this, just go to your device’s Settings > Security and make sure the app download option from unknown sources is turned off.

Android devices are a good option for kids since they’re cheaper and easier to get a hold of. The problem with an Android phone or tablet is that there are less built-in parental controls than with the iPhone. However; Google Family Link is a popular app that Android parents can trust in.

Google Family Link

Whether your children are younger or in their teens, the Family Link app lets you set digital ground rules to help guide them as they learn, play and explore online. For children under the age of 13, Family Link also lets you create a Google Account for your child that’s like your account, with access to most Google services.  NB:  You will need to set up a new google account for your child via Family Link as existing accounts won’t work (Settings > User & Accounts – “Add new user”). 

View their activity

Not all screen time is the same. Help your child make healthy decisions about what they do on their Android device, with activity reports showing how much time they’re spending on their favourite apps.

Manage their apps

Handy notifications let you approve or block apps that your child wants to download from the Google Play Store. You can also manage in-app purchases and hide specific apps on their device.

Feed their curiosity

It can be hard to work out which apps are right for your child, so Family Link shows you teacher-recommended apps on Android that you can add directly to their device.

Keep an eye on screen time

It’s up to you to decide the right amount of screen time for your child. Family Link lets you set time limits and a bedtime for their supervised devices so that you can help them find a good balance.

Lock their device

Whether it’s time to go play outside, have dinner or just spend time together, you can remotely lock a supervised device whenever it’s time to take a break.

See where they are

It’s helpful to be able to find your child when they’re on the go. You can use Family Link to help locate them as long as they’re carrying their Android devices.


Family Link’s tools vary depending on your child’s device. See a list of compatible devices at

Age Filters

Google Link unfortunately does not include this feature.  Therefore, as a parent, you may still want to go to apps like YouTube and Google search and setup family filters and restrictions.  You can also set up age restrictions in the Play Store so they can’t download age-inappropriate apps.

Spend Caps

Great news for parents; Ofcom recently launched a regulation requiring all networks to offer spend caps to their customers.  The spend caps give customers signing a new contract from 1 October 2018, the ability to limit their monthly bill.  You can call up your network anytime and implement or amend a spend cap.  You will be notified by your network when you (or your child) is approaching the spend cap limit.  Spend caps can only be changed with express permission from the account owner.


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