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Helping You Staying Safe, Secure on The Internet
It is impossible for anybody born in today’s world to be divorced from the internet. From the time that a child becomes sentient, they can acquire access to the internet and can quickly also learn how to use it. However, there are several things on the World Wide Web that you may want your child to be slightly more mature before they have to tackle.
Whether it is pornography or influences of another kind that you want to protect your child from, you cannot stop them from using the internet. What you can do, however, is set Google Chrome Parental Control so that you can manage and monitor what your kids have access to online. The following is a brief primer on how you can do this.
Or scroll all the way down to watch the official Google Chrome video on setting up parental controls for Google Chrome.
Setting up a new Chrome user is a rather uncomplicated step. If you already have a Google account, you only need to follow a few more steps to set up a new user on Chrome.
The next step is to activate ‘Supervised User’ so your child can browse the internet through a different login which you can monitor using your single parent account. If you are using a Chromebook, the following are the steps for creating a Supervised Chrome Profile.
The supervised user profile will be created in a few minutes. At times, the process takes longer than usual so you may have to wait for a few minutes longer. The process is completed only when the confirmation page appears and you also get a confirmation email in your inbox.
The email will have all the relevant details you require for the new user profile. You can then proceed to click ‘Got it!’ and return to your Chrome login screen.
Creating a supervised chrome account alone is not enough. That only means that you can monitor and track what your child has been browsing on the internet. But if you are looking to take preemptive measures, it may also help a great deal if you could just block certain websites out as a precautionary step.
This saves you the trouble of having to play the role of a helicopter parent at all times and you can also monitor your child’s account less frequently, knowing that some of the more objectionable sites have already been blocked. The following are steps you can take to configure the supervised account based on your preferences.
The next step is to manage the SafeSearch feature. This is an important feature and is the best friend for parents to teenagers who are curious about what the internet holds. The SafeSearch feature is intuitive and will block inappropriate content when your child is carrying out a Google search.
As a default setting, SafeSearch will be locked so it is already activated when you are searching for content online. If you need to disable the setting for some reason, you can click on the ‘Unlock SafeSearch’ link. It is, however, advisable that you leave the feature on for your children.
Every time your supervised user asks for access to a restricted website, you ideally want to be notified. The settings for the notifications window are turned off by default so you will need to turn it on separately.
To turn the notifications on, you will need to find the label that says ‘Notifications are off’. You will find this label right below the ‘Manage User’ header. Simply click on the link that says ‘Turn on’, and the notifications will be enabled.
This allows you to have a more trusting equation with your child where they can be straightforward and ask you access for a certain website. If you still think the website should remain restricted, you can have a reasonable conversation with them explaining why.
Once you have put all these settings in place, you can feel slightly more relaxed about where your child is spending time on the internet. You do not need to constantly keep tabs on what they are doing online. However, every now and then you may want to check in and see if everything is on track. To do that, you can return to the following URL: www.chrome.com/manage.
Once you are on the landing page, select the profile you want to manage. Once you are on their page, you will be taken to a dashboard. In the middle of the dashboard is the ‘Requests’ section where you can see if the supervised user has requested access to any blocked website.
The notifications that you enabled in the previous section should let you know if they do anyway. But in case the notifications are turned off, you can always come to the requests page to see if there are any pending requests. You can approve or deny the requests based on your discretion.
The more important feature, and likely the one that you will be more interested in, is the ‘Activity’ section. You can find this section right below the list of requests. This section will provide you with a detailed log of where your child has been on the internet and what they have attempted to browse through.
You will be able to get notes on what web pages your child has visited and even the date of the visit. This is especially helpful if you have selected the ‘All of the Web’ option where you restrict only a few sites. Of course, it is difficult to know all the sites on the internet so you are likely to miss out on a few when you are adding them to your restricted list. This activity area will let you know if you need to add any more sites to the restricted list.
With having a presence online, there is always a chance for certain vulnerabilities. Sometimes, depending on a variety of factors, it is possible for an unsupervised user to get to your main account from a supervised account. This is not a very frequent occurrence, but it is best to be safe than sorry. It is recommended that you enable the child lock feature on the supervised user profile and avoid anyone snooping in.
To enable the child lock feature, you need to be logged in on Google Chrome. Once you are on your Chrome page, click on your profile photo for the dropdown to appear. From the menu, select the ‘Exit and Childlock’ link. What this does is ask for a password if an unsupervised user tries to switch to your account. The method indicated above is not for Chromebook users but is only for Chrome users.
The methods that have been described are best used in Chromebook, though there are ways to do this in all other devices. The only worry of setting parental restrictions in Windows, Mac or Linux is that the supervised user still has the option of using another web browser.
They may stop using Chrome, but they will still have access to Safari or Internet Explorer and there is technically no way to stop them from doing that. With a Chromebook, you can restrict a supervised user only to their profile when they are browsing the internet.
Nevertheless, while parental controls are not watertight, something is certainly better than nothing. Even the minimal monitoring you can do and the control you can exert can help protect your child from obscene influences at an impressionable age.
No parent likes to snoop in on their child’s computer and spy on what they are doing, but at times this is a necessary evil. With these controls, however, you can be open about the restrictions you are setting and your child will be made aware of the boundaries that have been set for them.
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