Google Family Link allows parents to monitor teens

For many parents, the thought of their children having total access to the internet can be scary. With the increase of easy to use technology and mobile devices targeting a younger audience, kids have more access to social media.

Google’s answer to this problem is Family Link, a free service for iOS and Android launched last year that allows parents to control their children’s devices. Kids have access to all the apps on their device, but parents get notifications for every move that they make and can set parental controls for which apps and services a child can view. They can approve a child’s downloads and purchases, manage SafeSearch and restrict internet browsing, and review permissions to access the camera and mic as well.

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Recently, parents have expressed that they would like access to their older children’s accounts as well, and soon they’ll be able to manage accounts for ages 13 and up according to an announcement on Google’s official blog.

Parents can log in to a Chromebook that has an account tied to Family Link and view activity, and Google is working on more features, like setting a screen time limit and manage website restrictions. The difference for teen accounts is that both the parents and the teen have to consent to the monitoring feature, and the teenager can turn off the parental control function if they would like. If this happens, the device will be locked for 24 hours and the parent will be notified.

This isn’t the most exciting update for teenagers, but parents can rest easy knowing that everyone is a bit more safe.

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