You must have experienced it at least once in your life, your kids doodling all over your tablet, smartphone or pad phone much better than you could. But the most tragic part is (for adults who have lesser learning capacity than children do) that they’re only 3 years old and it’s like they’re mid-tier expert technicians already who can easily open your tablet, browse the web and play video games on it. If this becomes a regular scene in your home and you feel that your child might accidentally access adult or inappropriate content which could harm them intellectually and emotionally, then maybe it’s time that you teach yourself how to use the parental controls on your android tablet.
The following is a step-by-step guide on how to setup the parental controls feature in most android tablet.
Create Alternate Accounts
The first step in parental controls security protocol is to setup a second or multiple user accounts (in case you have more than one child) on your tablet. This is only possible if your android tablet has a Jelly Bean (Android 4.2) or higher operating system. Make the primary account only accessible by you with a password protected lock, and then you can let your children use the other accounts. However, as a safety precaution you need to restrict those user accounts to block access to apps, games and features which might be inappropriate for your children.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Turn on the device and go to Settings.
- Once scroll down until you find the Users tab and tap it. Another way to access the Settings is by tapping on the General tab which has a drop down menu option on top of the screen.
- Tap the Add User button to create new profiles. A new message will appear prompting you to choose to continue creating a new account or cancel it, press OK to confirm. The most important thing to remember is that you let each user have their own environment that they could work in, so customize each one to have their own profile settings (profile picture, apps and Wi-Fi settings).
- Now you have the ability to switch accounts whenever necessary and protect your children at your discretion.
- The android tablet will automatically log you out from the current user account that you’re using and show you a welcome screen. This means that the new user profile has successfully been created, in fact, it’s very similar to when you first created your personal user account.
- You can also choose the Wi-Fi settings for new profiles and decide whether they should have access to the web or not.
- The system will update for a few minutes, then you’re ready to go! Place your finger on top of the screen and drag it down to reveal general settings, then tap on the Users button to switch between user accounts.
- You should be able to see your primary account (Owner) and the alternate accounts that you’ve added. Tap on the user account that you want to use, then wait for a few seconds to allow the tablet/phone to log you in.
Parental Controls Feature for Android Tablets and Smartphones
Manually setting up parental controls via the settings tab on your android tablet or phone is just one of the many ways to make your device child-safe. Some consumer electronics manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, Asus and a few others proactively include child safety software in their products to make parental controls seamless and easy to use. Still, there are those who do not, so you have to learn how to manually setup parental controls. Now that you’ve learn how to create additional accounts which can be password protected and ensure that you kids will not be able to access unwanted materials online, let us find out more what you can do to further filter the internet for them.
Restrict App Store and In-App Purchases
You have to understand that the Google Play Store have both free and paid apps, and depending on what type of apps your kids have downloaded you could see your credit card (which is connected to your Google account) get tons of charges for apps you never even knew about. So from the moment you got your tablet or smartphone, put a password on the Play Store to prevent your kids from accessing it without your permission. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to apps and open Play Store.
- Once Play Store is open, tap on the menu button which looks like 3 identical horizontal lines on the top left corner of your screen. It’s next to the search box.
- You will see a drop down menu. Scroll down and tap on the Settings.
- Tap on the selection that says, “Require authentication for purchases.”
- Choose from these 2 options: a) let Play Store ask you for your Google password every time you or the kids downloads an app, or b) have it set to ask your password every 30 minutes.
Disable Third-Party Apps
It’s not enough to just put a password on the Play Store, because third-party apps also allow other users to bypass your password and download anything they offer. So it would be in the best interest of your children to disable them:
- Go to apps and once again open the Settings tab.
- Scroll down until you’ll see Security and tap it.
- Normally the option to allow installation of apps from unknown sources is off by default, but just to be sure, make sure that the box has no check marks on it.
You can also filter content from Play Store that your kids could access by following the steps below:
- Go to Play Store and tap on the menu once more.
- Tap Settings.
- Scroll down and find User Controls Heading and then tap Parental Controls.
- Enter PIN and confirm it for verification purposes in order to keep other users from tampering with it.
- Once the parental controls are on, you also set the appropriate age rating for your children on the Category tab, so that when they’ll use it all of the preset defaults will work in tandem with it.
- Categories may include TV, movies, music, news etc. and you set each one according to how appropriate their content will be for your kids. Restrict those that are inappropriate and approve access to those that are okay. Don’t forget to close all apps and tabs when you’re done.
Now that you know how to setup the parental controls on your android tablet or smartphone, you can rest assured that your children will be protected from harmful content on the internet. We here at Best Tablets for Kids will keep you updated should any changes occur on the parental controls settings and/or software that manufacturers will introduce. However, if you’ll encounter difficulties in setting up the parental controls on your tablet, then drop a comment here or contact us and we will do our best to help you out as quickly and thoroughly as we can.