The dilemma of whether or not it is convenient to let the smallest of the house use a mobile phone is almost as old as the phones themselves. There are several positions on this, something totally logical, because although a smartphone can be very useful for any type of person, including children, the freedom offered by a device permanently connected to the Internet also involves risks and dangers that affect to a greater extent to those less expert users.
It is precisely there where the parental controls come into play. In recent years, we have seen how more and more platforms, programs and applications introduce different systems of parental control, through which parents, guardians or responsible for the smallest, can impose rules to minimize the dangers that can suppose the use of a smartphone – or any other intelligent device -.
But what are these systems really doing? And above all, how are they used in Android? In this guide our intention is to clarify some of the most important concepts about parental controls in Android, as well as to see the steps to follow to be able to configure them, and the best applications that can be used for it.
Parental controls, what they are and why you should use them
Parental controls on Android
There are different types of parental controls, depending on the platform or service to which they are intended. All of them, however, share the same intention: to prevent children from having access to unwanted content, or to be able to purchase products online either accidentally or intentionally.
In some cases, parental control systems also allow parents to keep track of their children’s activities when using devices or platforms – social networks such as Instagram or TikTok, apps like YouTube, etc. – so that it is possible to restrict the use at specific moments -for example, in the hours of study- or block the entry to web pages or specific applications.
Therefore, we could say that this type of parental controls are aimed at protecting the youngest from unwanted content, as well as maintaining the integrity of the device they use, and keeping a constant control of their activities. That is why the use of some type of system of these characteristics is highly recommended, especially when children or adolescents have their own mobile phone.
How to set up parental controls on your Android mobile
By default, Android offers several different ways to configure parental controls, either through Google’s own apps, or directly with tools built into the operating system itself. Next we will see what are the tools with which Android account, and how they can be easily configured.
The official Android app store allows parents to activate parental controls, so that children can not download apps not recommended for their age, or purchase payment products accidentally and without their parents’ authorization. To activate it, just follow these steps:
On the Android mobile or tablet where you want to activate parental control, open the Google Play Store app.
Display the side menu from the button on the top left. Enter the “Settings” menu.
Under the “User Controls” section, access the “Parental Control” options. Activate parental control and enter a PIN.
Choose what type of restrictions you want to set:
Applications and games: you can choose between different options depending on the audience to which the apps are destined, from PEGI 3 to PEGI 18, or allow all the content.
Movies: you can choose from movies suitable for all audiences to X movies, or allow all the content.
Music: You can restrict music marked as explicit.
Once the corresponding restrictions have been activated, each time you download content that corresponds to any of the established limitations, you will need to enter the PIN that has been configured in the third step. In addition, to block purchases of paid content through the store, you only need to activate the option “Request authentication to make purchases” located just below the Parental Control menu.