Child playing on a tablet

How to child proof your Android device

How to child proof your Android device More and more children are engaging with tablet and smartphone technology, and we think that’s great! Having hands-on experience with this type of ever-evolving technology will surely stand the younger generation in good stead for the future.

That said, sometimes it’s a good idea to block certain things that are inappropriate, or to lock down some phone functions. Here’s some ways in which you can be more confident that your children are not only safe, but also not doing or seeing things they shouldn’t.

Parental controls (tablet only)

Android tablets running Android 4.3 or later will allow you to set up restricted profiles, so you can create an account specifically for your child and add whatever parental controls you require. Navigate to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Users’ followed by ‘Add user or profile’. From here, select ‘Restricted profile’ to restrict and limit the things that your child can do. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll then be asked to choose a PIN code or pattern for your own account, so that your child can’t access it. Then follow the steps on screen to finish creating the restricted account, including giving it a name.

App Blocking (tablet only)

There might be certain apps that you want young eyes and fingers to avoid, so the next step is to block what you do not want them to have access too. Following on from the step above, you should have a list of the applications that are currently installed on your tablet. If you want to allow access to particular apps for your child, switch the toggle to ‘On’. You are in control and can grant access to certain applications, like games for example.

Do be mindful of internet browser applications like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. If you leave these set to ‘On’, your child will have unrestricted access to the internet.

In app purchases (mobile and tablet)

A lot of applications are free, but do come with the function to purchase whilst in the app. When you’re enjoying a bit of down time playing The Simpsons Tapped Out, you might find that you want to buy some extra donuts. This comes at a cost and will be charged to the card details held online via the Google Play store. To cut the chances of high and unexpected bills, you can restrict in app purchases. Open the Play Store app and press the navigation button in the top right hand corner. Access ‘Settings’, ‘User Control’, then tap ‘Require authority for purchases’. This means you will have to enter your password every time that you want to make a purchase whilst in-app.

Ban all inappropriate apps

Following on from the lock down of in app purchases, you can also block downloading of inappropriate applications. You will find that just above the ‘Require authentication for purchases’ in the User Control screen, there is a ‘Content filtering’ option – this will enable you to stop your child or other users from downloading content via the Google Play Store that is not appropriate for them. You can chose a setting based on low, medium or high as each app is rated accordingly. For example, low means that the app may include mild cartoon or fantasy violence, like The Simpsons Tapped Out, whereas high would be the opposite - something like Grand Theft Auto would fit into this category with its high violence, language, and graphic scenes.

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