Google Family Link : help your family create healthy digital habits
For some parents, it is sometimes difficult to be aware of a child’s activity when using a device. According to Médiamétrie, the average age at which children access their first smartphone is 11. The Google Family Link application allows parents to define with their children or teenagers the basic digital rules online.
Unfortunately, the main victims of cyberthreats are children, who are often ill-informed on the Internet. They are confronted with many dangers on the Internet and they can also create bad practices with their smartphone. The application, launched in 2017, allows parents to supervise the use of their child’s device.
The parent will be able to follow the child’s weekly screen time but also to observe his or her favourite applications. In particular, parents will be able to set screen time limits for their child. They can not only determine a total screen time but also a night lock according to the sleeping schedule of the child. If a parent wants to spend some time with the child, he or she will also be able to lock the laptop remotely whenever he or she wants.
The control must be positive for the parent and will allow him to talk to the child about his habits. Application management is also set up to allow the parent to approve or block the applications that the child wants to install on Google Play Store. This management also extends to application-embedded shopping.
Family Link offers children Family-Friendly applications that will help develop the child’s curiosity, creativity, or education. Recommended applications include MarcoPolo Ocean or ScratchJr.
When the child is on the move, the application also offers to transmit the geolocation to the parent. If the child is carrying the device, it will be possible to track his or her movements. One of the few limitations of the application is that it is mandatory for children to keep their mobile data activated. If they are not, the parent will no longer have control over the child’s activity. Application advisories also indicate that children are able to avoid monitoring the Google Link Family. For example, one child was able to disable night lock with the “Ok Google” command. However, most reviews indicate that the application is much more comprehensive than other parent applications.
The application is available on Android devices for the child or teenager using Android Version 5.0 (Lollipop), 6.0 (Marshmallow), 7.0 (Nougat) and higher. For parents, the application is available on Android devices version 5.0 (Lollipop) and higher and on iPhones with iOS9 and higher.