In this guide, we will all see how to set up an Android smartphone or tablet so that a child can use it safely without risk.
Today’s children have different needs than a few decades ago and will ask to have their own phone sooner than their parents would like.
This should not pose any problems since the mobile phone can be a very interesting communication and even educational tool, but as always when you talk about minors, there are some guidelines that you must follow to protect their integrity and to be used as a functional tool and not only as entertainment.
Of course, first of all, it should be remembered that medical recommendations indicate that a child under the age of 2yrs should not spend time in front of the screen (neither television nor mobile phone nor tablet) and that children over the age of two should see the maximum one or two hours of screen.
Having said that, you will see how to make your smartphone safer for the little ones at home.
How to configure a smartphone so that a child can use it safely
Although there are levels of customization that allow you to create second spaces on your mobile, you will choose the options provided by Android, so that most users can use them.
For this tutorial, you will first use the Android guest mode, as it is a perfect solution where you cannot access more content than allowed.
With the guest mode, you check what is installed and what is not. Likewise, there is no trace of your personal information in that session.
In other words, with the guest mode, your contacts, photos, installed applications, passwords do not appear, it is like creating a new space, with a “just ready” mobile phone.
To access this mode, go to Settings> Users. Here, you will click Guest.
Since your Google Account is saved to this user, you will have to re-enter it. You open the Play Store, access the account and download the apps that you want for children. After downloading them, you will disconnect again.
In this way, they will not be able to download applications and you will not have to set download controls in the same Google application store.
If you want the child to have his own profile, from the previous guest menu you can create one for them, configuring the apps they can use. In this way, the data will not be deleted upon disconnection and will have their own space inside the phone.
Another way to be more confident when children use mobile phones is to activate the parental controls that Android has on the device itself. To do this, follow these steps:
Open the Play Store application on the device where the control will be activated.
Tap the menu with three horizontal stripes in the upper left corner, then go to “Settings” and “Parental control“.
Activate “parental control” and create a PIN (you must write it in a safe place away from the child’s reach and do not lose it).
Select the content to filter or limit access in applications and games (based on PEGI age rating), movies (with age rating) and music (to limit content marked as explicit by content providers ).
Some applications, especially games, have the ability to make in-game purchases and it is very easy to spend money almost without realizing it, so it is important to activate a security measure that is also found in the Google Settings section.
Play Store: the phone requires authentication for all purchases made through Google Play.
Another option for those phones that have a fingerprint reader is to turn on biometric authentication for purchases made from the phone.
The phone will ask for the Google Account password of the device and, after entering it, it will be necessary to approve every payment for services, products and even apps and games using your fingerprint.
Another alternative is Google Family Link. This option is recommended if the child has his own phone, although it is valid even if you are leaving him with yours.
It is an application that allows us to be administrators of the phone and to create Google accounts for your children (something that will allow us to have complete control over what it does).
Google Family Link allows you to check, through Google accounts and the app, the time of use of the applications, the location and other data about your children.
The positive point of Family Link is that it allows us to choose the applications that the child will be able to open, in the same way, you can control the applications he uses, when he uses them, how long he uses them.