Remember Encarta? No?
How about shelves and shelves of good old encyclopedias? Nah?
Well, these were the resources available to us before the wonderful and mysterious Internet took over and gave us the spectacular and oh-so-fantastical, Google.
Google, as you know, is the web search engine that allows you to do just that: type what you’re looking for in the search bar, hit enter, and trust in the powers of the magical Internet to provide you with the answers you need.
But with such grand technological advances, we often get more than we bargain for, what with the amount of information out in the virtual universe that can yield all sorts of wonderful and weird results if we so much as type something incorrectly.
So while we know that it’s almost impossible to completely keep your kids off the Internet, we’ve put together a quick guide on how you can make Google safer for your kids.
1. Set a few basic ground rules and ensure your data is secure:
Before allowing your kids to roam the vast expanse of the Internet we suggest you set a few ground rules on when they’re allowed to use on the Internet, for what purpose and which sites they’re allowed to use, for example.
It is important to communicate the importance of online safety with the entire family before making any changes on the search engine itself.
2. Create a supervised Chrome profile for your kids:
In order to make sure your kids do not access any sites that you don’t want them to and monitor which sites they do visit, we recommend you create a profile specially for them.
Not only will you be able to monitor what they're searching for online, they’ll also feel special having their own password and feeling as though they have their own space.
To do this, follow these step-by-step actions:
- Open Chrome and sign in.
- On the top right corner, click on your profile to where it says “Manage people”.
- Click “Manage people”, then “Add person”.
- Sit with your child and choose a photo and a name for them.
- Once this is done, check the “Supervise this person to control and view the websites that they visit from” box.
- Click the drop down arrow and select your account and “save”.
- Click “switch to [supervised user]” to allow your child time on their profile.
3. Block websites:
Once you’ve created a supervised user, go to chrome.com/manage to block the sites you don’t want your child to see, then follow these actions:
- Once you’ve redirected, select the supervised user.
- In the “Permissions” section click “Manage” and then “Allow” to either block specific websites under “All of the web” or block all websites, with a few exceptions under “Only approved sites”.
4. Prevent your child from switching to an unsupervised site:
To prevent your child from switching to your unsupervised profile, you can lock your profile:
- Open Chrome.
- Once again, at the top right corner, click the button with your name.
- Click “Exit and child lock”.
5. Block explicit content with SafeSearch:
A useful alternative to creating separate profiles is to employ Google’s SafeSearch which filters out any inappropriate content that comes up in the search results. In order to do this:
- Type google.com/preferences.
- Once you’ve redirected, under “SafeSearch filters”, check the box marked “Turn on SafeSearch” and of course, click “Save”.
We hope you've found these quick and easy tips useful in making Google safer for your kids!
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