Google Family Link app helps parents set online guidelines for children

By Internet Matters Team on

Navigating technology can be tricky, that’s why Google has created Google Family Link, a new app designed to help parents set guidelines for children. In addition, it has committed to reach 1 million children through its Be Internet Legends and Be Internet Citizens programmes to give young children the tools to be confident explorers of the online world.

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How does Google Family link work?

Family Link connects your Android or iPhone to your kid’s Android phone or tablet, to help parents set and tailor certain digital ground rules that work for their family, such as:

Manage the apps their child can use

Approve or block the apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store

Keep an eye on screen time

See how much time their child spends on their favourite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device

Set device bedtime

See their child’s location

Remotely lock their child’s device when it’s time to play, study, or sleep.

To use Family Link, a child would need a device that runs at least Android Nougat (7.0) or iPhone iOS 9. Then, a parent downloads Family Link onto their own device and creates a Google Account for their child through the Family Link app.

Commenting on the launch, Saurabh Sharma, product manager for Family Link said: “We believe deeply in technology’s ability to unlock creativity and engagement but we also work hard to ensure parents have the right tools to make the right choices for their children.

With Family Link, parents and children can explore the digital world together, making it easier for them to discover, create and share as a family. And with our internet safety programmes, we aim to help children get the necessary skills to explore and have positive experiences online.”

What is the Be Internet Legends Programme?

Supporting children digital safety

Be Internet Legends is an educational programme aimed at 7 – 11-year-olds to help them be safe, confident explorers of the online world – through online platforms, teaching resources, face-to-face workshops and assemblies, and free training resources to over 19,000 UK teachers. Be Internet Legends was created in partnership with family internet safety experts at Parent Zone and is accredited by the PSHE Association. It consists of five key pillars to help children learn the essentials of how to stay safe online:

  1. Be Internet Sharp – Think Before You Share
  2. Be Internet Alert – Check it’s For Real
  3. Be Internet Secure – Protect Your Stuff
  4. Be Internet Kind – Respect Each Other
  5. Be Internet Brave – When in Doubt, Discuss

Interland game – an interactive way to learn about online safety

As part of the Internet Legends programme, Google is launching Interland, an adventure-packed online game that makes learning about internet safety interactive and fun. In Interland, children can learn about avoiding badly-behaved hackers, phishers, and bullies by practicing the skills that they need to be confident online explorers. Parents and teachers can explore Interland with their children at https://beinternetlegends.withgoogle.com/interland

What is the Be Internet Citizen Programme?

Be Internet Citizens is an education programme aimed at 13 – 15-year-olds designed to teach media literacy, critical thinking, and digital citizenship; with the aim of encouraging young people to be positive voices online. The programme builds the foundation to give children the confidence to be empowered producers of online content to express their identities, share their stories, make a social impact, and bring communities together. Be Internet Citizens resources for secondary schools are also accredited by PSHE.

Margot James, Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online. I’m pleased that Google is supporting the government’s work in this area by providing the tools and education to help parents, teachers, and children make the best decisions as they explore the online world together.”

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See how Google Family Link can help you support your child's digital life

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