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Google allows parents to control Android for children under 13 | Security

Google launched Family Link in Brazil, a free service that allows you to control what children under 13 do on their smartphones. Announced in 2017, the platform creates a monitored Google account for parents and mothers to see the apps accessed on their children's phones. It is possible to block a certain type of content and determine, at a distance, the time of use of the device.

The adult accesses the resource in an application for Android or iPhone (iOS). The monitored young person, however, must have a phone running Android 7 Nougat or higher. Apple phones cannot be monitored.

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Family Link allows you to monitor Android of children under 13 years old Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo

Family Link allows you to monitor Android of children under 13 years old Photo: Paulo Alves / TechTudo

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Family Link allows you to manage the apps used by your child, with control to approve or block programs installed by the Google Play Store. The adult can also obtain weekly or monthly reports with the times of use of the children's cell phone, with details of the time spent on applications. Parents can set usage limits per day, from which the cell phone is blocked.

The block can also be programmed by time. Through Family Link, it is possible to set a time to sleep or pause activities, in which the smartphone is unusable. In exceptional cases, the child may request an adult unlock code to temporarily release the use.

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Family Link app creates monitored account for children Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

Family Link app creates monitored account for children Photo: Reproduo / Paulo Alves

The control is done remotely, but the initial setup requires that the adult and child cell phones are close. The Google app harnesses a child's account with those in charge to allow remote surveillance later. According to the company, the controls are automatically deactivated when the child turns 13 the age of the young person defined by the guardian at the time of setting up the service.

Google's parental controls, however, only work with accounts created by Family Link, and cannot be extended to existing accounts. Through the app, an adult can add up to four other responsible people and a limited number of children to monitor.