Tips for families

Family Link can help you set certain ground rules about technology, but it’s up to you which apps and services your child can use. Keep in mind that Google apps aren’t designed to be child-safe. To help your child make smart choices when using their device, check out the following guide for parents.

  • Creating strong passwords

    One of the easiest ways to help your child protect their information online is to keep strong, secure passwords.

    How to make a strong password
    • Add numbers, symbols, and mixed-case letters

    • Avoid info that's easy to guess, like 12345 or "password"

    • Avoid personal info, like birthdays or addresses

    • Make passwords unique

    • Update passwords regularly

    Tips for young children

    To create passwords that are easier to remember, try using a favorite song or phrase. And if it helps to write your child's passwords down, use hints instead. For example, if the password is Str@wberry30, write the hint "favorite ice cream @ + favorite number."

    Tips for bigger children

    Help children set a reminder on the calendar for updating passwords every 6 months. Children can change their own Google Account password from the My Account website. If they forget their password or forget to tell you what it is, you can always reset it for them in Family Link.

  • Using content filters

    Content filters don’t block everything that may be unsafe for children, but they can help block certain types of inappropriate content.

    Set expectations, not just filters

    You can filter explicit search results on Google, like pornography, using the SafeSearch setting. You can also set filters in Google Play based on app ratings. While these filters aim to block content that is sexually explicit or contains graphic violence, they won’t make apps or services child-safe, or block all content you don’t want your child to see. That’s why it’s still best to talk with your child about the kinds of content they watch, play, or share on their devices, and what to do if they see something that isn’t appropriate.

    Tips for all children

    Make it easier to get to stuff they like, and you approve of, on the web. Try bookmarking websites on Chrome. You can adjust content filters and restrictions as children grow, like blocking or allowing specific websites on Chrome and apps on Android.

  • Balancing screen time

    How much time your child should spend using their device is up to you, but there are ways to help set limits when you want to.

    How to set device-free time

    You can use Family Link to temporarily lock your child’s device at different times of the day. For example:

    Tips for all children

    You might decide the right amount of screen time for your child depends on what they're watching, playing, or learning. Use Family Link’s app activity reports to see which apps your child is using most.

  • Keeping private info private

    Help your child protect themselves online by teaching them to spot fishy behavior and keep their personal information top secret.

    When to avoid a message, link, or email
    • If it’s from a stranger

    • If it asks for account information

    • If it sounds too good to be true

    • If there’s a strange link or file, even if it’s from a friend

    What not to share

    Help children understand what stuff they need to keep top secret. Information like their home address, the name of their school, or phone number should never be shared online where strangers could see it.

    Tips for young children

    Remind your child that some things online aren’t real, and encourage them to ask you when they aren’t sure.

    Tips for big children

    Just in case, make sure your child knows how to block unwanted contacts or someone who’s bothering them.

  • Exploring together

    If you want to talk with your children about technology, learning what they love might make it easier to start the conversation.

    Get to know your child's favorite apps

    See which Android apps and games your children love most — and spend the most time using — with Family Link's app activity reports.

    Decide what’s right for your child

    On Google Play, you can find family-friendly content by looking for the family star, which includes a suggested age-range for the content. For apps and games, you can check content ratings to understand an app’s maturity, and set filters based on those ratings. Finally, check an app’s additional information to find out whether it contains, ads, in-app purchases, or permissions you might care about.

For more tips, tools and resources for parents, visit:

Setting up Family Link

Before downloading the app, learn more about what devices are compatible with Family Link and what you'll need to set up an account for your child.

Get Started
android phone