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 kid can use. Keep in mind that Google apps aren’t designed to be kid-safe. To help your kid 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 kid 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 kids

    To create passwords that are easier to remember, try using a favorite song or phrase. And if it helps to write your kid'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 kids

    Help kids set a reminder on the calendar for updating passwords every 6 months. Kids 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 kids, 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 kid-safe, or block all content you don’t want your kid to see. That’s why it’s still best to talk with your kid 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 kids

    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 kids grow, like blocking or allowing specific websites on Chrome and apps on Android.

  • Balancing screen time

    How much time your kid 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 kid’s device at different times of the day. For example:

    Tips for all kids

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

  • Keeping private info private

    Help your kid 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 kids 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 kids

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

    Tips for big kids

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

  • Exploring together

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

    Get to know your kid's favorite apps

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

    Decide what’s right for your kid

    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.

Get Started

Family Link is available by invitation only to parents of kids under 13 years old. To get started, you’ll need:

  • To create a Google Account for your kid through Family Link.

  • A compatible Android device for your kid*.

  • Your own device (Android or iPhone).

  • Your own Google Account.

  • To be in the U.S.

Request Invite
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