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Online Predators Are Using Fortnite To Lure Children

Operation Open House nets 24 alleged child predators

There are countless Apps being used by children. But how can we know which Apps are safe for children to use. When allowing children to have access to a digital device, a parents first concern should be, what are the vulnerabilities my child might be exposed to. The online world is a doorway in to the home. A doorway through which, 3.2 billion people can use as a means to access a child and open up a channel of communication. A false sense of security can lead a child playing a game, chatting with friends, and also strangers. Will a child even realise who they are talking to?

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Parental Controls

Google Family Link – The FREE Parenting Tool to Protect Your Kid’s Device

Google Family Link

The days of handing a child an unrestricted, unsupervised or unmonitored device, are well and truly in the past. We have literally met thousands of young children who have, and still are, being negatively impacted by their exposure to unsuitable content online. While devices have been designed for children to use, they have not been supplied with the necessary safety features, pre-installed, to protect children. These devices are no more toys, then they are babysitters. Left unrestricted in the hands of a child, content which has the potential to cause serious long-term psychological harm, is always only a click away.

 

The mega corporations who are creating the digital devices used by children all over the world have finally listened to the voices of parents and stepped up, rolling out FREE Parental Tools to protect devices that are used by younger family members. Today we will look at Google Family Link. How to install it and use it. We would hope to see the set up process of Google Family Link, as part of the initial install on all new devices if future.

 

What is Google Family Link?

Google Family Link is a mobile app. It is available for both Android and IOS devices. It enables parents to create a specific Google Account for your child. This Google Account is a similar your own account, however once used with the Family Link App, you can now set ground rules for the use of the child’s device, such as deciding for yourself,

  • Which apps are suitable for your child to use
  • How long the child can spend on the Device
  • You may wish to set a bedtime cut off on your child’s device
  • It is also possible to see your child’s location at all times with the app.

Google-Family-Link-screen shot

What Other Features does the App offer?

To be fair, Google have given some consideration for the needs of Parents and their ability to restrict and monitor control devices in the home. This is a full list of the Google Family Link App’s Features

  • Manage the apps your child can use
  • Approve or block apps your child wants from the Google Play Store
  • Monitor and Control screen time
  • Weekly and monthly activity reports identify what Apps are most used or over used
  • Set daily screen time limits for your child’s device
  • Set a device bedtime
  • See your child’s location
  • Remotely lock your child’s device

 

It is VERY important to remember,

  • Google Family Link will not entirely restrict unsuitable content through searches online.
  • You will still need to set restrictions for the search engine on the device.
  • Parents also need to be mindful of the types of App permitted for use on the device, if you permit its use, and it contains adult content, Family Link will not block the content as you have permitted the use of the App.
  • A perfect example of this is Netflix, you may wish to permit the use of this App on your child’s device. If you decide it is acceptable, as you child watches Netflix, then you will need to set the parental controls for Netflix also.

family-link screen shots

How to Create an Account with Family Link

  1. Open Google Play or the Apple App Store and Download the App
  2. Open the Family Link App.
  3. In the top right of the screen, tap Create – this is to create a new Account for your child and one also for you, if you do not have a Google Account
  4. Follow the instructions on-screen to create the account.
  5. When you’re done, a confirmation will show on the screen.

 

Creating a Google Account for your child when you’re setting up a NEW DEVICE

  1. Turn on the new device and follow the instructions on-screen to set up the device.
  2. When you’re asked to sign in with your Google Account, tap Create new account.
  3. If you don’t see “Create new account,” tap More options first.
  4. Enter your child’s name, birthday, gender, email address, and password.
    • Remember never to enter actual names or birth dates. It is important to consider your child’s right to privacy.
  5. Follow the instructions to sign in with your own Google Account, provide parental consent, and pick your child’s settings.

Once Google Family Link is installed you can now choose what access and permissions your child is allowed to have on their device. We have a User Guide for each setting listed here. We do recommend setting restrictions on App installation, Screen Time and Purchase Approvals.

 

These are links to help you to navigate the individual setting you require to complete the set up of Family Link on your childs device. You may not even need to read through these short and detailed links are the set up process is very straight forward.

This is by no means an exhaustive guide to the App and its features. However it is an introduction to a tool almost every parent we have encountered has been asking for. We can inform, but parents need to take the initiative to fulfil their role in protecting their children from unsuitable content by installing and using the tools which are now available.

We are all too aware, motivating some parents to take any form of action to protect a child’s device, can be really difficult. An attitude of “My child would never look at something like that”, unfortunatley does exist. In reality, no one can make such a confident assumption in relation to potential exposure to unsuitable content. It is far better to always have a device suitably restricted if it being used by a child.

Please let us know how you get on with Google Family Link. Are your experiences positive or negative with the App? Are you able to follow the installation instructions etc., if we can assist at all we will. Be sure to share the page with other parents of young children.

Team @COTDage

Blog

A number of Suicides linked to the Whatsapp Momo Challenge

momo.jpg

A new Social Media craze is taking the world by storm. The Whatsapp Momo Challenge, has already been linked to a number of suicides. It is similar to other online challenges, such as the Blue Whale Challenge. This claimed the lives of up to 150 young people by suicide.

The Momo challenge first appeared on Facebook, but has now gone viral on WhatsApp. This is by far one of the most popular messaging apps used by children and teens. In a very short period of time the challenge has virtually gone world wide at this point. Authorities in several countries have issuing warnings for parents to watch out for the Momo challenge appearing in Whatsapp messages, for their own child’s safety.

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Parental Controls

Setting up Parental Controls for Netflix

 

Netflix Image

 

From speaking to children, we have witnessed a huge increase in the amount who are viewing T.V. and Movie content which is unsuitable for them. Almost all of the children are telling us, they have seen the content either on YouTube or Netflix. Children in National Schools have reported how they have been unable to sleep at night, or had disturbing dreams as a direct result of something they had seen on a digital device.

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Cyber Safety Advice for Parents Blog

Two out of every three Post Primary students, asked to send, or have received Sexualised Images – Advice for Parents

 

sexting image

 

Students at Coláiste Bríde in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, recently discovered in a study, that two out of every three people in the school, had received a sexualized image, or had been asked for one. The results led students to launch their own awareness campaign. is an obvious source of concern for the parents of young teens. It can also be a big problem for teens themselves. Imagine how difficult it must be, to exist in an online environment, where all of your own friends, followers and peers are exchanging sexualized images.

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