Google can be a lifesaver. If you have any question or you are curious to find out about anything, Google most probably has the answer. With 88.47% share of the search market, it is the holy grail of search engines. No wonder, even children are using Google every day. Whether they are doing their homework or searching for a video, Google saves the day in more ways than one.
Despite its benefits, however, Google can also be unsafe, especially for kids. It is a platform where they can access content related to pornography and violence, among other things that are age-inappropriate. While it helps to limit the screen time of kids, this may not be enough. During the times that they are online, they can still access websites that they are not supposed to see. This is where the role of parents and guardians become important.
For parents who are looking for the best way to block inappropriate content on Google, the rest of this short post quickly looks at the best things that can be done.
Use a Parental Control Software
One of the most promising solutions is the use of the bestparental control software. This is a third-party application that can help in improving the features native to Google and safeguard the browsing experience of kids and teens.
There are various options for parental control apps and software, so you have to take your time to find one that works best for your needs. In most cases, they do not only block inappropriate content but can also do other functions, such as limiting screen time and monitoring social media use.
As a rule of thumb, do not go for those that are free. Look for a premium software to be assured of high-quality service. Read reviews to find out which one is best. Among others, some of the choices that should be on top of your list include Qustodio, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Mobicip, Norton Family Premier, and McAfee Safe Family.
Use Google SafeSearch
SafeSearch is a function exclusively developed by Google to help parents monitor the search activity of their children. It is also used for filtering explicit online content, making sure that young users won’t see them. It is targeted towards sexually explicit materials but does not cover contents related to violence. This can be used in both computers and smartphones. The way to activate the setting will vary just a bit, but essentially, you will look for the same buttons or commands.
To activate this feature, start by clicking this link – https://www.google.com/preferences. In the Preferences page, look for the Search Settings Page. Then, tap on “Filter Explicit Results.” At the bottom of the same page, click on Save.
After saving, you will also need to lock the setting. Otherwise, other users can modify the setting. Look for the Lock SafeSearch tab and click it. Take note that you need the be signed in on your Google account to be able to do this. On top of the Google search page, there is a notification that will let you know that SafeSearch is active.
While Google tries its best to make SafeSearch effective, they are also warning parents that it does not block out 100% of the explicit content that users can access online.
Use Built-In Google Chrome Restrictions
This is another free way to block inappropriate content. However, like SafeSearch, this may not completely filter all contents that are not meant for young users. However, this is better than not having any control in place.
Open Google Chrome and tap the three-dot icon that you will see on the upper right side of the webpage. Scroll down and click on Advanced, then choose System, and Open Proxy Settings. This will open a new window that shows Internet Properties. Look for Restricted Sites and click on Sites. Next, type all the URLs of the websites that you want to block and click on Add. As you can see, the biggest problem with this method is that you need to input the website name manually. So, if you miss one website, that website can still be accessible.
Ask Help from Your Internet Service Provider
Your internet service provider can also help in preventing kids from accessing inappropriate content. Depending on the service provider, it can cover not only the internet but even television channels.
To do this, you have to call your internet service provider and inform them about what you wish to do. There are also instances wherein you can log-in on their platform and you can do the necessary tweaks to control what is accessible and what is blocked on your internet at home. Take note, however, that not all providers will offer this service.
Guide Your Children
At the end of the day, no app can be completely safe and effective in blocking unwanted content. Chances are, there will always be ways to trick these solutions. Kids can even use Google to find their way out of the restrictions that have been in place. With that, the best solution is still for parents to actively monitor kids when they are using the internet.
This may sound unrealistic, especially given the fact that kids can access the internet even on their smartphones. Nonetheless, it is a good practice to be near kids during their screen time and guide them on the searches they are making.
It is undeniable that Google is beneficial in more ways than one. A quick search will reveal tons of results! It is the easiest way to answer any question that we have. However, it can also be unsafe. Especially for kids, it is a platform where they can access pornographic or violent content. For those who are given freedom in terms of screen time and when parents are not always available to monitor internet use, our suggestions above will work. From using a parental control app or software to use Google’s native SafeSearch feature, consider those things to block inappropriate content.