A report suggests that American children spend around seven hours a day in front of electronic media and the majority of this time is spent by accessing web browsers or social media.
After Social Media & Internet being mainstream, access to adult content over the internet has also become easy. This forces parents to monitor and manage children’s activity on the web. So knowing how to incorporate Parental Controls on Google Chrome has become viable for them.
There are three levels of Parental Control such as Monitoring, Filtering & Managing. Monitoring can help you to get full browsing behavior of your children. Filtering can help you to filter out adult content from web searches and lastly, managing can help you to manually block any website or control screen on time on your children’s devices.
To highlight the set up processes, we will discuss it in a total of 8 methods. The first three methods only include the Filtering process, the next two methods will be focusing only on Managing. Following that, the next two methods will be focusing both on Managing & Filtering and at the end we will discuss one method that mainly focuses on Monitoring yet users will be able to Filter & Manage as well.
(Note: All these methods can not be applied both on Windows & Android Devices, some methods are for both the devices and some are exclusively for Windows or Android Devices.)
1. Turn on SafeSearch Filter
SafeSearch is an excellent feature by Google to help the users to filter out adult content from google search results. However, SafeSearch is not 100% accurate yet it can be a very viable step towards incorporating Parental Control inside Google Chrome Browser.
To enable SafeSearch for Windows Devices you need to open Chrome Browser from your children’s devices and type https://www.google.com/safesearch in the address bar. Toggle it on and restart the browser. SafeSearch will be activated.
To enable SafeSearch for Android Devices open Google Chrome from the required device and type https://www.google.com/safesearch in the address bar. Toggle it on and you are done!
2. Set Secure DNS to CleanBrowsing (Family Filter)
On top of Google SafeSearch Filter, DNS Filtering can also add an extra layer of filter to the search result. Fortunately Chrome Browser has an in-built feature that allows us to choose which DNS we want to use. Changing it to CleanBrowsing (Family Filter) helps filter out the adult contents from google search results.
Switching to CleanBrowsing (Family Filter) for Windows Devices:
- Open Google Chrome.
- Type chrome://settings/security in the address bar.
- Scroll down and Turn on Use secure DNS.
- Toggle the With section and select CleanBrowsing (Family Filter) from the drop down.
Switching to CleanBrowsing (Family Filter) for Android Devices:
- Open Chrome Browser.
- Go to Settings from the Three Dots.
- Scroll down to Privacy & Security.
- Go to Use secure DNS.
- Toggle to Choose another provider and select CleanBrowsing (Family Filter) from the drop down.
3. Set Safe Browsing to Enhanced Mode
Google Chrome has an in-built Safe Browsing Feature. Enabling this feature will force Google to automatically block certain websites that may have malware or viruses. You must be aware that the main source of Malware and Viruses is adult websites. So indirectly this feature can help you to block them as well.
To enable this feature for Windows Devices, open Chrome browser from the required device and type chrome://settings/security in the address bar and select Enhanced Protection.
To enable this feature for Android Devices, open Chrome browser from that device and then go to Three Dots > Settings > Privacy and security > Safe Browsing. Then switch to Enhanced protection from Standard.
4. Tweak a Few Website’s Site Settings
- Open Google Chrome then go to the required website. (For example we are taking www.reddit.com)
- Click on the Lock Icon at the start of the website’s URL.
- Go to Site Settings.
- Reload the website to see the changes.
- Open Google Chrome and go to Settings.
- Scroll down and go to Site Settings.
- Type the target URL and Add it.
- Reload the website to see the changes.
One must keep in mind that the latest versions of Google Chrome for Android do not allow users to block images.
5. Block Websites Using Windows Host File
Blocking particular websites can be very helpful to prevent children from accessing adult websites and social media. If your child uses a windows device then it can be easily done by editing the host files of Windows.
- Go to Start Menu and search for Notepad or any other text editor that you have installed.
- Open Notepad by giving Administration Rights.
- Then press CTRL + O.
- Locate hosts file by typing C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts in the Windows Explorer’s Address bar.
- Open it using Notepad or the same text editor that you have opened earlier.
- Now you need to add the website name in a certain format, append a line and type 127.0.0.1 then press TAB and add the Website Name that you want to block.
- Repeat the same step to add multiple websites.
- Save the file and you are done. Now those lists of websites won’t be accessible from any of the browsers.
6. Block & Filter Web Content with Blocksi Web Filter Extension
Chrome extensions can also help to filter & manage web contents, Blocksi Web Filter is one of them. Using blocksi extension you can take control of your child’s Web Browser.
To add Blocksi extension you need to open chrome browser and go to this link. Then simply click on Add to Chrome. Give it the required permissions and then set it up according to your need. It will ask for the type of installation feel free to choose the free option.
Blocksi has some excellent Parental Control features as follows:
Web Filter: This feature can help to filter out Google Search results by turning on Google’s SafeSearch and also have their own list of blocked websites for filtering.
So if any website passes through Google’s SafeSearch you can still get another opportunity to block that site automatically if that site is listed on their filter. You are also able to choose which type of website you want to filter out.
URL Filter: Use this feature if you want to block any particular URL.
Content Filter: This feature will allow you to block any web pages with particular keywords or phrases. However you need to add these keywords and phrases manually.
YouTube Channel Filter: If you want to block any particular YouTube Channel for your kid, you can easily do it by using this feature.
YouTube Keyword Filter: Like Content Filter you can take advantage of YouTube keyword Filter to block certain videos with a list of keywords.
With more and more Internet addiction these days kids are wasting hours on social media or on OTT platforms. Blocksi can also help to block the internet connectivity for certain hours. This can rapidly boost your kid’s productivity.
Blocksi has in-built password protection, so that only the administrator of that extension can change any settings inside. But what if your children remove the actual extension from the browser? For that you can lock Blocksi. To do that you may refer to this article.
This method can only be applied on Windows devices, Chrome Android does not have an option to add extensions.
7. Use Google’s Family Link Application to Control Chrome Browser
Google provides its free Family Link application not only to control the device’s chrome browser but also to provide other useful Parental Control features.
Google’s Family Link is an Android application (Available for iOS as well) but using this you can also control Windows Chrome Browser considering that browser has been signed-in with your child’s Google Account.
Follow the steps below to set up the Google Family Link application. Please keep in mind that you need to have access to your kids Android Device during this set up process.
Step 1: Initial Setup of Family Link Application on Parents Android Device
- Open Google Play Store and download Family Link Application.
- Open the application then go to Get Started and choose your Google Account to log in.
- Tap on Parent on the following screen.
- Select Next and then Continue.
- Google will ask if your child has a Google Account or not, tap on Yes. (If your child doesn’t have any Google account then create one to proceed further)
- Now wait. Follow Step 2 as stated below on your kids device then come back and Tap on Done.
Step 2: Initial Setup of Parental Control on Your Kid’s Device
- Go to Settings on your kid’s device.
- Scroll down and go to Google.
- Again scroll down and tap on Parental Controls.
- Tap on Get started.
- Select Child or teenager then tap Next on the next screen.
- Choose your child’s Google Account and Continue.
- Enter Parent Accounts Credentials and Continue. (You need to enter same account’s credentials that you have already use on step 1)
- Scroll down and provide your kids Google Account Password and tap on Agree.
- Tap on Allow Supervision.
Note: You need to tap on Allow Supervision on the kids device and Done on the parents device simultaneously. Sometimes you may get errors like Something Went Wrong. Do not panic, just tap on Done (Parent’s device) again and your setup will be completed and your kid will get an email about the supervision on their account.
Step 3: Take Control of Chrome Browser
- Open Family Link App & Tap on View.
- Go to Manage.
- Under the Restriction section you will find Google Chrome, YouTube, Google Play & Google Search add required restrictions and you are done now your kid can’t even access Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode to hide something.
Using Family Link app you can also provide you functionality like Track your kids location, How much time they are spending on which apps, Control daily screen time, list of applications they have installed and also ability to block any application etc. With Family Link App your child can’t even download any apps by their choice, Administrator needs to approve the app from their device then only the download will start on kid’s device.
However, if you want to stop supervision you can do it at any point of time by going to Account Info then Stop Supervision.
8. Monitor, Filter & Manage Google Chrome Browser with Third Party Software
Google Chrome doesn’t have any in-built functionality to monitor your kids web activity on Chrome browser. But if you want such functionality you need to use third party sources. There are a lot of third party software that can help to monitor web activity inside Chrome Browser. Apart from Monitoring these software can also provide useful Filtering & Managing ways.
These software can also help you to monitor and manage the on screen time of your kids Google Chrome Usage. Apart from giving control over Chrome Browsers, they offer a step further, you can manage and monitor your child’s entire device with some easy setups.
However, to unlock the full potential of these software you need to subscribe to their premium plan.There are a lot of such software available on the internet. But our personal favorite is bark!
If you want to know how to setup bark for Chrome Browser on Windows Devices, you may watch this video!
If you want to set it up for Android Devices watch this video instead.
We have already discussed 8 different ways to put Parental Control on Google Chrome. Are you thinking if all these Parental Control tips can be applicable on Chrome’s incognito mode or not? We have an answer for that as well!
Can Google Chrome’s Parental Control Settings Work on Incognito Mode?
Google Chrome’s Parental Control settings can also be incorporated inside incognito mode. However there are some settings that won’t get incorporated automatically inside incognito mode, you need to turn it on again for incognito mode by following the same process. It is advisable that after applying any settings check it on both modes.
Among the 8 methods that we have shared here, “Turn on Safe Search Filter” is the only method that requires second time activation inside incognito mode and for the methods that include any extensions, you need to allow that extension to work inside incognito mode as well. If you find trouble enabling extensions inside incognito mode you may refer to this article.
For the rest of the methods it will be automatically incorporated inside Google Chrome incognito mode.
Parental Control for the web activity has become an important concern for today’s parents. We have tried to discuss the most easy and effective ways to Monitor, Filter & Manage Chrome Browser on your kids devices.
It’s not necessary to implement all three levels of Parental Control at a time. Feel free to choose the one you actually need and implement it. And lastly we at Tech for Folks wish your kids to have a safe & secure web journey!