How to enabled Parental Controls on the Google Play Store
Smartphone users are getting younger and younger, and the app industry has recently recognized this. Whether it’s their own mobile phone or that of their parents, children start playing around with technology at an early age. It is therefore important to ensure that they cannot harm themselves or their parents’ credit cards. We’ll give you some simple but effective tips.
As numerous cases from the USA have shown time and again, the tension between unattended children and the app stores of this world can make a lot of things go wrong. On the one hand, there is the risk of uncontrolled spending, which has already ended in court for Apple and Google. Then there’s the fact that the Google Play Store also has a lot of apps that are simply not suitable for children, even though they have them in their sights.
Google is now giving parents a few options to carry at least a bit of precaution. The very first step should be to disable downloading apps from unknown sources, if you haven’t already. This is done in the settings under Security. Remove the checkmark here at Unknown Origin and set one at the opportunity to verify an app at Apps.
Next, the Play-Store app opens and goes to the Preferences (shown above) where you will find a sub-item called Parental controls. Under that menu you have the possibility to restrict apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone according to “age rating”. Although these levels do not correspond to concrete age specifications, they are based on the average maturity level of young users.
All levels are preset by default, changing the setting requires the creation of a password or PIN. This is important so that the child cannot undo these changes on its own.
Finally, purchases from the Play Store should be password-protected. Here Google was once criticized or tried, as only every 30 minutes a password was requested for app purchases so that for children a time window was created in which they could unlock and rule. Under the item Password required for purchases in the Settings you should check the box For all purchases on Google Play on this device. Thus, no app or in-app purchases are possible without the password.
These were just three little tips, but they can make a big difference if your kids get their fingers on your smartphone more often or already have their own. But of course, none of this replaces the essential teaching of media competence.