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5 Google Tools Every Parent Should Know About

If you are a parent concerned with online safety, let me introduce you to 5 Google tools that can help you create online boundaries for your children.

Our kids live a very connected lives. They have access to learning about anything with a few clicks on a keyboard. It’s amazing how curious minds can get themselves in trouble. Our job as parents is to create age-appropriate boundaries for their online activities.

Google Tools for Online Safety

Google has created a set of tools to help parents create those boundaries. From YouTube to doing searches, see how these Google tools can help create a safer online environment for your family.

  • Google Tools 1 of 6
    Google Tools for online safety

    Google has a set of tools that will help keep your kids safe when searching and watching videos.  Here are 5 Google Tools that you need to know about. 

  • YouTube SafetyMode 2 of 6
    safetymode

    We use YouTube SafetyMode on all of our devices, but most specifically this comes in handy for our kids iPads.  My toddler is obsessed with YouTube, specifically viral videos of kids being bitten or babies dancing.  

    Turning on YouTube SafetyMode is super simple.  

    Just scroll down to the bottom of any YouTube page and click on the button that says "Safety" at the bottom of the page switch it on. You can also log in with a YouTube account and lock SafetyMode as your default setting on each one of your computer browsers. 

    Learn how to turn on and lock Safety Mode on YouTube.

    Learn More about YouTube SafetyMode

    SafetyMode on YouTube will filter out videos with mature content or that have age-restrictions (it also helps hide objectionable comments.)  Do note, no filter is 100% accurate!  

  • SafeSearch in Google Search 3 of 6
    safe-search

    Keep your child (or yourself) from receiving explicit images, search results and videos when Googling with Google's SafeSearch.  Turn on SafeSearch to filter adult results from your Google searches.  You can lock SafeSearch by logging into your Google account and changing your settings. 

    Learn more about Google's SafeSearch

  • Flags on YouTube 4 of 6
    flagging-content

    While YouTube SafetyMode is in place to help keep the bad out - no filter is 100%.  On every single YouTube video, there is a flag that you can use to report a video that you feel is inappropriate and violates YouTube's Community guidelines.

    Flagged videos and channels are reviewed by YouTube staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. Flagged videos that violate our guidelines are removed from YouTube. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination. You can also flag abusive comments. Check out more tips at the YouTube Safety Hub.

    Learn more about Flags on YouTube

  • Google+ Settings and Safety Notifications for Teens 5 of 6
    teen-safety

    With an estimated 343 million active users - Google+ is growing by leaps and bounds. With all of these people jumping on board, many include teens. When a teen joins Google+ they have different default settings to help keep them safe and responsible.  

    You might not want to share the same photos with your boss as you would with your family. And you might not want your teen to have all the same ways to share that you do. Google+ is built to share selectively like you would want to in real life. Google+ is customized for teens helps them take advantage of the flexibility Google+ offers with the right starting points, educational materials, and timely reminders. Check out some examples.

    Learn more about Google+ settings and safety notifications for teens.

    h/t Expanded Ramblings for the Google+ stat

  • Good to Know 6 of 6
    good-to-know

    Looking for a one-stop shop for information about the web and how to keep your family safe and secure online? Google's Good to Know website will provide you just that.  

    You can learn more about Google's privacy and safety tools for families, get tips from parents at Google about family safety, and find out more what Google does to protect you, your family, and the Internet.

 

When my daughter was 5, she had access to our family computer that sat in the kitchen. She loved playing games and her being only 5, we didn’t have an internet filter on it. The games she played were offline. For her to access, she would just click on the desktop icons to play her games.

One day, our daughter came running in explaining the computer was broken. After doing a bit of digging, we found out that the computer had a malware virus. The reason?  Our little princess had discovered the internet! She had gotten on Google somehow and had been searching for “fairy games” – with fairy misspelled.  What came up, was not the Disney Princess Fairy games that we would of been fine with her playing, but a bunch of porn which then led to our computer contaminated with a virus.

No matter how young your child is – you need to be monitoring their access to the internet. We learned the hard way!  Our daughter had just learned to read and barely could spell – yet she could access porn. Can you say CRAZY?

Our daughter is now 10. Anything in this house that she can connect online with – has some sort of filter.

These Google tools are great for searching and watching videos. These alone will not fully protect your child online, but are great weapon for your online protection arsenal.

What Internet Filters Do You Use?

Molly blogs technology, parenting and geekery at Digital Mom Blog. More Babbles

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