Lock Google Account for Kids

A good place to start on what you can do to lock down your Google account to protect your kids is here:

Google Family Safety

Having said that here are the measures I took to protect my account and kids across all my devices.

First go to Google.com and sign in with your gmail account.

Then click on Settings in the bottom right and choose Search Settings.

Under SafeSearch Filters place a checkmark in Turn on SafeSearch.   *** note this won’t block 100% of material but it will catch most.  It will also be turned on for you when you are search as well, not just your kids.

Optionally, I took the extra step of clicking on Lock SafeSearch.  This will also block explicit text and images from being displayed as well as restricting the ability to turn off SafeSearch.

Google will show colored balls on the top of all search pages if SafeSearch is turned on.  If you don’t see those colored balls then you know SafeSearch has been turned off.

Now click Save in the bottom right to ensure your changes are saved.

I am also a firm believe in Time-Based secondary authentication and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND everyone turn this one where you can to protect your online identity and financial information as much as possible.

IMPORTANT: Before you begin this will mean a convenience trade off for the sake security but it is definitely worth it.  What this means is that when you go to log into your Google account or Microsoft or Facebook…… you will be asked to provide the 6 digit code for the account currently being displayed in your Authenticator app.  So if you go to log in and your phone or tablet is not near by its a pain to have to run and go get it.  Flip side however is that even if your password gets compromised you are still protected.

Pro tip: NEVER give out your Authenticator code OR your password to anyone over the phone.

So lets do that now.

First download the Time based authentication app to your mobile phone or tablet.  My personal favorite is Google’s, Google Authenticator.  All of them will work across multiple sites not just the manufacturers.  eg.  Google Authenticator will work with Outlook.com (Microsoft).

Next go to Google.com and sign in if you are not already.  Click on your picture in the top right and click on My Account.

Next click on Signing Into Google

Under Password and Sign-In method click on 2-Step Verification.  You will be asked to verify its you with your password again, and then click on Turn On.

You should now be presented with a QR code.  I recommend printing a copy of the QR code and storing it in a locked safe location so that if you lose your tablet or mobile device you can gain access to your accounts again when you setup the Authenticator app again on your new device.

Scan the QR code with the Authenticator app and you are now setup.

And we are done.  Your Google Account is now configured to safely search across the web (mostly) and second factor authentication is enable to protect you in the event of your password getting compromised.

As a final step I signed into my Google account across all the kids iPads to ensure that the SafeSearch setting I enabled is applied on their iPads.

 

 

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