Samsung is the most popular phone manufacturer worldwide, with more than 28% of the market share, according to GlobalStats. Samsung owes its popularity to the numerous middle-range smartphones it produces. Because most Samsung phones are cheaper than iPhones, many parents prefer to get their children a Samsung phone as their first smartphone. Nevertheless, parents need to learn ways to put parental controls on their children’s phones to protect them from the safety and health risks of using phones. Although each model comes with certain hardware specs, Samsung phones all share the same operating system, which is Android. Here, we’ll explain how you can put parental controls on all Samsung phones bought after March 2016 (running on Android 7.0 Nougat).
This article discusses how to put parental controls on Samsung phones using the features available on these devices or by installing Safes parental control suite. By the end of the article, you’d be able to decide for yourself which protection method to choose.
Parental Settings on Samsung Phones
Samsung Galaxy phones have built-in parental controls. To access them, open your phone’s settings and scroll down to ‘Digital Wellbeing and parental controls’. In this section, under ‘Check on your kids’, you have ‘Parental controls’.
Select’ Parent’ in the panel that appears after tapping parental controls. Your phone will then lead you through steps to download and install the ‘Google Family Link’ application. You must now open Google Family Link and follow a few steps to add your child’s device.
Note: If you can’t find parental controls on your phone, that’s probably because you bought your phone before 2020. If that’s the case, you can still download and install Google Family Link from Google Play, provided your phone runs on Android 7.0 Nougat or a later version.
To pair your child’s phone with yours, you need to repeat the same process on your child’s phone. This time after tapping parental controls, instead of ‘Parent’, you should select ‘Child or teen’. Then you should download and install the ‘Family Link child and teen’ app. Open the app and enter the setup code that Family Link provided you.
Note: If your child’s phone doesn’t show parental controls, you can download and install the Family Link child and teen app from Google Play.
What Does Google Family Link Do?
Google Family Link is a free parental control app that helps you monitor what apps and websites your child uses on their phone and how much time they spend on them. You can view your child’s browsing history and block inappropriate apps, websites, and search keywords. Using the screen time reports, you’d know if your child is overusing apps, and then you can limit your child’s screen time. You may make a screen time schedule for every day of the week. You can do all the monitoring and controlling remotely via your phone. This app also displays your child’s live location and the history of their recently visited places.
Here are the main features of Google Family Link:
- Screen Time Limit
- Screen Time Report
- Screen Time Schedule
- App Blocking
- Browsing History
- Web Blocking
- Safe Search
- Live Location
- Location History
Disadvantage of Google Family Link
Google Family Link offers multiple parental control options on Samsung Galaxy phones free of charge; however, it has some limitations and disadvantages, explained below.
Google Family Link works on Android, iOS, and Chrome. However, it doesn’t work on Windows and Mac devices.
You can monitor children of all ages with Google Family Link. However, children above 13 can choose not to let you monitor them.
Google Family Link has a web panel which you can access on computers. You can use it to monitor your child’s mobile use when you don’t have access to your phone. However, even though you can monitor your child’s activity, you cannot limit or block their access.
Google Family Link uses Safe Search to block inappropriate content in your child’s search results. You have probably come across this feature when Googling. However, as you may have seen for yourself, Google Safe Search has imperfections.
Safes Parental Controls on Samsung
If you’re satisfied with the parental controls that Google Family Link offers and you don’t mind its pitfalls, then Google Family Link suits you. Otherwise, you can try Safes parental control suites that provide all of the features of Google Family Link plus many more without limitations at a reasonable price.
Safes is a multiplatform parental control suite that can monitor and control how children use their phones, tablets, and even laptops and desktop computers. On top of protecting your child in the digital world, it also protects them offline.
In the table below, we’ve compared some of the features of Safes with Family Link:
In the following, we’ll discuss some of Safes’s main parental control features that work on all Samsung phones.
Screen Time Profile
Safes offers more than just limiting your child’s screen time and making a screen time schedule. Using Safes, you can make screen time profiles for special days and locations without having to modify your schedule. For example, you can let your child use some apps more on holidays or when they’re visiting their grandparents.
Using the GPS on your child’s phone, you can mark geographical zones and define certain rules for them. For example, by specifying your child’s school, you can block certain apps that distract your child. Geofence will also notify you when your child enters or leaves the school _or any other area you define on the map.
Safes lists inappropriate keywords in various categories, such as pornography, violence, shopping, etc. You can decide to block any of them. You can also add more websites to block or make exceptions to the categories.
If your child is overusing their phone at a particular time or location, you can instantly pause their device. All the apps will stop working, and your child won’t be able to do anything with their phone except for calling and sending SMS.
Another feature similar to instant block is bedtime mode. You can set your child’s phone to pause at a particular time at night, stopping your child from staying up after bedtime.
Call & SMS Logging
Using Safes, you can see all the numbers your child dials or receives calls from. Also, you may view the numbers your child sends or receives SMS from. Moreover, you can view the content of your child’s SMS messages.
If your child receives calls or SMS from unwelcomed numbers, you can block them using Safes.
You can view the battery life of your child’s phone. This is an advantage when your child is away, and you’re worried you might lose access to them. You can reach out to your child before their battery dies.
Age Limitation & Uninstall Protection
Unlike Google Family Link, you can put parental controls on your child’s Samsung phone if they’re under 18. There’s no way for them to revoke your settings or uninstall the program.
You can access the Safes control panel on your phone as well as on your computer using Safes’s web portal. Unlike Google Family Link, you have complete control over your child’s activity on their phones.
With the family sharing feature, both parents can keep in the loop with how their child uses their phone. They can both monitor their child using different phones.
Final Words about Parental Controls on Samsung
To put parental controls on Samsung phones, you can use Samsung’s built-in parental settings, which require installing the Google Family app on your phone as well as your child’s phone. Nonetheless, Google Family Link has limitations and disadvantages. So, for maximum protection, you can instead use Safes parental controls. Safes has features to protect your child both online and offline.