How to Block Apps on Android Devices

Anne Livingston on Mar 10, 2016

How to block apps on Android devices

Most parents do not allow their children to run out the door without telling them where they are going. In the same way, children should not be running around online without parents knowing where they are. Not every app or website is suitable for kids. By using web filters and child monitoring software, parents can allow their kids to explore the Internet while staying in age appropriate areas.

Many parents are reluctant to use parental controls. According to the recent Pew Research Center survey only 39% of parents of teens use parental controls for blocking, filtering or monitoring their teen’s online activities. Most parents prefer to check in on their teen by looking at what websites they visit, checking their social media profiles, friending or following them or looking through their teen’s phone.

In some cases, checking in may not be enough. According to a McAfee study, over 70% of teens have hidden online activity from their parents. Half of these teens (53%) clear their browser history and 34% hide or delete messages, photos, or videos. One of the ways teens hide content is by using vault apps.

Hiding Apps on Android

In Colorado, high school students, who were caught sexting, used a vault app to hide inappropriate photos. Teens had tucked away these photos behind an innocuous looking calculator app. Even if a curious parent opened the app, they would still see just a calculator. Only when a teen entered a code did the calculator open up and reveal the secret pictures and folders.

In Google Play or the App Store, parents will find teens have a choice of many different vault apps and app lockers. These apps are designed to hide content from prying eyes. Teens can use these app lockers to hide pictures, videos, messages and other apps they do not want their parents to see.

Built-in Parental Controls for Android

On Android, parents can set built-in parental controls. Parental controls are available in the Settings, in the browser or on the individual site. For example, parents can limit what apps kids can download based on the content rating. Under Settings in Google Play, parents can choose to only allow apps rated E for Everyone. Parents can also set up the Safe Search filter in the google search settings. For specific sites, like YouTube, parents can turn on Safe Mode to block inappropriate videos.

Setting up all these controls on individual devices is cumbersome. Parents have to set each of these controls for each device. Parents cannot check on these controls to see what Android blocked or if anything was blocked. Often, families find these controls block too much or too little and wonder how to block apps on Android more effectively.

For more oversight, parents may want to consider additional software. Parents can add a web filters that block content as well as downloading selected apps. The big advantage with using additional software is the ability to fine-tune settings to allow kids to explore while keeping them in age appropriate areas and off selected apps.

Adding Familoop Safeguard

With Familoop Safeguard, parents can open up the Internet slowly. As your child grows and acquires digital literacy skills, you families allow more freedom to explore the Web.

How to block age-inappropriate apps on Android How to block age-inappropriate apps on Android with Familoop Safeguard

Parents can choose to limit apps by category, name or content rating. Familoop Safeguard also blocks access to websites and inappropriate content in Chrome and other browsers. Parents can decide what they want to see. They can choose to review calls, texting, messaging and more. In a future release, Familoop Safeguard will allow parents to set time limits on certain activities. For example, parents can turn off Instagram during school or study hours.

Familoop Safeguard for blocking apps on Android How to block specific apps on Android with Familoop Safeguard

Adding parental controls for Android by Familoop can help families reinforce rules as well as kick off family conversations. Familoop works best when everyone is involved. Parents should be open about what controls they are using and why. Periodically, families should sit down together and talk about what they see online. The goal of monitoring is to oversee a child’s Internet use in order to teach them how to stay safe and have fun online. Ultimately, the best online protection a child will ever have is between their ears.

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