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Google’s new parental control for kids’ texts

In a bid to bolster child safety in the digital sphere, Google is reportedly in the process of developing a groundbreaking feature that would grant parents greater control over their children’s text messages.

The revelation comes following the discovery of this feature in Google Messages v20240416_00_RC01, indicating a proactive step towards ensuring the security of young users in the digital landscape.

While Google has yet to officially unveil the feature, experts believe its emergence signals a promising advancement in child safety measures online. As technology continues to evolve, the initiative underscores the company’s commitment to safeguarding younger users in the digital age, offering reassurance to parents worldwide.

The feature, believed to operate on a per-contact basis, empowers parents to determine which contacts their children can freely text and which necessitate parental approval. When attempting to message an unapproved contact, children will reportedly receive a notification prompting them to seek parental consent before proceeding.

Notably, this innovative functionality extends to both SMS and RCS messages, providing comprehensive oversight of children’s digital communications. It is anticipated that parents will manage these controls through the Family Link app, a platform designed to establish digital ground rules and monitor children’s online activities effectively.

The introduction of this feature holds the potential to mitigate issues stemming from unmonitored conversations between children, allowing parents to intervene promptly when necessary and cultivate a safer digital environment. According to statistics from the Cyberbullying Research Center, approximately 30% of teenagers have experienced cyberbullying, emphasizing the urgency of implementing measures to protect children online.

In addition to Google’s forthcoming parental control feature, several existing safety measures aim to ensure children’s online experiences remain secure and appropriate:

Google’s Parental Controls: Through its Family Link app, Google offers a suite of parental controls, enabling parents to manage their children’s accounts, monitor screen time, and oversee app usage.

Windows 10 Parental Controls: Windows 10 provides a range of parental control features, including activity reports, screen time limits, and content restrictions.

Third-Party Parental Control Software: Various third-party software offers flexible scheduling, content blocking, and monitoring capabilities to enhance parental oversight.

Online Safety Tips: Implementing strategies such as limiting screen time, controlling in-app purchases, and monitoring device location can contribute to a safer online environment.

Safe and Educational Sites and Apps: Encouraging the use of age-appropriate platforms and services tailored for children can mitigate exposure to harmful content.

Setting Clear Ground Rules: Open communication between parents and children regarding online behavior and interactions is paramount in fostering a safe digital environment.

These collective efforts underscore the importance of parental involvement in managing and monitoring children’s digital activities, ultimately promoting a safer online environment for young users.


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