As the summer holidays approach, a bottle of water, a sunhat and some SPF may seem like all the essentials to keep the family safe this summer. But, with recent research revealing that children have been spending, on average, three hours and 53 minutes a day on devices during the pandemic, tools to keep children safe online should be added to the checklist.

There are lots of useful tools and tricks to make screen time a safe space. Let’s look at a few.

Google Family Link – A helpful app from Google is Family Link, available on both Android and iOS. This can help you to set some digital ground rules for younger kids. You can use it to create a Google Account for your child, manage the apps they use, keep tabs on their screen time, and set a bedtime after which they are unable to use the device. The app is only for children under the age of 13, though there is no lower age limit.

Vodafone Content Control – If you have a Vodafone mobile pre-pay or post-pay contract, you can set up an online account to manage a number of settings, including Content Control. Once activated, Content Control allows you to block access to content when the device is using the mobile network out of the home. Vodafone also has its Vodafone Secure Net service, which provides internet-connected devices with protection from dangerous files, viruses and harmful websites.

Android – On Android devices, you can limit which apps, games and content can be downloaded, and you can disable features such as location and camera. If you’d rather set up parental controls on your own device, rather than give your child their own phone or tablet, the best method is to create a separate user account for them.

iPhone – There are on/off systems in iPhone’s settings to disable features such as FaceTime, in-app purchases and Safari. It’s also possible to restrict Siri web search, to protect little ones who haven’t mastered the art of typing yet.

At Crystaline, we understand mobile devices aren’t just for work purposes. Keeping our increasingly tech-savvy kids safe this summer may seem more challenging than wrestling them with the Factor 50, but there are many services and solutions out there to help make the virtual world a safe space.