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Chromebook Introduction

[Updated April 22, 2018] On January 12, 2018, Google mysteriously froze its Supervised User feature on Chromebooks. We wrote extensively about this move in our post, Google Quits Supervised Users. In an equally mysterious fashion, Google suddenly started adding some of its Family Link features to Chromebooks and didn’t tell anyone (we only accidentally noticed it was mentioned on a Google blog that we follow). We show parents exactly how to enable Family Link on their Chromebook in our blog.

Related post: Breaking News: Google Adds Family Link to Chromebooks

Chromebook Parental Controls

Step 1: Set up OpenDNS on your home’s router.

Router and ethernet cable on white background

Step 2: Set up the Chromebook correctly.

1. Make a Parent the OWNER. The first user to set up the Chromebook becomes the “owner” of the Chromebook and can set up special privileges. This is similar to being the “admin” for a Windows environment. In order to set up the proper controls over the Chromebook, a parent should be the “owner”. If a student is set up as the owner, and a parent wants to change this, you simply perform a factory reset and start over with the set-up process. No harm.

2. Turn off GUEST BROWSING. The “owner” should turn off “guest browsing” and turn on “supervised users”. On a Chromebook, this is done by clicking on your profile image in the lower, right corner of the device. Next, select “Settings” which is the silver gear icon and toward the bottom left, find and click “manage other users” under “People.” Make your options mirror the image below. Toggle off the “enable guest browsing,” but keep toggled on the “Enable supervised users,” “Show usernames…,” and “Restrict sign-in to the following users” (more about this last one in the next paragraph). These are very important steps because Chrome doesn’t maintain web history for guest browsing, making it easy to conceal inappropriate activity.

Chromebook Settings

3. Limit other USERS. I’m saying this one again because it’s so important. Limit log-in capabilities to approved only by toggling on “Restrict sign-in to the following users,” and then add users to the list. If you don’t limit who can log-in, then anyone with a Google profile can log-in to your Chromebook and circumvent your parental controls (even a sneaky child who creates a fake Google (Gmail) Account on another machine and uses that to log in to the Chromebook).

Step 3: Set-up Family Link, following the steps outlined in our detailed blog post here.

Step 4: Use a FILTER. Mobicip has filtering for Chromebooks, and it works very well. It provides access to search history that currently isn’t available in Family Link for Chromebooks. You can sign up to use Mobicip today and take advantage of their free trial.




Chromebook Privacy Concerns:

Recently, we received this question from a parent:

When the kids work on a school-issued Google login, the school administrator has access to review everything students do, which is good. Yet, what if the child is using a personal Chromebook that we buy, and you don’t necessarily want the school to have access to everything – does that mean we need to set up a second account for each child?”

We did a bit of research, and found these articles that might help, if this is an area of concern for you.

Article #1 – enhancing student privacy at the Chromebook (device) level.
Article #2 – enhancing student privacy at the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account level.

Now What? Do this in the next 24 hours!

Are you ready to have awesome conversations with your kids about how to use their technology well? Do you want access to free videos to watch with your kids about tough, digital topics? Would you like to know what parental control solutions we recommend? What about bilingual videos that teach parents about the latest digital trends? All of these are available in our Resources. You might want to visit them today! 

Internet Safety Resources for Parents

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