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Chromebook Parental Controls

Intro: Chromebooks were made for Internet access and they are hard for parents to control. Meaning, if you have any concerns about your kids and their online activity, then a Chromebook is going to give you fits unless you are observant, engaged and informed.

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

Router and ethernet cable on white background

Step 2: Set up the Chromebook following these steps:

  1. 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”.
  2. 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 cog and towards the bottom, find and click “manage other users” under “People” and uncheck the “enable guest browsing” and be sure to keep checked “enable supervised users“. These are  very important steps because Chrome doesn’t maintain web history for guest browsing, making it easy to conceal inappropriate activity and supervised users are a primary control for filtering and monitoring web activity.
  3. In order to set-up supervised users, follow these steps:
    • If you’re signed in to your Chromebook, click the status area where your account picture appears, usually in the lower right, then click Sign out.
    • On the main sign-in screen (usually left side, bottom), click Add user.
    • On the right side of the screen that appears next, click Create a supervised user. If you don’t have any accounts on your Chromebook, you’ll need to add an account before you can create a supervised user
    • Sign into the account that will manage the supervised user and click Next
    • Create a username, password, and picture for the supervised user and click Next.
    • Note: If you don’t have owner permissions on your Chromebook, you may need to reset it to add supervised users. You’ll know you’ve done it correctly if you receive a confirmation email telling you “Your supervised user [name] is set up” from Chrome.
  4. Once supervised users are set up, you can manage them by visiting the supervised user dashboard, where you can use a blacklist to block certain sites, lock Google’s safe search (which is a must), and capture all web activity. The supervised user cannot delete his/her web browsing history. Utilizing supervised users creates a highly effective filtering and monitoring mix.
  5. Finally, limit log-in capabilities to approved users by clicking your profile image again in the lower right corner, and then “Settings“. Select “limit the following users” for log-in. You should see your administrative log-in and any supervised users you just created. If you don’t limit who can log-in, then anyone with a Google profile can log-in to your Chromebook.
  6. Mobicip has JUST (December 2015) released filtering for Chromebooks, and it works very well. Mobicip can be used alone or in conjunction with supervised users on the Chromebook. 5426f2eb0283cThis double-layer of protection might be good if you have younger internet users or crafty older internet users.
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Chromebook, Google, Parental Controls, School