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How To Set Up Hangouts Parental Controls

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What Is Hangouts?

Hangouts is a cross-platform messaging app developed by Google. It is a part of the Google Suite products which are linked to an email address. Hangouts enables users to instantly connect with friends and family members from anywhere across the globe. The site/app allows you to call a phone number or chat with an active user for free. Group chats can accommodate up to 150 participants and group/conference video calls up to 10 persons.

Google Hangouts has a 4+ store rating and is trusted by millions of users globally. Hangouts encrypts your personal information and conversations, offering more privacy and allowing access to concerned parties only. Note, however, that Hangouts doesn’t utilize end-to-end encryption, and like most social media apps, messages are archived.

Hangouts Parental Controls

While Google constantly enhances its products’ security features to ensure safer chat messages, voice calls, and video calls, Hangouts is vulnerable to cyber threats. After all, in this digital age where technology is rapidly advancing, it’s impossible to maintain a 100% safe and secure digital platform.

Nevertheless, there are several precautionary measures you can take like enabling or utilizing these Hangouts parental controls. This is crucial if you have kids utilizing the platform.

Manage Your Contacts Feature

Hangouts lets you easily manage your kid’s contacts – from selecting top contacts to hiding contacts. Having control over whom your kids can message or video chat with is your first line of defense on Hangouts. 

Hangouts Invites

Aside from manually managing your child’s Hangouts contacts list, there’s the option to block strangers from contacting or inviting your child. This automatic filter can be set by navigating to the Settings Page, selecting Customize Invite Settings, and choosing Can’t Send Invites

Block and/or Report Users

It’s vital to establish open and positive communication with your child especially when it comes to technology use. Encourage them to reach out to you in case they feel something’s off or if they’re confused at anything. It would also help to randomly check their conversations to ensure they aren’t exposed to malicious characters. 

Be sure to proceed with extra caution to not intrude on their privacy. Then, in case you come across malicious or abusive user/s, you can block and/or report them. By doing so, you’re not only saving your child but also all other kids that could be preyed on.

Google’s Family Link

Family Link is a separate app developed by Google that can be utilized to efficiently set and implement digital ground rules at home. Through the Family Link app, set screen time limits, filter downloads, block purchases, set maturity settings of visible content, enable safe search, see real-time GPS locations, and more.

Keeping Kids Safe On Hangouts 

Hangouts can be easily accessed from iPhone and Android devices, or any internet-enabled electronic gadget. Its ease of access and popularity are the same reasons why some cybercriminals utilize this platform to target and hunt their victims. Hangouts profiles are linked to Google accounts where you’ll need to be at least 13 years old to sign up. We all know, however, that this could be easily manipulated. However, by utilizing the Hangouts parental controls listed above, you can keep your child safe. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Hangouts Parental Controls & Safety

Can parents monitor Google Hangouts?

While Google Hangouts has different variety levels, certain monitoring apps like Highster Mobile could help parents track activities within this messaging platform.

Can a child use Google Hangouts?

You must be 13 years and older to use Google Hangouts. The platform’s designed simply and straightforwardly so that kids and less tech-savvy adults can easily utilize it. However, kids younger than 13 often use the platform. 

How do you use Google Hangouts for kids?

For safer use, it’s advisable to set-up a Hangouts account for kids through Google Family Link. This tool provides control and better supervision over your kid’s account.

Can you be hacked through Google Hangouts?

Google is constantly updating its programs and patching its software. Like any digital platform, Hangouts could have security loopholes and vulnerabilities. Also, if someone were to obtain your own or your child’s Hangouts account login information, they could access and lock you out of your account. 

Is Hangouts safe for my child?

Hangouts was designed to prioritize safety and security. While it is a kid-friendly messaging application, it’s still advisable that you monitor your kids’ engagements and interactions. Predators, hackers, scammers, and other online criminals could contact your child on the platform.