I know I’m not the first person to ask this question. How do I lock down an Android phone to keep my daughter safe? What have you used that worked? Is there a way to be an administrator for the the phone and restrict settings?
I have already installed google’s Family Link software and it says it will “try” to block adult content while browsing the web but there were an awful lot of caveats about how it wouldn’t be their fault if your kid ended up someplace bad.
I would (for example) like to set up filtered DNS results with OpenDNS and I know how to change the DNS settings but not how to lock my daughter out of changing the settings.
Is there a way to change DNS settings for the Mobile network?
I would be interested in this as well. Possibly even information on how to lock it down even further like who can call the phone and who my child can call. Not trying to hijack your post just going to follow with interest.
Android for some number of versions now has users. I would start by learning about the availability of that feature on your platform. I just pulled up my disused Nexus 6P and on it, in the settings there is a Users option that mentions a guest. I suspect it may be different (or even not available) on other platforms though… so you may need to hunt around for information on how it works and what limits can be applied.
I appreciate that suggestion but for me that wouldn’t work. What I really want is a way to do what you used to be able to do through the phone companies and restrict incoming calls because I have changed my child’s number 4 times and every time it seems like the last person who had that number was a very busy person with all sorts of people calling them all times of the day and night, not to even mention all of the robo calls going on now. Ah well. I’m not sure about the second suggestion I would have to look at it.
Well I never even thought about the issue of incoming calls. I would look for a “phone app” replacement or mode that ONLY allows contact from people in the known contacts and silently rejects, or forwards to another number (yours maybe.)
Here’s the best article I could find on call blocking on Android:
Unfortunately, if you read the comments, it appears that the option has been taken away in Android 10.
With an app you have two problems. The first is that you’re giving access to your child’s contact list and call logs to whoever wrote the app, and you don’t know whether that information is staying on the phone, or being copied and monetised in some way.
The second problem is that Google appears to have imposed restrictions on developers which make it difficult to implement call blocking from Android 9 onwards. If you read this thread, you’ll see that Norton say they had to withdraw the feature from their app for that reason:
This may not be practical for you, but have you considered whether an iPhone might be better for this? I don’t have one, but they are generally reckoned to be the top choice for privacy. More specifically, and if I can be forgiven for mentioning a podcast from another network, grab a copy of “9to5Mac Happy Hour” for December 13 and listen to the segment from 41:18 to 47:28. At 42:28 they specifically mention a new feature in iOS 13.3 called Communication Limits, which restricts a child’s communications to a contact list which can only be amended by the parent. I believe iPhones already have the ability to restrict incoming calls to the contact list numbers only, but this ties it down tighter.
Also if you have access to an Apple store, that does offer the option of getting face to face help with setting up things like this if needed.