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How I set up Asus parental controls

I’ve mentioned Asus parental controls on its Android tablets such as the Memo Pad 7 HD, but never elaborated on them. Here’s how I set them up and why, so you can make your own decisions about how best to set an Asus tablet up for the child in your life.

The Parental Lock app is the first logical place to look, but when you open it, you don’t get much. You set a PIN there by going into Account Manager, and you can set block time to cut the device off from the network on certain times and days, or cut off access altogether on certain times and days. Perhaps if I blocked access prior to 6:30 am, the boys would let us sleep in a little later, but probably not.

I’m more concerned about the total amount of time they spend on the tablet than I am when they’re on the tablet. If you share that concern, you can install the Screen Time app to limit the amount of time they spend with certain apps.

To me, the most critical control that Asus bundles is App Locker, which you can open by tapping on the applications icon at the bottom of the home screen. With it, you can force the tablet to make you enter a PIN whenever a certain app is opened.

When you first open App Locker, it presents you with a list of applications on the tablet. All you have to do is tick the box next to an app to PIN-enable it. I pin-enabled Chrome and the generic Android Browser, BuddyBuzz, the Camera, Google, all of the e-mail apps, Google+, Hangouts, Local, Maps, People, Photos, the Play Store (that one’s critical), the Setup wizard, Web Storage, Voice Search, and Zinio.

Basically, anything that goes online, allows kids to talk to adults who don’t need to be talking to very young children, or anything that permits the kids to make purchases is off limits. I did allow Youtube because they like finding Youtube videos of people playing Angry Birds and stuff like that.

So what I did do is open up the Youtube app, tap on the settings icon in the upper right, tap search, then tap Safesearch filtering, then tap Strict. Unfortunately some of the people who record game- and toy-related content say words from time to time that I don’t want my kids learning, but that’s rare enough that I’m willing to live with it. I’m impressed that when my oldest son takes an interest in something, he searches Youtube and learns about it, then comes to me with questions.

If you’d rather limit certain app usage rather than cutting it off altogether, the aforementioned Screen Time app can help with that as well.

Depending on the age of your child, you may be able to do all you want/need to do with what Asus bundled out of the box. If not, install Screen Time and all should be well.

That’s an overview of what I’ve done, and it’s worked well for us. Hopefully it gives you a starting point to work from as well.

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