The dreaded Chromebooks

We help parents lock down devices and get their kids’ technology on monitorable platforms. One issue that comes up over and over are Chromebooks. Our first suggestion is always a comprehensive wifi filtering solution like Circle, paired with Bark to monitor Google Docs etc. When we learned that Google won’t allow Bark to monitor their accounts for kids under 13, it caused us to have to re-evaluate our strategy and recommendations. How are other pre-teen parents monitoring account-level activity on Chromebook? We have heard really negative feedback about using Google Family Link, and it doesn’t do anything about questionable content kids share within G-suite. What are pre-teen parents using? (Once kids are 13, my recommendation would still be Circle and Bark working in tandem. In cases where clients have tried Circle and don’t like it, we would recommend Mobicip and Bark in tandem.)

All great points, and this is a good topic! Thank you for asking! I don’t have an answer, because we personally went with Windows for our kids’ computer for schoolwork. Chromebooks are basically an android computer, and couldn’t do many of the things we wanted our computer to do. But I’m glad you asked and I’m interested in hearing from others. At this point, I don’t see a way for parents to implement a service for monitoring google under age 13. :frowning: (other than the old fashioned read through everything yourself / checking their history).


I also went with a Windows based machine for my daughter’s school work, but she has access to Chromebooks at school. Fortunately, the tech department is on top of blocking websites, and they use Bark, but I still worry about things that might slip through the cracks!

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Oh I guess I did not have an issue adding Bark to my sons Chromebook because his account is under my name?? I didn’t know that about under 13!

Yes! Read more info on Google for kids under 13 here.

Always make sure your kids account is flagged with the appropriate age thereby they get associated to you and most major software vendors have some sort of child safety. Google should have the ability to prevent in-private, give you the ability to see history and enabled Google safe browse.

Windows has done this very well you can control PC’s and Xbox in one setting. Configure which apps run - example Edge has family safety and Chrome doesn’t so you can block Chrome. You can control it all from the web on your parent account. MS’s new Edge built on Chromium also has Family Safety from windows built in.

Leverage things like Open DNS in your home Network. Have your router set everyone to get that for DNS and add restrictions from Open DNS’s configs.

If on G-Suite and it is for the school its limited. The school can give you reports but its definitely not user friendly.