Parental Controls and Monitoring Setup

If your child is just getting started online using Google, YouTube and other platforms, here are the keys for successful monitoring with BrightCanary:

  • Discuss with your child why monitoring is important for your family.
  • Make login access and monitoring a condition for your child to use their device.
  • Collect your child’s login information for the platforms they use, such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.

Step 1: Discuss your concerns about device use

It’s important to talk with your child about the risks of device use. To help with this discussion, we’ve included a few conversation-starters and stories below. If you feel they’re appropriate for your child, you may want to include them in your conversation.

You can find additional support for your conversation with our AI assistant, Ask the Canary, available in the BrightCanary app.


“There are some serious risks to being online and on social media. Here are a couple of stories that demonstrate how dangerous it can be. [Mention age-appropriate examples. We’ve suggested a few below.] We’re concerned about these risks, but we don’t want to take your device away. Instead, there is an app that monitors your activity using AI and alerts us to any concerning content.”

Monitoring keeps kids safer

“My two jobs are to love you and keep you safe. This type of monitoring will keep you much safer, and it’ll make me feel better about you being online. A lot of other parents use this tool, and I think it could be a good fit for us. This isn’t forever, but it will keep you safer right now. I’d like us to agree to this monitoring approach as a condition for using your device.”

Real-world stories about online risks

Unfortunately, many children unknowingly find themselves in risky situations with unhappy endings. Here are some real-world examples you might want to share with your child if you feel they’re age-appropriate.

  • There are 750,000 child predators online every day. That number is bigger than the population of many cities.
  • Amanda Todd was 11 years old when she became a victim of online harassment that started in an online chat and continued for several years. She shared the details of her story in a video she posted a month before taking her own life.
  • Sophie Puchulu had unrestricted device access at a young age. Pursued by numerous men, she fell into inappropriate interactions that continued into her teenage years. Now she’s speaking out about the importance of online supervision and protection for kids.
  • Drug dealers use social media to find customers online. Because 7 out of every 10 pills confiscated by the DEA contain a deadly amount of fentanyl, just one pill can kill. That’s what happened to Sammy Chapman, a 16-year-old straight-A student, who died after taking what he thought was a single Xanax. He is just one of too many kids killed by drugs that they purchased on social media.

Step 2: Account Access

When you connect your child’s online accounts to BrightCanary, our AI can begin scanning for concerning content. You’ll need your child’s login information for their Google account and any social media apps they use.


You can login to YouTube with a Google account. If your child doesn’t already have a Google account, here are the steps to set one up:

Go to on your child’s device. Follow the instructions for signing up.

Google setup with BrightCanary: creating a Google account

Most child safety experts recommend setting the account up with your child’s correct age.

NOTE: If you enter an age under 13, your child will only have access to YouTube Kids by default, with a limited number of child-friendly videos. BrightCanary is not able to monitor YouTube Kids.

Alternatively, YouTube filtering tools allow you to restrict the content your child watches. If this is more appropriate for your child, follow the steps below to manage this via Google Family Link.

Google setup with BrightCanary

You may be asked to verify the phone number with a two-factor code.

Setting a strong password in Google

If you’ve entered an age under 13, Google may ask you to then sign into your personal Google account to enable you to manage your child’s settings.

Google setup flow through the BrightCanary app

Once you’ve agreed to the terms and connected your account, go to Google Family Link.

When you open Google’s Family Link, you should find your child is included in your dashboard. If not, you can add your child here.

Click on Content Restrictions and select YouTube.

setting up youtube settings on a child's account

You can choose viewing options that best suit your child's YouTube usage.

YouTube viewing options

NOTE: To monitor with BrightCanary, you will need to allow Google to save the search history. This is usually on by default, but you can check it in the Account Settings in Family Link.

Turning on search history in account settings

If the YouTube app is installed on your child's device, open it. They might already be logged into YouTube. If not, be sure to sign them in using their Google account within the app.

YouTube app sign in

After setting everything up in Google, log into your child's BrightCanary account. Make sure to have your child's device nearby as you do this.

Connecting accounts in BrightCanary

Follow the instructions to sign in and link the account to BrightCanary.

If you encounter any issues, or if you’d like us to walk you through these steps, please reach out to our Seattle-based support team through the app. You can also reach us at

We hope you never get an alert about harmful content. But we’re happy that our app can give you peace of mind, helping you actively supervise your child’s device use during their most vulnerable years.

Easy to install and use

BrightCanary runs on your phone, not your kids’ devices. 
You connect your kids' Google or social accounts and we’ll take care of the rest — tracking what they’re watching and posting, and alerting you when you need to get involved.

Protects your children — and your time

Our advanced AI filters through and synthesizes your kids' searches, DMs, videos and comments to determine if they're consuming something you need to talk with them about — like violence, racism, alcohol, and self-harm — so you don't have to review it all yourself.

Helps you stay connected

Improve conversations with your kids by getting visibility into the content and people influencing their opinions, so you can speak their language when you need to discuss an important topic.