Children-with-Laptop-150x150It is an ongoing challenge for parents to keep kids safe while using the internet. Microsoft has added some new features in Windows 8 to lock down user accounts called Family Safety. You can see and control what your kids are doing on their computers. You can set Web filtering, monitor and restrict apps and even set time limits on computer usage.

To Setup Family Safety for Windows 8:

When you create an new user account for your child, you will have the option to select a check box “Is this a child’s account? This will turn on Family Safety to get reports of their PC use.” Once you check this box, you will have full access to the Family Security settings under the User Accounts.

Next, find the User Accounts by going to the Windows Control Panel (Win + C, Settings, Control Panel, Users).

Once you are in the child’s account, there are four categories of control you can set. These include:

Web filtering
You can allow or disallow file downloads or blocking of specific websites. You can also manage the Safe Search settings to restrict adult content from standard search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Time Limits
This is a new feature that allows you to set the amount of time that a user is allowed to use the PC per day. You can limit this by day of the week or based upon a weekday or a weekend day.

Windows Store and game restrictions
You can limit games from being played based upon the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings.

App restriction
If the ESRB doesn’t do a good enough job, you can manually set the list of disallowed apps.

In additional to the actual restrictions, you can also configure an activity report, so you can see where and what your child is accessing. It can be setup as a report on the machine, or you can have it e-mailed to you for review. Of course, you can disable the monitoring as well.

Keeping children safe on the internet can be a difficult task, but with these new built in tools, maybe Windows 8 can help make it just a bit easier.

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