In today’s generation, seeing a three-year-old child fiddling with a smartphone or playing games online on the computer is not an uncommon scene. With the advancement in technology, the internet has proved to be both a boon and a bane at the same time. With this in mind, Windows 8 has come up with a new feature called Family Safety. This allows parents to manage their children’s activities on their devices. Though some may argue that it is an invasion of privacy, the fact remains that if parents have to be on the lookout for their children, in reality, why not in the digital world too?
Even though the parental control feature is not new, Family Safety by Microsoft is technologically advanced and considered to be the best parental control software. What’s more, it is more incorporated in Windows 8 than before! It permits the system administrator to check the various websites and applications which have been previously accessed by the user. This way, they can block unfitting websites or content and even limit one’s activity on the device. The best thing about this feature is that it also serves its purpose in institutions, playgroups, etc. Read on to know more about the Family Safety feature and how it can help parents heave a sigh of relief when it comes to their children’s safety.
Making an account
First things first, it is mandatory to create an account for each of the users who will have access to the device. This will help in sorting out the activity of each one of them. All that one has to do it set up an administrator account and set a password.
Creating a child account is easy. On the computer, go to ‘PC Settings,’ then choose the ‘User’ category. Here, the device will give a choice to add a new user. To authenticate that the account creation is for a child, simply mark a checkbox.
Limiting and managing content
Prior to setting the best parental control software on one’s computer, it is recommendable that the child knows about it. In the long run, if a child gets to know that the parents are monitoring one’s daily activity, the child is bound to be upset and term it as an invasion of privacy.
To set up the feature, visit Microsoft’s Family Safety website. Once there, one needs to log in with their Microsoft account ID. After logging in, a family summary will be on display, which will give particulars of all the users. Here, the parent will have the option to revise the settings of all the users. It is important to note that the usage of this feature is not limited to a Microsoft account. However, using a non-Microsoft account would mean that the settings will not be in sync with different devices.
The Family Safety feature is also available on the Control Panel option. Search for ‘Control Panel’ on the computer and click on the option ‘User Accounts and Family Safety.’ From here, one can adjust the settings of the user. One needs to know that going to the original Family Safety website gives a lot of options when it comes to setting up the user activity and accessing other information.
Another option available in the Family Safety feature is that it allows the parent to select which day and at what time the device is accessible to the child. It also provides the option of choosing the accessible gamed and apps on the device.
Filtering the web is one of the things parents will have to do when setting up the best parental control software.
The web filter option comes in five levels that are set in advance for control by the parent. The most secure setting of this feature allows parents to set up approvable websites only.
For web filtering, there are five different pre-set levels. The highest level of setting allows the child to browse approved websites.
Another level of setting up web filter is allowing websites which are children-friendly like social media sites and the general websites.
Another setting is merely giving a warning to the parent via email when a child is about to visit an adult website.
The only pre-selected option in the case of the Family Safety feature is activity reporting.
With the activity reporting tool, one can trace a child’s activity on their account. The administrator will also get emails in their account, letting them know about the amount of time spent on the device, the search history, and the frequently visited websites.
View all of the information and activity time of the child’s account in detail on the Family Safety control panel. This will permit the parent to know about the most frequented websites and whether the child tried to access any of the blocked pages.
Downloading of games or any other programs by the child on the Window Store is also traceable. For example, if a child downloads a game from the Store, the parent will be able to know how much time the child spent on the game.
One of the cool things about the Family Safety feature and its activity reporting tool is that since it happens online, parents can ‘look after their kids’ right from their room or anywhere in the world! The only thing that parents will require is a strong internet connection, and they are good to go.
In case one is not satisfied with the features available in Family Safety, one can resort to third-party software to ensure the safety of their kids. The drawback is that they will come at a cost, where most times one will have to subscribe to them monthly or yearly.
Though there are many available options, some of the recommended third party programs are AVG Family Safety program and Net Nanny. What’s attractive about these two applications is that they are accessible, even on smartphones.
The AVG Family Safety program has a particularly savvy feature which helps parents examine different chatting websites as well as social networking sites. Here, one can stop cyberbullying by keeping a check on the frequently used keywords which bullies use to prey on innocent children.
Using the best tools for maximum safety
Handling these kinds of programs and benefitting from them will largely depend on the device and its configuration. One will have to make sure that the setting of the usernames and passwords are in such a way that their kids won’t be able to guess.
For third-party programs, one must make that it is secure to the point that attempts to uninstall them is not in the cards. Or if one’s kid is technologically advanced, there is no say on what the kid can do to be able to view the banned sites. And the system restore option is just a click away.
The Family Safety tool is indeed a great in-built feature on Windows 8. It may not often be that one’s kids want to view objectionable sites or play online games while exceeding the time limit. But one can never be too sure about what pops up when the kid is viewing a particular website. Therefore, it becomes necessary to ensure that the kids are protected by the best parental control software. This keeps them from all kinds of harmful elements while also allowing them to learn and discover things online.