One Thing Windows 8 Does Right: Parental Controls

Windows 8 Parental Controls are one of the few great features that have gone unnoticed thanks to the unpopularity of its new Graphical User Interface. Parental Controls on a computer are an absolute must in this era of social media and other other potential pitfalls for unsuspecting children. Chances are you do not have this configured on your main computer or your child’s personal laptop. If you don’t, you likely have no idea what sites they are visiting or the strangers they might be forming relationships on the web.

This article will show you how to turn on and monitor your child’s activities using Parental Controls in Windows 8.

Setup Parental Controls in Windows 8

If you do not already have a secondary account on the computer for your children, be sure to create one. To do so in the Metro tile area, move the mouse pointer over to the upper or lower right corner of the screen and then click on the Settings, and then at the bottom of the sidebar that opens, click Change PC Settings.

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In the screen that opens, click on Users, and then select + Add User. When you create an account on a Windows 8 machine, you have the option to create an account and sign-in with an email address or you can select the Local Account option. In most cases, you will want to choose Local Account for your child.

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Create your child’s username and password.

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Check the box to enable Family Safety. Family Safety allows you to remotely view and monitor your child’s activities. You can tweak the Family Safety settings in the Control Panel>User Accounts section (hit Windows key+X>Control Panel>User Accounts and Family Safety).

Next, click on the account with Family Safety turned on.

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From here, you will be able to control the websites your child can visit, the time and duration in which the computer can be used, and any restrictions you might want to place on apps. For instance, if you only want to allow your child to use the PC between the hours of 3PM to 6PM each day, you can set that up under Time Limits. Or if you only want to allow you child to play games that have an ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating of E for Everyone or T for Teen, you can set that preference in the Windows Store and game restrictions section.

Viewing Windows 8 Family Safety Reports

You now have the ability to log-in and view Family Safety reports anytime from anywhere.

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This report allows you to see virtually all of the activity under the account with Family Safety enabled, the sites they have visited, and other activities performed on the PC.

In conclusion, while Windows 8 has annoyed many, it has made Parental Control features a no-brainer. It is easy to setup, tweak and monitor. The Internet is a big place and a couple unintentional clicks can lead your child to a site you do not want them to see, so consider taking a few minutes to setup a new account for your child and enable the Family Safety feature.

Let us know how (or if) you monitor your child on the Internet.