Windows 10 Family Safety

In this blog you see just how easy it is to set up controls using the Windows 10 Family Safety tool and how to view reports and options online and setting limits to computer usage , game and apps.

Keeping kids safe online isn’t always easy for parents — especially for the parent who hasn’t exactly been riding the crest of the tech wave in recent years. Parental safety controls are a great first step to keeping children safe online.

You don’t need to be a computer guru to set parental controls using the Microsoft Family Safety features of Windows 10. After you’ve set up standard user accounts for the children, the rest is fairly easy.

To use the Windows 10 Family Safety features, your computer must be set up with at least one password-protected administrator user account. If you set up multiple user accounts with administrative privileges, make sure that they’re all password protected. And make sure the kids don’t know the password. Otherwise, the kids can easily change any parental controls you import. With Windows 10, each child is given his or her own user account. Creating and configuring a user account is easy to do.

Setting Up Windows 10 Family Safety

Windows 10 provides four options for controlling how your children or anyone can use the computer:

  • Windows Web Filters: Specify the type of content that the child is allowed to view.
  • Time Limits: Specify the hours during each day that the child can use the computer.
  • Windows Store and Game Restrictions: Specify whether the child can access the Windows Store and if the child can play games on the computer. You can also set the rating and content types that are allowed.
  • App Restrictions: Select which apps and programs the child can run.

These are known as family safety settings. They can be saved on the Microsoft Family Safety website or locally on the computer the child uses. The following section shows how to manage and store the Family Safety data on the computer the child uses.

Adding Family Users

Fortunately, you don’t need to be a computer guru to set up parental controls in Family Safety. After you’ve set up appropriate user accounts, the rest is easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Log into Windows with a user account that has administrative privileges.
  2. Click the Start menu, click Settings, and in the Settings app, click Accounts.
  3. Click Family and Other Users. A page appears that shows the name and picture for each user account you’ve created.
  4. Click Add A Family Member to open the dialog box.
  5. Choose either Add a Child or Add an Adult. In the text box, add the e-mail account associated with the person’s Microsoft account, and then click Next.
  6. Windows checks for the existence of the specified Microsoft account, and if it exists, displays a confirmation dialog. Click Confirm to add the account. If Windows displays an error message instead of the confirmation dialog, verify that the e-mail address is correct and resubmit it.

After you add the account and any others that you want to have access to the device, they show up on the Family and Other Users page in Settings, where you can manage them.

Removing Users and Changing Account Type

At some point you may want to remove a user from a device, or change the account type from Standard to Administrator, or vice versa. For example, perhaps you added another adult as a Standard user, but now you want him or her to be able to install apps and manage other settings. Changing the user’s account type to Administrator makes that possible.

To change an account, open the Settings app, click Accounts, and then click Family and Other Users. In the list of family users, click the account that you want to change and click Change Account Type. From the Account Type drop-down list, choose the desired account type and click OK.

If you want to remove an account, you must do so online. From the Family and Other Users page, click Manage Family Settings Online, or navigate in your web browser to http:// account.microsoft.com/family. In the resulting page, click Remove, select the user you want to remove, and click Remove. To block a user from logging on, open the Family and Other Users page in the Settings app, click on the user, and click Block.

Setting Web Filtering

You can control which websites a child can view by managing settings online. To do so, first navigate to http://account.microsoft.com/family and log on with your Microsoft account. Then, click the account you want to manage. You should then see the Recent Activity page.

You can allow or block access to specific websites, or specify that Windows should block web content automatically. To configure these settings, click the Settings link beside the Web Browsing header. In the resulting page, click the slider to On to turn on blocking of inappropriate websites.

With the default settings, Family Safety blocks adult content based on filters, lists, and other criteria that the service manages automatically. You can also explicitly allow or block a site. To allow a site that is being blocked, enter the URL for the site in the text box in the Always Allow These section and then click Allow.

Similarly, to block a site, enter the URL in the text box in the Always Block These section and then click Block. As you add sites to either list, they appear in the Web Browsing page. Click Remove beside a URL in the list to remove it from its respective list.

Setting time limits

To specify times when the child is allowed to use the computer, click Screen Time to show the Screen Time page . To configure time limits, turn the slider control on the page to On. You can then specify the start and end times per day, as well as the total number of hours.

Controlling Windows Store and game play

Family Safety enables you to control access to the Windows Store and to downloading and/ or playing games on a computer. To control access to the Windows Store and to the type of apps that can be downloaded, log in with your Microsoft account at http://account.microsoft.com/family. Then, select a user and click the Apps and Games link to open the page.

On the Apps and Games page, you can specify the age restriction for the apps and games that the user can download and/or purchase from the Windows Store. Simply select an age from the drop-down list, or choose Any Age if you don’t want to impose any restriction on apps or games.

The Apps and Games page also shows any apps or games that you have explicitly blocked. To block an app or a game, click the Recent Activity link to open the Recent Activity. Locate the app or game in the list of recent activity and then click the Block link beside it.

Viewing Family User Activity

You can view the list of websites visited, apps and games used, and screen time from the Family Safety website. Just navigate to http://account.microsoft.com/family, and then click the user whose activity you want to view. By default, you see the Recent Activity page, with browsing history, apps and game history, and screen time history. If you would like a report e-mailed to you weekly, turn on the slider under Email Weekly Reports To Me. The service then e-mails a report to the address associated with your Microsoft account.

Wrapping Up

The Internet is here to stay. Today’s children will likely use it as their main source of information and communication throughout their lives. The Internet is also very much a public place, a direct reflection of the world at large. Although most people online are perfectly normal, the Internet has its share of wackos, just as the real world does.

Knowledge is a parent’s best defense against Internet dangers. A parent who isn’t knowledgeable about recent technical advances will feel some helplessness and insecurity about keeping kids safe online. Setting up user accounts and parental controls is a great way to begin taking control of kids’ computer use. Monitoring their activity is another. Here’s a quick wrap-up of the main points covered in this chapter:

  • A parent should set up at least one password-protected administrative user account to take control of the computer.
  • Each person who uses the computer can have a standard account, which offers greater security than an administrative account.
  • The person with the administrative account can use parental control features of Microsoft Family Safety to set limits on Internet and computer usage for people using standard accounts.
  • The administrator can also use activity reports to monitor standard users’ activities.
  • Parents can fi nd support and stay up-to-date through many websites dedicated to online safety.

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