If you wish to understand the family safety features from Microsoft, you have landed at the right place. These features, also known as parental control can be used in Windows 8 for creating accounts for your minor kids so that they can sign into their accounts independently. However, you still have the control on what they can see online.
Assume if your loved ones could personalize their own desktops and you would be in a position to choose the limits, with permissions that they could exercise, would it not be great?
All you would need to do is to add you kids or family members where you would like to exert parental controls to your family at account.microsoft.com/family.
Once you have added them to your family, you can actually control the specifics of the contents they view online, control the real screen time so that you can make sure they spend time rationing online wisely, have history of website visiting profile, categorization of the search and app profile etc.
Without doing these things, you can’t even recognize the usefulness of the inputs that you get to probably have a “grown up” conversation with your family members outlining the importance of “appropriateness” of online contents.
For example, when you add your kids to the accounts, you want to ensure that they stay while they use the PC and yet have the leeway to explore. In this case, say, you could make sure that the pornographic websites are blocked, or you could specifically give access to only websites which you want your kids to see.
You could as well make sure that they use apps/games appropriate for a specific age group, etc. Kids anyway could seek your permission to continue browsing when their time is up, or seek permissions to download anything that has been specifically blocked by you. So, it’s a joint effort again to decide on the appropriateness on what’s right and for whom.
So the basic philosophy of Windows 8 is that everyone who uses it has his/her own account, customize their own experience with favourite apps, start screen layout, background colours, pics, etc. Therefore at least an adult in the family will need to have an administrator account on the PC you would use; the kids will each need a child’s or a standard user account. You could have a look at Create a user account and User accounts: FAQ for more info on this.
Having said that, assume you add a child to your family on Microsoft, you’ll will have a privilege to his/her activity report emailed to you summarising time spent on the PC/online device, nature of the games, apps used, and the keywords searched on the “Search Engines”. Microsoft provides you feature to actually have a detailed report of the parental control related activities emailed to you weekly.
In case you aren’t interested in it, you could actually turn the feature “off” and check the activity details manually by following the below steps:
- Open the link account.microsoft.com/family and sign in.
- Select the person whose report you wish to see.
- Click recent activity making sure activity reports are turned On.
- In “weekly reports emailed to adults”, turn the switch to “Off”
So this is how you can use parental control features in Windows 8 for the online safety and control. It’s one of the great inbuilt features in Windows OS that you can use without spending anything extra.