Windows 8’s Family Safety gives you an amazing amount of control over your children’s user accounts. It allows you to monitor their activities, restrict their usage times and prevent them from viewing and using things that aren’t meant for them. This tool is easy to use, but it also has enough going on that it might intimidate some users. We’ve compiled a list with the best features of Family Safety, to show you how it works and why it’s worth the trouble of using it.
1. Enabling & Disabling Family Safety is a Breeze
Gettings started couldn’t be easier. All you’ll have to do is find the Family Safety page in the Control Panel, pick your child’s account and click a single radio button. No fuss, no worries.
For more information, read this article: Introducing Windows 8: How to Enable or Disable Family Safety.
2. You Can Prevent Your Child From Using Games and Apps that Aren’t Appropriate
Family Safety allows you to pick and choose which games and apps your child can interact with. You can filter individually, by title or filter by rating to save time. This guarantees that your child can’t even open games or programs that aren’t meant for him or her.
For more information, read this detailed guide: Introducing Windows 8: How to Restrict Games & Apps for Your Child.
3. You Can Set Curfews for Your Child’s User Account
Does your child stay up all hours of the night playing on his/her computer? Family Safety has you covered. Try enabling a curfew on your child’s account. This makes it so he/she can only log in during appropriate hours of the day that you configure.
To learn how to set a curfew in Windows 8, read this article: Introducing Windows 8: How to Enable Time Limits for Your Child.
4. Family Safety Lets Control how Long Your Kids Can Use the Computer
Do you wish your kids would spend less time in front of the monitor? Enable a time allowance on their user accounts. Family Safety lets you choose how long your child can use the computer for each day of the week.
For more informaiton, check out this article: Introducing Windows 8: How to Enable Time Limits for Your Child.
5. You Can Block Websites That Aren’t Appropriate for Your Child
The Internet can be a powerful tool that can help your children learn and develop, but can also be a dangerous place that threatens their security and innocence. To ensure that your children can’t get into those darker corners of the Internet, Family Safety lets you enable web filters to block inappropriate web pages. You can block or allow individual pages, or filter based on their age group.
To learn more about this feature, read this detailed guide: Introducing Windows 8: How to Filter the Websites Browsed by Your Child.
6. Family Safety Lets you Manage Your Settings Online From Any Computer
While all of these great features are major assets, they can also get to be a bit of a chore to manage. To ease your burden a bit, Family Safety has a Web interface you can log in to from any Internet-connected device. You can change any of your filters or settings, as well as view requests from your children to view blocked content.
To learn more about how this works, read this article: How to Manage Your Family Safety Settings Online, from Any Browser.
7. Family Safety Lets You See What Your Kids are Up To
Once you have all of your filters and limits enabled, you can be sure that your children can’t get into much in the way of harm. While that will bring your peace of mind, you might be happier with more information. Log in to the Family Safety website to view detailed usage reports to find out what games and apps your children use the most, what sites they frequent online and how much time they spend logged in.
For more information, check out this article: How to View Your Child's Usage Reports on the Family Safety Website.
8. You Can Disconnect From the Family Safety Site if You Don’t Like It
While we’ve already explained that the Family Safety website is an impressive feature, not everyone is comfortable keeping their information online. These users will be happy to hear that Family Safety doesn’t force this Web interface on its users. You can very easily disconnect your accounts from the website and manage everything locally from your home computer. You will lose some functionality though. The local usage reports lack some of the detail of their web-based counterparts and you won’t be able to field requests to view blocked content any longer.
For more information, read this article: How to Disconnect from the Family Safety Site & View Usage Logs Locally.
As you can clearly see by this point, Windows 8’s Family Safety is a powerful tool for parents. There’s a lot to it, but you’ll find its all easy to understand once you get into it. Take a look at the articles referenced above and you’ll have no trouble at all protecting your children while they use your family’s Windows 8 computer.