Parental controls is a generous and caring feature provided by the Windows that helps you manage how your child uses the PC. Since, children are innocent and incapable of determining what is good or bad for them. So, you can use these controls to let him use the PC without exposing him to any online harm.
Turning on family safety in Windows 8
Family safety controls can not be applied on an administrator account type. So, the first step towards safe experience is to create a separate account for your child where you can apply all the restrictions.
- Go to Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety
- Add or remove user accounts -> Create a new account.
- Set the account type to ‘Standard’. Note that the purpose of parental control will be lost if you keep the account type as the administrator because any administrator can turn on, turn off and change the safety settings.
- Enter the email address that will be used by your child to sign in to Microsoft services.
- Check the box to mention that it is a child’s account.
Or select ‘Set up Parental Controls for any user’ if you want to reserve an existing account for your child. Take care that the account to be reserved should be of ‘standard user’ type.
Configuring family safety for the child account
You can set up the parental controls on the newly created child account. Initially, you will see the following window where family safety and activity reporting will be turned on by default. However, no restrictions have been placed on Windows settings as observed by the information that is displayed under the title of ‘Current Settings’.
Limit the Time Your Child Spends on Computer
Children tend to spend hours on the computer playing addictive games or doing any activity of their interest. This is not liked by the parents as it keeps them away from healthy activities and can affect their studies too. You may have experienced the feeling if your child does the same. Now you can restrict your child to only the time you want them to be on the computer without scolding him/her to turn off the PC. Setting the time limits and safety settings will automatically shutdown the computer system when the allowed time limit exceeds.
- Find the ‘Time Limits in the ‘Windows Settings’.
- Select ‘Set time allowance’.
- Select ‘<name> can only use the PC for the amount of time I allow’.
- Set the time limits using the drop down list.
Moreover, you can also specify the time period during which your children can use the computer. If he/she tends to use it till late night, block those hours and the computer will automatically get locked during those hours.
- Find the ‘Time Limits in the ‘Windows Settings’.
- Select ‘Set Curfew ‘.
- Select <name> can only use the PC during time ranges I allow.
- Hold the right mouse button and move it to highlight the boxes. These are the blocked hours.
- Move the cursor again on highlighted boxes if you want to change them to allowed hours.
Is Your Child Enjoying Appropriate Games and Apps?
Windows 8 Store is enriched with thousands of attractive games and apps. Your child can download any without considering if the theme of the game is right for him/her or not. The good thing about these games is that they have ratings that are defined by the Entertainment Software Rating Board which tells the age limit of the intended user. Inform the family safety controls with the age of your child and it will block his/her access to inappropriate content and games.
- Go to ‘Windows Store and Game restrictions’.
- Select ‘Block games with no rating’.
- You can see a list below which shows the categorization of content on the age basis. Select the most appropriate option for your child.
Give Your Child a Safer Web Experience
This is the basic and most important factor that needs to be controlled. Here, you can play with various options. Either specify the list of allowed and blocked websites or let the family safety figure out and grant access to the web. You can select among different options and manage how your child browses the web.
- Go to ‘Web Filtering’ in the ‘Windows Settings’.
- Select ‘<name> can only use the websites I allow’.
- Select web filtering level.
- Allow list only is the most restricted option. You can mention the URL addresses of few websites and your child can surf through those listed websites only. Once again, you have to select the right choice for your child.
- You may also block downloading of any content by checking the ‘Block File Downloads’.
The following window will appear if you select ‘Allow or block specific sites’. Type the website address in the address bar and click ‘Allow’ or ‘Block’ as desired.
Keep Your Programs Away from the reach of Your Child
We may install some advanced programs and applications in the computer system for our work. These programs may look like ‘fantasy’, ‘mystery’ or more appropriately as ‘scary application’ to children. They may open them by mistake or out of curiosity and perform an activity that damages your precious work and documents. So, keep all these program away from the reach of children.
- Select ‘App restrictions’ and a list of installed programs will be displayed.
- You may select the programs to be restricted from this list.
Know the online interests of your Child (monitor your child)
Psychologists always recommend parents to spend some time with their child and hear their thoughts. If you are a good parent then you must take out some time and know about his/her interests. Parental Controls assists in this purpose by preparing an activity report of your child.
- Select ‘View Activity Report’ under the ‘Current Settings’ . The report is self-explanatory.
You may see that after defining the safety settings, the information displayed in the ‘Current Settings’ is replaced with your restrictions. So, you can quickly check the settings you have applied to any account.
I hope this tutorial will enable you to efficiently setup and configure parental controls on your Windows 8 computer and I’d like to thank you for reading. If you like the article, please leave a helpful comment and share it with your friends.