Using Parental Controls in Windows

These days many parents worry about their children getting into trouble on the internet.  That’s why parental controls exist, for your peace of mind.  Not only can you control what programs, games, and sites your children have access to, you can also manage when and how long they’re allowed to use the computer.  Using parental controls on different Windows systems can vary, but the basic instructions are as follows:

  1. First, parental controls must be set up through your administrative user account, and each child should have their own standard user account.
  2. In Windows, go to Start, Control Panel, User Accounts and Family Safety, and click on Set up parental controls for any user. You may be prompted for an administrator password or confirmation.
  3. Choose a user account to set up controls for, or if it hasn’t been created yet, click Create a new user account.
  4. Once you’ve selected or created an account, go to Parental Controls and On, enforce current settings.
  5. Now you can adjust the individual settings, starting with Time limits. Prevent your children from logging on during certain hours, even varying them for each day of the week.  The computer will even automatically log them off if they’re on when time runs out.
  6. Games: Manage which games your child can play, age-rating levels, types of content to block, etc.
  7. Specific programs: Block your children from running any specific programs you choose.
  8. Online activity: Parental controls for internet usage are not automatically included, so follow these instructions to set them up:
    1. I.        Go to the Windows Live Family Safety home page and install this free feature on each PC or laptop your children use.
    2. II.        After installation, click Start, All Programs, Windows Live, and then Windows Live Family Safety. Sign in with your Windows Live username and password; set them up if needed.
    3. III.        Go to the Windows Live Family Safety Filter window and select the user account(s) you want to manage.  Click family.safety.live.com.
    4. IV.        Go to the Family summary window and click Edit settings. Now you can monitor their internet activity by: managing their contacts in Hotmail, Messenger, and Spaces; setting your desired level of web filtering; and reviewing your child’s previous activity.

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