As parent I do like to keep my eye on what my kids get up to online, most of the time this involves having a quick look at what they are doing but it would be nice to get a report from the system. In the latest post on the Building Windows 8 blog Microsoft have talked about the new family safety features in Windows 8. The first thing they talk about is the simple checkbox to mark a child’s account as being monitored and then you can reports of the kids activity. There are also additional features like blocking of certain types of web sites. It’s great that Microsoft are building these features into the OS and making it simple for parents to operate.
Details from the Windows 8 Blog:
A safer Internet is just a click away
With Windows 8, you can monitor what your kids are doing, no matter where they use their PC. All you have to do is create a Windows user account for each child, check the box to turn on Family Safety, and then review weekly reports that describe your children’s PC use. No additional downloads, installation wizards, or configuration steps are required. Just check the box!
The “monitor first” approach
In the past, many of the industry software solutions for family safety (including Microsoft’s) focused on web filtering and other software-based restrictions. This resulted in a more complex setup experience and a constant stream of parental approval requests that could be difficult to manage. The end result was that many parents abandoned family safety products and returned to in-person supervision only—a tactic that has become less effective as computers have gotten more mobile.
Windows 8 gives you a “monitor first” approach, which provides informative activity reports for each child. As previously discussed on this blog, signing in to Windows 8 with a Microsoft account makes setup much simpler: just create a separate user account for each child and then check the box to turn on Family Safety. As soon as you do, you’ll receive a welcome email followed by weekly email reports summarizing your child’s computer activities. We expect you’ll find activity reports a great tool for teaching your kids about responsible computer use. Of course, you can also easily add restrictions by just clicking a link in the activity report. With the simplicity of activity reports, we believe more parents will adopt Family Safety, resulting in a safer computing environment for children.
Here’s what a Family Safety activity report looks like:
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.