Microsoft did quite the makeover on Windows in its latest version, Windows 10. As a mom, my favorite feature enrichment is the improved Family Settings. The newest version provides greater control over children’s technology usage, allowing content filters and screen time limits.
Now, before you can set up Windows Family Settings, you will need two primary accounts. First, you need an email account for each child who will use the computer (or one that is shared by all). [Don’t panic. Just read Why You Need to Set Up Email For Your Kids. In it, I outline the safest email accounts for kids.]
Second, you will need a Microsoft Live account for yourself. If you have a Windows 10 computer, you probably already have a Live account, but if not, you can create one here.
Once you have those two accounts set up, simply visit the Set Up Family Safety Settings on the Microsoft website and follow the instructions. There you will be able to add family members and set individual restrictions. The Family Settings allow you to block or allow certain websites and apps, monitor recent activity and set screen time limits. These settings will work across Windows devices as well, in case you have a Surface or Windows phone.
Even with the Windows safety settings, I still think an Internet filter is necessary. The safety settings do provide another layer of security, but they aren’t comprehensive enough in my opinion. We use the Covenant Eyes filter, and rather than setting it to just block inappropriate websites, we only allow specific websites that we have indicated.
An extra bonus to family members having separate Windows logins is that everyone can use the same computer without disrupting each other’s files or settings. You can’t underestimate the fury of a tweenage girl who’s sibling deleted a picture of hers on the computer. Hormones. They’re real, people.
To learn more ways to make technology safer for kids, check out these other posts.