Being a parent in the computer age isn't easy. You can’t monitor your child’s PC activity 24/7, but you do need to impose some limits to protect them from harm. Windows 8 comes with Family Safety, a very helpful feature that enables you to restrict how your child uses the home computer. Here’s how to set it up and use it.
1. Create a Child Account
Start by creating a user account for your child. From the Start Screen open the Settings charm and select Change PC Settings > Users. Under Other Users click Add a User. Opt to sign in without a Microsoft account. Choose Local account and provide a username, password and password hint for your child. Click Next and tick the Is this a child's account? Turn on Family Safety to get reports of their PC use box. Click Finish.
2. Family Safety Settings
Next, open the Search charm, select Settings and search for Family. Choose Family Safety and select the account that you just set up. Ensure that Family Safety is turned on for this account and that Activity reporting is also on. Later, you can choose View activity reports from here to see if your child is staying safe.
3. Set Web Restrictions
Choose Web filtering followed by Only use the websites that I allow and click Set web filtering level. You can choose to set an allow list that includes just the sites you specify or set one of four filtering levels. Check Block file downloads to prevent your child downloading rogue files. Choose Allow or Block Websites to alter the list of permitted websites.
4. Set Time Allowance
Return to User Settings and choose Time Limits. Click Set time allowance and opt only to permit your child to use the PC for a set time. This prevents unrestricted computer use. Set the number of hours and minutes it can be used both for weekdays and weekends.
5. Set a curfew
Late-night computing is not a good idea for children so set a curfew. Click Curfew and opt to only allow PC use during the times you set. Click and drag over the hours during which you would like to block computer use.
6. App Restrictions
Return to User Settings and select App restrictions. Choose Can only use the apps that I allow and tick each permitted application. You can add more to the list by clicking Browse and browsing to the program folder of an application to select it manually. Blocking apps helps prevent internet use via unfamiliar (and potentially unsafe) programs.