Microsoft Explains How to Use Parental Controls for Windows 8

By Devon Glenn 

Microsoft is helping parents crack down on questionable content and protect their children from predators. After asking users what they wanted out of their parental controls, the company has created a Windows 8 Family Safety feature that combines customizable restrictions with activity reporting.

The safety controls also prevent kids from accessing their parent’s online accounts and documents; lets them customize their own account settings without changing their parents’ accounts, and automatically blocks them from downloading malware.

In a blog post, the company provided instructions for getting started: “Simply create a Windows user account for each child; check the box to turn on Family Safety, and then review weekly reports that detail children’s use. No additional downloads, installation wizards or configuration steps are required – just check the box.”

Microsoft interviewed more than 7,000 parents of children ages five to 15 in Brazil, China, France, India and the U.S. to come up with the solution. The study revealed that although 87 percent were concerned about offensive content and online predators, parents were divided about whether to use software to limit their children’s access to certain sites (45 percent) or to simply monitor their activities (43 percent).

Researchers also found that in-person monitoring has become less effective since children can also use smartphones and laptops to access the internet.

Through its “monitor-first” approach, Microsoft aims to give parents multiple options for keep their children safe.

Image by Surkov Vladimir.