A four-part series on setting up a Child Account / Family Safety for a user in Windows 8
Part 1: Introduction to Family Safety
Family Safety can be set up on each account on a Windows 8 computer, as necessary. These settings monitor and protect an account, including reports of your kids’ PC activities, choose what they see online, set time limits, and app restrictions. Having individual accounts for each member of your family allows you to set restrictions on each person. This is a better idea than hoping they stay out of your e-mail, adult-rated games, and/or have free range of the internet.
With this series, we’ll explain in detail how to set up your account, what settings you can change, and how to change them.
On the last step of the Adding a User tutorial we posted last week, you may have noticed a checkbox underneath the new user’s name. Next to this box, it states, “Is this a child’s account? Turn on Family Safety to get reports their PC use.” Check this box to enable family safety.
You can find these settings as part of the control panel. To get to the control panel, just start typing “control panel” on the start screen. This will bring up the app. Click on it, then click on the section (for me, it’s the first choice in the second column) that says “Set up Family Safety for any user.” Note that you need to be logged into an admin account in order to make these changes.
Once you have entered Family Safety, you need to choose which user(s) to add these settings for. Obviously, your spouse would be none to happy if he can only use the computer for half an hour each afternoon. In this case, we’re going to use the account we created last week, Fred Flagstaff. Microsoft gives a brief explanation of what Family Safety can do. Double-click on the user that you wish to add the settings for.
After you have chosen the user, the screen to the left will appear. This screen gives you the various options and settings available for you. The settings default to have Family Safety “On” in order to enforce any settings that you create. If you wish to turn off Family Safety for a user, switch this first choice to “Off.” Also, the default is to have Activity Reporting “On.” This will collect user data, including times that he or she have logged into the computer, websites visited, apps used, etc. These reports can be found by clicking on the logo on the right, underneath the user’s profile picture, entitled “View activity reports.” If you wish to turn off Activity Report, switch this second choice to “Off.”
When you first set up Family Safety, there are no restrictions on web, time, store, app, or game restrictions. On the next part of this tutorial, we will explain how to adjust the web settings. If you want to jump ahead, we also have tutorials on adjusting time limits (no more late night all-night browsing and game sessions!) and adjusting store, game, and app restrictions (no more $1000 purchases to feed your kid’s dragons!)