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Clayton Ostler

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Windows 8 New Parental Controls

Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 2:45 PM

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In a world of increasing Internet dangers, it is always appreciated when companies seek to make protecting children easier. Microsoft's new Windows 8 software has tools to help parents monitor their children's use of the computer. Through a Windows Live account these tools will make monitoring computer use easier, without requiring parents to sit at the computer or look over their child's shoulder.

The new functions are called Family Safety Features. These features basically allow parents to set time limits on when the computer can be used, review purchases, and black lists specific websites children cannot visit. The features also include video games controls, and can block games based on ESRB ratings. Detailed weekly reports are emailed to parents so they may stay aware of what is being viewed at home.

“The reports show which websites a child has visited and the number of pages viewed there, search histories, total time spent on the PC, and which apps and games they used most. The reports contain data from all devices on which a child logged into to his or her Windows account.”

Microsoft also recommends that the family PC be set up in a common room in the home. These new features are just one tool in the battle to protect children. This combined with other tactics help parents be interactive and successful in teaching their kids about safe computer use. Although it is not a complete parental controls solution, I applaud Microsoft for their efforts to help families keep kids safe in the cyber world and keep parents abreast of their kids' computer use.

Windows 8 will be available next year.


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