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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Family Safety (Parental Controls)

Many parents reasonably worry about the volatile mixture of kids+computers. They worry about kids spending too much time in front of the PC, rotting their brains instead of going outside to play stickball in the street like we did when we were their age, getting fresh air and sunshine. They worry that kids are playing disgusting, violent video games. They worry that kids are using programs they really shouldn’t be using, corrupting themselves with apps like Skype or Quicken. (That’s a joke.)

Above all, parents worry that their kids might encounter upsetting material on the Internet: violence, pornography, hate speech, illegal drug sites, and so on.

A special Windows feature gives you a fighting chance at keeping this stuff off your PC: Family Safety, formerly called Parental Controls. It’s easy to use and fairly complete (it’s been beefed up since Windows 7).

Specifically, Family Safety has four features to protect your youngsters:

  • Blocking inappropriate Web sites from their impressionable eyes.

  • Setting daily time limits on their computer use.

  • Monitoring which programs your kids are using, and limiting games and TileWorld apps they buy from the Windows Store.

  • Sending you activity reports so you know what they’re up to.

Turn on Family Safety

Before you can set up parental controls, some housekeeping is required. You, the parent, are presumably in charge of the computer and should therefore have an Administrator account (Administrator accounts). And it must ...

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