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How to monitor and control your children’s computer usage on windows 8

Aiming to give parents the option of keeping an eagle eye over their kid’s computer use, Microsoft revamps its parental controls in a “monitor first” approach that includes weekly reports.

Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.

Microsoft aims to give parents more control over their children’s computer use on Windows 8 with a new feature announced this week.

“With Windows 8, you can monitor what your kids are doing, no matter where they use their PC,” Microsoft’s senior program manager for Family Safety Phil Sohn wrote in a blog post. “All you have to do is create a Windows user account for each child, check the box to turn on Family Safety, and then review weekly reports that describe your children’s PC use.”

With these controls and weekly reports, parents will be able to keep tabs on whether their kids are playing violent online video games, looking at bikini models, or actually doing their homework. They’ll also be able to make sure their children aren’t associating with online predators.

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Most previous parental controls focused on complex filtering options or using software to block children from Web sites; however Microsoft says with Windows 8 , it’s now taking a “monitor first” approach.

The company says this new system is much easier. How it works: parents sign into Windows 8 with a Microsoft account, create a separate user account for each child, and then check the box to turn on Family Safety.

From there, parents can make the controls more or less restrictive and see what their kids are doing via the weekly e-mail reports.

Microsoft says Windows 8 will have all the same restrictions as Windows 7 along with some new ones. Here’s the list of additional restrictions:

  • Web filtering: You can choose between several web filtering levels.
  • SafeSearch: When web filtering is active, SafeSearch is locked into the “Strict” setting for popular search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. This will filter out adult text, images, and videos from your search results.

Time limits: With Windows 8, you now can restrict the number of hours per day your child can use their PC. For example, you might set a limit of one hour on school nights and two hours on weekends. This is in addition to the bedtime limits currently available in Windows 7.

Windows Store: Activity reports list the most recent Windows Store downloads, and you can set a game-rating level, which prevents your children from seeing apps in the Windows Store above a particular age rating.

  • Application and game restrictions: As in Windows 7, you can block specific applications and games or set an appropriate game rating level.
  • Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

    Windows 8’s Family Safety features allow you to monitor your children’s computer usage, get weekly reports, set time limits for computer use, filter inappropriate websites, block children from using certain applications, and more.

    When you create a new user account in Windows 8, you’ll be able to designate it as a child’s account. This enables the Family Safety feature.

    Creating Children’s Accounts

    Use Windows 8’s PC Settings application to create a new user account for a child. (Mouse over the bottom or top right corners of the screen, move your mouse cursor up or down, click the Settings charm, and click Change PC Settings at the bottom of your screen.)

    Select the Users category and click the Add a user button to add a new user account.

    Enable the “Is this a child’s account? Turn on Family Safety to get reports of their PC use” check box while creating a user account.

    Viewing Reports

    Assuming you’re using a Microsoft account with Windows 8, you can open the Family Safety website at familysafety.microsoft.com and log in with your Microsoft account credentials.

    You can view reports and edit family safety settings for each child from here. You can also add another parent to give multiple people access to the Family Safety page. Settings you specify here will synchronize to each Windows 8 computer you and your children use.

    Click the View Activity Report link for a child to view a report of that child’s computer usage. You’ll also get weekly summary reports in your email inbox.

    The reports show which websites your child visits most frequently, how many hours they’ve been logged into the computer on each day of the week, the searches they perform, which apps and games they use, and which apps they’ve downloaded from the Windows Store.

    According to Microsoft, Family Safety is designed for a “monitor first” approach. First you monitor a child’s computer usage, and then you can optionally put restrictions in place. For example, you can block a website directly from the Web activity report.

    The activity reporting feature can also be turned off – for example, you may want to impose computer time limits but not monitor what your children do on the computer.

    Controlling Computer Usage

    Click the Edit Settings link for a child to customize the child’s Family Safety settings.

    For example, Web Filtering is turned off by default, but you can enable it and set a filtering level.

    You can set time limits for your children’s computer use, either by granting them a limited number of hours each day or imposing a curfew time, after which they won’t be allowed to use the computer.

    You can also block access to specific apps and games from here.

    Log into this website to monitor and control your children’s computer usage from anywhere.

    For more information about Windows 8’s Family Safety features, check out Microsoft’s official blog post on the subject.

    Nicole Kobie ContributorOne of the best technology journalists in the UK, Nicole is known for getting behind the headlines to uncover the truth of what’s really going on. If there’s a story, she’ll find it. Read more May 15, 2012

    Windows 8 will offer weekly monitoring reports on children’s online activity, to make it easier for parents to keep an eye on what their offspring get up to on the web.

    Microsoft said its Family Safety system would “monitor first”, rather than focusing on filtering and software-based restrictions, which family safety programme manager Phil Sohn said could be complex to set up and hard to manage.

    “The end result was that many parents abandoned family safety products and returned to in-person supervision only – a tactic that has become less effective as computers have gotten more mobile,” he said in a post on the Building Windows 8 blog.

    Glancing over a teenager’s shoulder can be awkward for both parents and kids

    In Windows 8, parents create an account using a local username or Microsoft login, then simply tick a box to indicate it’s an account for a child. They’ll then receive via email a weekly report summarising their child’s computer activities. The reports and settings are web based, so can be altered and managed from any device, while the settings will follow the child to any computer they use the login with.

    Parents will also be able to add restrictions to limit what their children see online, with each account having separate rules via several different default filtering levels.

    The Family Safety system also lets parents restrict the amount of time children spend on the PC, block games that are above a certain rating level, and track and manage Windows Store downloads.

    Safety or spying?

    The announcement comes amidst a wider debate on keeping children safety online, with the Government being pressured to roll out a network-level filter to block pornography.

    Sohn admitted Microsoft’s “monitor first” system wouldn’t be perfect for all parents, but said it would “lead to more family conversations about online safety”.

    Microsoft noted it still recommends moving computers into public space in the house to better keep an eye on kids, but admitted that’s difficult in homes with multiple or mobile computers. “And glancing over a teenager’s shoulder can be awkward for both parents and kids.”

    While many commenters on the blog post welcomed the tool, others said that the monitoring system appeared to be little more than digital snooping. “You call it parent control, I call it spying,” said one.

    “One simple thing that is missing here from the discussion: trust,” said another. “If you don’t trust your own child, what kind of relationship do you have?”

    We’ve asked Microsoft if child accounts are visibly different in any other way, and if anyone using such an account would be alerted to the monitoring at the time of use, but have yet to hear back.

    Parental Control is not a new feature of Windows 8 and has been there since the days of Windows Vista. We have already seen

    by applying restrictions on the type of website they surf, time they spend on the computer and other such settings.

    Today we will demonstrate how to set up parental control on Windows 8 when you upgrade from previous versions of Windows in the near future or buy a new one altogether.

    Set up Parental Control in Windows 8

    To get started, we will have to create a new Windows user account for the child. To add a new user, open Windows Modern PC Settings and click on Add a user from the User section. We have already seen how you can create a new user account in Windows 8. While creating the account, just remember to put a check on the option to mark the account as child account.

    After creating the account, open Windows Control Panel and then open Family Safety. In family safety, click on the account you would like to configure and proceed. You will now have to configure some of the settings like Web Filtering, Time Limit, App restriction and, Windows Store and game restrictions.

    Almost all the filtering settings are similar in Windows 8. Unlike Windows 7 which required Windows Live Family Safety to be installed on the computer to manage web filtering, Windows 8 has it pre -installed. One new setting you will find here is the ability to impose restrictions on Windows Store apps and games as well. This way you can make sure your kid is not downloading apps and games that are not suitable for him.

    As all the settings are similar to Windows 7 and Vista, you can refer to our complete guide on configuring Windows Family Safety. The article shows you how you can allot time limit, moderate games and apps and filter inappropriate websites. Finally at the end of the day you can view your kid’s activity log and see how he has spent his time on the computer.

    When you feel your kid has grown up enough to not need these restrictions, you could just switch off the family safety for the user in user accounts.

    Conclusion

    So that was how you can set up parental control in Windows 8. Not much has changed since Windows 7 except for the addition of Windows Store in the filtering list. If you have kids at home and you are concerned about how unsafe and dirty the web has become, you must activate parental control today.

    Last updated on 03 February, 2022

    The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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    Monitor Your Child’s Computer Activity and Behavior with ScreenRetriever!

    How it Works

    It’s Easy!
    1. Download and Install ScreenRetriever
    2. Click the ScreenRetriver icon for your child’s computer
      • See what they’re doing now with Live View
      • In you can’t check in right now, use Replay later
    Why Try ScreenRetriever Children’s Internet Monitoring Software?
    • ScreenRetriever, Live View and Replay gives parents complete visibility of all of their children’s computer activity.
    • Parents simply click on the ScreenRetriever icon on their computer to see exactly what their child is doing online Live, no matter where the child is in the home.
    • When parents aren’t available to use Live View they can scroll through hours of their child’s recorded activities in minutes using Replay.
    Parents can see:
    • All Facebook activity (no password required) and other social networks
    • All webcam activity such as Skype so they can see who their child is chatting with
    • All homework
    • All websites visited (not just URLs)
    • All posted pictures and comments, emails
    • All cyberbullying
    • All sexting
    • All night time activity, when kids should be sleeping
    Kids know it’s being used so that trust is not sacrificed and communication is encouraged.
    • ScreenRetriever is not invasive. Most of the time the child’s screen is “small” on the parent’s computer and only opened into “large” mode when a parent is concerned.
    • By knowing what children are doing online and how they’re behaving online, parents are able to teach safe, appropriate computer behavior. When kids know parents are paying attention, online risks decrease. They think twice about what they’re doing online when parents are checking-in.
    Benefits
    • Will not cause computer to slow down.
    • Easy to install and Easy to use, no fancy set up required
    • Install once on the child’s computer, all other access is from the parent’s computer
    • Not time consuming to check-in
    • Family license, not per seat
    Why ScreenReteiver is Not a Parental Control Product?

    Parental controls provide parents with automated tools to ostensibly help protect their children and set restrictions while using computer devices. They include products that filter content, block websites and log keystrokes. Some provide time restrictions on computer use.

    What is ScreenRetriever? ScreenRetriever is not an automated parental control tool. It is a monitoring tool for parents to actively keep an eye on what their children are doing online as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. Parents are the best filter as they can immediately see if a website is appropriate or not or if their child is behaving appropriately online. Why don’t we use an automated tool?

    Quite simply blockers and filters can’t keep up with the 625,329,303 active web sites, growing by nearly 822,000 daily.

    Parents are being sold a bill of goods if they think these products will protect their children online. Knowing a URL is not enough either. DancingBear.com sounds harmless enough right? Not so. Then there are sites like YouTube that can provide both good and bad content for viewing by children, so blocking a site such as YouTube impractical.

    Would you use a robot to babysit your children in the real world? Why would you use automated tools to protect your children in the online world. You need to actively participate and monitor your children online to keep them safe and teach appropriate responsible behavior.

    Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

    Sure, maybe your parents don’t need any help with their PC and your kids are better at technology than you are. But many geeks are called upon to be responsible for a relative’s PC — often after it breaks.

    If you’re responsible for someone else’s PC, these tips will help you lock it down and secure it as much as possible. These tips aren’t for business PCs, just ones you may be responsible for in your personal life.

    Set Up Limited User Accounts

    Give the computer’s users limited user accounts — or “standard” user accounts — to help limit the damage they can do. With a limited user account, users won’t be able to install software or change system settings without entering an administrator password. You can keep the administrator password for yourself so on one can install software or change system settings without your permission. Or, you could give the computer’s users the administrator password and tell them to only use it when they actually need to install safe software –in this is obviously more risky.

    A standard user account won’t shield users from all malware. A user could still download malware and run it, infecting their own user account. However, the malware shouldn’t be able to infect the entire system.

    Enable Remote Access

    Many of us have gotten phone calls from relatives if their computer breaks or they have a question. Set up remote access software ahead of time and you’ll be able to remotely access the computer’s desktop from your own PC. If you get that phone call, you can check the PC’s desktop immediately instead of trying to understand what’s going on over the phone. You can also use this software to check in on the PC from time to time and do any necessary maintenance.

    We recommend TeamViewer for this. Set up unattended access in TeamViewer and you’ll be able to access the PC from anywhere. TeamViewer is free for personal use.

    Secure The Computer

    Ensure the computer has security software installed. If you’re using Windows 7, you’ll have to install an antivirus. Windows 8 comes with Microsoft’s antivirus installed, but you may still prefer another antivirus with a higher detection rate to protect less-knowledgeable users.

    You should also configure the computer’s other software to automatically update. Have Windows itself, any web browsers, and especially browser plug-ins automatically install updates. If there’s a way to have a program automatically update, configure it to do so so the computer always has the latest software.

    Uninstall vulnerable software, too. Most people don’t need Java, so you’ll want to uninstall the insecure Java browser plug-in to secure the computer as much as possible.

    Activate Parental Controls

    If you’re setting up a computer for younger children, you may also want to set up parental controls. Windows 8 has built-in parental controls, known as Family Safety. This feature allows you to filter websites, limit computer time, restrict access to specific apps and games, and view information about computer usage. You can view and tweak all these details from Microsoft’s Family Safety website, even when you’re away from the computer.

    On Windows 7, you can install the Family Safety software included with Microsoft’s free Windows Essentials or use third-party parental control tools.

    Provide Good Advice

    There’s nothing you can do to lock down a computer completely. Even a user with a limited user account could still end up downloading and running malware that would infect their user account. Even if antivirus software worked perfectly, a user might fall for a phishing scam and send their credit card details, passwords, and other personal information over the Internet.

    Be sure to lay out some of the best security practices for using a computer. Knowing the basics might help prevent someone from falling for a phishing scam or accidentally running malware in the future.

    Just because you’re a geek who knows his or her stuff doesn’t mean you need to be responsible for all your relatives’ PCs, of course. If you have a relative whose PC keeps becoming infected, you may want to try nudging them towards a Chromebook or a similar simple device that isn’t as vulnerable to malware.

    By Bryan Clark published 10 June 18

    For younger children, or even teens, some parents find it beneficial to limit the number of hours they spend in front of a screen. If you fall in this camp, Windows 10 has an easy way to allocate a specific number of hours that your child can spend in front of their computer each day.

    In fact, using the granular controls baked-in to the feature, you can even designate specific times for weekdays versus weekends, or on some days but not others.

    It’s a great system, and one that’s super easy to get up and running.

    1. Right click the Start button and choose Settings from the list of available options.

    2. Choose Accounts.

    3. In the sidebar at the left of the screen, select Family & other people.

    4. Check to ensure that you have a child account set up, if you do, click the Manage family settings online option.

    5. Sign in to your Microsoft account, if you aren’t already signed in.

    6. Under your child’s name, select the Screen time option.

    7. From here, toggle the Use one screen time schedule if you want a single schedule to apply to both Xbox and PC screen time. If not, leave it off and toggle on the device you want to monitor.

    8. If toggled on, you can choose from a number of options here including a set number of hours per day (without restrictions to what times of day they are), or a specific number of hours. To do that, click Max scheduled and choose the amount of time you’re okay with.

    9. In the previous example, I selected one hour. Now I can choose when I’d like the child to spend that hour. First, click the timeline.

    10. Next, choose the time you’d like to allow and then click Add. In this case, my child would receive one hour of free time, on Sunday, and they’ll be required to use it between 9am and 12pm.

    11. Click Save.

    12. For even more granular controls, you can play around with the Add time to multiple days option at the bottom of the page.

    NewsBinder

    Parent Control on Windows operating systems is conducive to protecting children’s safety when using computers. In the previous posts Network Administrator has instructed you how to use and activate Parental Control on Windows 7 and 8 operating systems. In the following article, Network Administrator will guide you how to use, set up Parental Control on Windows 10 operating system.

    To use Parental Control on Windows operating systems, you need to sign in to Windows with your Microsoft account and the account you want to manage to set up your child’s account on Windows.

    On Windows 10 operating system, children can also use a Microsoft account to login. This is a different point on Windows 10 than previous Windows versions.

    If your child doesn’t have a Microsoft account or an email address, Windows 10 will prompt you to create an account before you proceed with setting up your child’s account.

    1. Log in to Micrsoft Family and see your child’s activities on the computer

    1. Visit https://account.microsoft.com/family#/ and log in to your Microsoft account.

    2. Click on the child’s name.

    3. View and adjust the settings on the Activity reporting interface on the child’s account page.

    4. Block a specific website or application that the child has previously accessed by clicking Block.

    2. Set up adjusting Parental Control settings

    Here you can find and adjust one of the Parental Control settings using the Dropdow Menu in the top corner of the page.

    2.1. Set up a Web browser

    1. Switch to block inappropriate content to Off or On. By default, adult content is blocked.

    2. Add any URL to any website you want your child to access or block access.

    2.2. Apps, games and Media

    1. Allow or not allow children to download apps and games “not at the right age”. By default, inappropriate games and apps are blocked.

    2. Choose the apps, games and social networks that match your child’s age from the Dropdow Menu on the Windows Store.

    2.3. Time to use the computer

    1. Enable the time limit for children to use the computer. By default this feature is disabled.

    2. Set the amount of time you want your child to use the computer. Each day you can set the start time and end time to limit the time for your child to use the device.

    Refer to some of the following articles:

    1. Set up Parental Controls in Windows 8
    1. Protect children with Windows 7 Parental Controls
    1. Monitor child activity through the Parental Controls feature on Xbox 360

    Good luck!

    Made with Hugo. В© 2022. All rights reserved.

    Microsoft has designed Windows 8 to make parental monitoring and control of children’s computer activities simpler and more effective, the company said on Monday.

    In Windows 8, parents can receive a weekly report of their children’s online and PC activities by creating user accounts for each child and turning on the Family Safety feature.

    “No additional downloads, installation wizards, or configuration steps are required,” the company said in a blog post authored by

    Phil Sohn, Microsoft’s senior program manager lead for Family Safety.

    The weekly report, delivered via email, includes information like websites visited, search queries, Windows Store downloads, most used applications and games and PC-use time length.

    If, instead of being local Windows accounts specific to a particular PC, the parent and children accounts are based on a Windows Live ID, then the monitoring can extend to other machines the children log into.

    With Windows Live ID-based accounts, parents can also apply usage control settings for their children accounts across multiple PCs. Settings established by parents are stored in Microsoft’s cloud-based Family Safety service.

    These settings can be changed by clicking on different sections in the weekly report or by going directly to the Family Safety control panel.

    For example, parents can restrict the websites children visit and games they play, establish time limits for using PCs and specific applications, and prevent children from seeing certain Windows Store applications based on their age rating.

    Windows 8 is currently in “Consumer Preview” beta. According to Sohn, people interested in these Family Safety features should watch out for the next Windows 8 release, termed “Release Preview,” which Microsoft has said is expected at some point in June. Microsoft hasn’t said exactly when it plans to ship Windows 8 in commercial final form.

    Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

    Aiming to give parents the option of keeping an eagle eye over their kid’s computer use, Microsoft revamps its parental controls in a “monitor first” approach that includes weekly reports.

    Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.

    Microsoft aims to give parents more control over their children’s computer use on Windows 8 with a new feature announced this week.

    “With Windows 8, you can monitor what your kids are doing, no matter where they use their PC,” Microsoft’s senior program manager for Family Safety Phil Sohn wrote in a blog post. “All you have to do is create a Windows user account for each child, check the box to turn on Family Safety, and then review weekly reports that describe your children’s PC use.”

    With these controls and weekly reports, parents will be able to keep tabs on whether their kids are playing violent online video games, looking at bikini models, or actually doing their homework. They’ll also be able to make sure their children aren’t associating with online predators.

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    Most previous parental controls focused on complex filtering options or using software to block children from Web sites; however Microsoft says with Windows 8 , it’s now taking a “monitor first” approach.

    The company says this new system is much easier. How it works: parents sign into Windows 8 with a Microsoft account, create a separate user account for each child, and then check the box to turn on Family Safety.

    From there, parents can make the controls more or less restrictive and see what their kids are doing via the weekly e-mail reports.

    Microsoft says Windows 8 will have all the same restrictions as Windows 7 along with some new ones. Here’s the list of additional restrictions:

    • Web filtering: You can choose between several web filtering levels.
    • SafeSearch: When web filtering is active, SafeSearch is locked into the “Strict” setting for popular search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. This will filter out adult text, images, and videos from your search results.

    Time limits: With Windows 8, you now can restrict the number of hours per day your child can use their PC. For example, you might set a limit of one hour on school nights and two hours on weekends. This is in addition to the bedtime limits currently available in Windows 7.

    Windows Store: Activity reports list the most recent Windows Store downloads, and you can set a game-rating level, which prevents your children from seeing apps in the Windows Store above a particular age rating.

  • Application and game restrictions: As in Windows 7, you can block specific applications and games or set an appropriate game rating level.
  • Kindly share this story:

    Ife Ogunfuwa

    Today’s kids have access to the Internet at incredibly young ages. They’re comfortable with it. They’re able to interact with it. And perhaps, it speaks to them a little more clearly than it did for past generations.

    Combine that with the portability and usability of computer devices, it’s therefore easy to see why technology has become such a big part of the education system.

    According to the National Centre for Education Statistics, 97 per cent of teachers had at least one computer in the classroom in 2009.

    But while the Internet is full of learning opportunities, it also includes inappropriate sites, pornography, hackers and a range of other things many parents just don’t want their kids to see. So how can parents protect kids from the bad while still allowing them to access the positive things available online? In this article, Techopedia examines the available options to control your child’s online activities.

    Parental control software

    One of the most popular methods of monitoring and blocking access to inappropriate contents online is via parental control software. Depending on your requirements, the majority of parental control software allows parents to impose time restrictions, block access to inappropriate websites, and monitor chat conversations and social network activity. Some of the more advanced parental control software include safeguards against attempts to bypass the software. This enables parents to set up filters on a hardware-level. However, many parental control tools are ineffective against proxy sites and do not filter HTTPS content, so it’s important to ensure that you have alternative methods in place if you decide to purchase low-end parental control software.

    Parental control software provides parents with a huge amount of power and, depending on the software, gives parents control over much of what their kids access online. But, as with all things involving children, it’s not full-proof. A common problem with parental control software is that because it only filters content on computers that have the product installed, children can evade it by accessing the Internet on a mobile device. In such cases, a complete parental control suite may be used to monitor all devices in the home.

    Mobile parental control

    The demand for mobile parental control software is on the rise for one simple reason: An increasing number of kids are carrying around mobile devices. According to Sybase, 85 per cent of children owned a mobile phone in 2011! Mobile parental control apps have a similar feature set as computer-based parental control software and they enable parents to set up content filters and monitor their child’s online activities. Most parental control apps allow parents to monitor text messages, transactions, calls, pictures and to access a full list of phone logs.

    There are a number of mobile parental control apps available in the market and they vary in price based on the number of features they provide. When choosing a mobile control app, it is important to know which features you require so that you can select an app that fulfills your needs. Depending on your requirements, mobile control apps such as Mobicip Safe Browser and iHound are good options to consider. This article outlines some of the other available mobile parental software apps.

    Router time scheduling

    Parental control routers are ideal for households with multiple Internet capable devices. The average consumer now possesses devices such as smartphones, tablets and iPods, so it can be difficult to find a solution that allows parents to monitor all these devices. Fortunately, most parental control software developers have expanded their horizons so that software filters can be applied to routers.

    By using a parental control router, parents can monitor and filter online content accessed by any device connected to the router. Depending on the features of the software, parents can also set up time schedules and apply Web filters so that access to inappropriate content is denied on all devices connected to the router.

    Web browser filters

    Web browser content filtering is one of the most overlooked methods for restricting access to certain websites. There are many ways to filter content through a Web browser, but the easiest method is to use a content filtering proxy. You can do this by configuring your Web browser to a specific proxy, so that every attempt to access inappropriate content will return a blank page as the proxy will see the full URL and prevent it from making a connection. The obvious downside to this method is that the child can use a different Web browser to bypass the proxy configuration.

    Another simple way to block access to inappropriate content is to use the built-in features of your Web browser. The majority of Web browsers allow you to block access to specific content; just go into the settings panel for the browser and tick off the types of sites you would like to enable or disable. Features such as blocking pop-ups and not allowing the browser history to be deleted are also very useful ways for parents to restrict and monitor their child’s online activities.

    Usage controls

    Implementing usage controls on the operating system allows parents to restrict the number of hours their children can spend online, and can control which websites your child can visit. Depending on the operating system you are using, setting up and configuring usage controls is a very straightforward process. For instance, if you are running Windows 7, simply go into the control panel, click on Set Up Parental Control for Any User and follow the on-screen prompts.

    Usage controls are an easy way for parents to gain a high level of control over their child’s computer usage. For a built-in feature, usage controls also have a decent set of features that allow parents to impose restrictions on how and when children can use the computer. Of course, if you are after a more comprehensive solution, you will need to spend money on third-party software that provides more features.

    For many parents, the most distressing time is often the time when their kids are using the computer. They have no idea what their kids are doing online and whether they are picking up bad habits from the Web. Thankfully, Windows has a built-in parental control tool that allows the parents to control what their children can and cannot access.

    Setup A Child Account

    Assuming you are holding the Administrator account for your Windows computer, you can setup a restricted a user account for your kids and limit their access to only certain parts of the operating system.

    To create an account for your children, click on the Windows Start button and type in “Add User”. From the list, select “Add Or Remove User Accounts”.

    When the window opens, click “Add New User” and enter the child’s name. Keep the default of Standard User and finish by clicking “Create Account”. The accounts can be customized for each child or made to cover a broader spectrum for all of the children. If you want one account for each child, repeat the setup step for each child.

    Setting up Parental Controls

    When in the accounts page, you’ll see the “Set Up Parental Controls tab” below the user names. Click that to open the Windows Live Family Safety options. You’ll need to sign in to your Windows Live account to set permissions or create an account before moving on. Click on the username that you want to monitor and you’ll see that the account by default blocks adult sites and turns activity reporting on. To change settings for the user or to make user specific settings, click on the Familysafety.live.com link, then click on Edit Settings under the user.

    Setting Limits

    Maybe you don’t want to block certain sites altogether but you want to limit the time your children spend on them. That’s easy to do in the settings for each category and it’s linked across Bing, Google, Yahoo, as well as other popular search engines to ensure the settings remain standard across all platforms.

    Web Filtering

    If blocking adult sites is too generic and you want to be more specific about the sites your child visits, setting up web filtering may be more helpful. There are several options to choose from like blocking file downloads, allowing your child to visit only sites that you put on an allowed site list, allowing sites that are only designated for children, and allowing or blocking social networking, web chats, and web mail. I will be using that next time I ground my teens to make sure there’s no way of them sneaking online to social media sites when I’m not home!

    Blocking Sites

    If you want to block or allow only certain sites, in the Web Filtering tab, click on Web Filtering Lists. Here you can enter the URL of any site. Choose to block or allow it, and choose what user it’s set for. You can also use the lists you create for other users or import a list from another user to help save time.

    Activity Reporting

    The reporting needs to be active for a short time before it will start to display usage report, so get it setup before you plan to start monitoring the user. Some may find this setting to be invasive but as a parent, you can never be too careful about where your children are going online or how much time they spend there. Within the Activity tab, there are several sub-sections where you can break down how the data is displayed.

    Web Activity

    The Web Activity tab will display the web addresses of sites the user had visited along with any actions taken on the site, when they last visited the site, and how may visits within a certain date range. This is a handy tool to have so you can see if your child is having trouble getting homework done due to distractions. It’s also handy if your child is doing a research project and forgets the site they were on. You can use this list to track that site down to be bookmarked for future reference.

    PC Activity

    To see a list of PC activities for a specific user, click on that tab and you’ll see a summary of how long the user was online during a specific date range, how many apps they used, any file downloads, and any games played.

    Time Limits

    Some of the settings are geared toward younger children but it’s the teenagers who push the limits and find ways around your rules or punishments. Let the time limits section of the controls help you to enforce those rules. The setting is turned off by default, so navigate to the tab and set a curfew for using the computer to allow only the times you want them to have access. Be sure to set secure passwords to your other user accounts so they won’t be able to go around the curfew by using your account.

    Game Restrictions

    In the Game Restrictions tab, you can use a rating system to determine the type of games that are okay for the user. Everything from Early Childhood to Adults Only games are represented here. Highlight the ones you want to enforce for the user and then save your settings.

    If you prefer a different rating system, click on the tab to “Choose A Different Game Rating System”. A lengthy list of rating systems will be available to choose from. Below is just a sample of the options.

    As with the Web Activity section, you can choose to block or allow specific games instead of relying on a rating system to be the judge for you.

    If you desire, you can block or allow any apps running on your computer from a user. I didn’t see the use for blocking apps from other users until I realized the hidden benefit – the ability to block all web browsers. If I have restricted permissions for my child to use the computer but they try to when I’m not around, I could look at the activity log and see that they were online but they have already had their fun. By blocking the web browsers, they can’t get online at all, reinforcing my rule to not be online.

    Multiple PC’s

    If your household has multiple PC’s you should set up the Family Safety on all of them. You don’t have to enter all of the information again for each computer. All you have to do is associate all of the PC’s a child uses and the Family Safety software will generate a single report showing all of the activity and which PC it came from.

    In the Family Safety link, click on Family Summary. At the bottom of that page, you’ll see Your Devices. All devices you want to associate to your account need to have the Family Safety software downloaded to them but there’s a link within that section that allows you to do so. Then you can add and remove PC’s from the list as needed.

    Conclusion

    Digging into the settings of your computer isn’t as scary as you think. With just a few minutes of setup and configuring each user’s permissions, you’re ready for an indefinite benefit. Monitoring your children’s computer use isn’t always practical and can be daunting. Using and setting the parental controls will give you peace of mind that anything your kids are doing online is already approved and the time they spend is only as much as you have allowed.

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    Digital spying is a criminal offense. Monitoring another person’s computer without their permission is a federal crime. There are few specific conditions where you are allowed to monitor someone else’s computer. An employer is allowed to monitor certain things on employees computer. A parent can track child’s activities as they are legally responsible for the child. Today we have listed 3 ways to legally monitor activities.

    1. Parental Control Tools
    Both Windows and OS X have built in feature that let parents keep tab on child’s activity. You can easily activate it to ensure child’s safety using these tools. Both platforms offer optimum required features. You can easily block or monitor website and app usage, limit the computer usage, filter apps and games by age restrictions and even block certain hardware access like cameras. Both platforms require you to setup a child’s account. This is the easiest way to monitor your children’s online activities.[related-posts]

    2. ActivTrak
    ActivTrak is an easy to configure tool to track your employees activities. The software lets your monitor several employees at once. It also provides detailed report on user’s activities. Admin can login into a web based dashboard to view activity usage stats. You can setup custom categories based on productive and unproductive usage. The tool records statistics on when and how often applications are used. You can also setup the tool to track screenshots of user activities. ActivTrak sends alert messages when a user begins specific blacklisted activity.

    3. Spector
    Spector is an advance tool for long-term investigation. The tool is recommended to be used if you have a serious suspicion that an employee math might be doing something illegal. The tool takes screenshots every 30 seconds, it triggers screenshots if some specified keywords are used. It tracks website usage and and records chat logs. The tool sends detailed analytical report of all activities of the specific terminal. Employer can also enable to record keystroke activity, the software also records password inputs. All the apps by Spectorsoft are paid softwares.

    Millions of children have access to screens. Children of all ages use tablets, phones, computers, and other devices. And while screen time can be good—during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic technology helped us socialize; it also served as an huge educational resource—you may still want to monitor your child’s activity. There are inherent dangers, after all, and risks. These free (and premium) apps will monitor your kid’s phone and/or computer activity, bringing you awareness and peace of mind.

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    Screen Time

    Screen Time is great for customization—you can reward your child with more screen time after they finish their homework or chores! Parents can also preset blocked periods like bedtime, homework time, or school hours. For moments when you’re feeling extra generous, you can activate “Free Play” to temporarily override settings without messing up your screen monitoring routine. All downloads are approved or rejected by you, and you can keep an eye on your children’s web history, too. Bonus: One Screen Time account works for the whole family—you can give access to relatives or caregivers—and your kids won’t be able to uninstall the app without a secure password. Genius!

    unGlue

    Aiming to instill better habits in kids, unGlue is all about empowering kids to learn screen time etiquette. You can set boundaries on entertainment by bundling all major apps, sites, and games into one category and setting a time limit so your kids can access the internet while not getting distracted by anything deemed as “fun.” Kids can also learn to balance phone time by tracking their own screen time—they’ll be rewarded more internet time if they accumulate roll-over minutes, complete extra chores, or put in a required number of daily steps tracked through the app as well.

    It has been rightly said that internet is a bane and boon at the same time. For some, it is a boon as it allows connecting with people remotely. While for some, especially for kids, it can act as bane as they love to spend a whole lot of their time on their phones. Getting glued to the phone in such a way can become the reason for their ruined schedule. Moreover, as a parent you never know what they are accessing and when they will accidentally get in the trap of unfamiliar and illegal content. This strongly calls for an efficient internet monitoring app. Being a parent, it becomes your responsibility to supervise what your child is up to. And if you have no clue how, we will be introducing the best software to monitor internet activity. Read the following article patiently and get to know what you didn’t.

    Part 1: The Present Situation of Children’s Internet Access

    Modern kids are way too smart and know how to get the things they want. Nowadays, there are many kids or teenagers who are prone to use dark web whether under friend’s influence or probably by their own choice. Being more precise, it has been estimated that human ageing from 8 to 28 are believed to be spend nearly 44 hours in a week on their phones and other digital screens.

    Also, getting envious by the classmates or friends, children often start using phones for the purpose of just showing off. No one knows when this can lead to any inappropriate content leaving negative effects on them. These negatives effects may include anxiety, depression or attention problems.

    In addition, games and cartoon videos also attracts toddlers and they become irresistible towards these stuff. As a consequence, they get irritated without phone and always look for a moment to snatch it in the absence of parents.

    Part 2: The Best Internet Monitoring App for Parents – FamiGuard

    When it comes to reliable parental internet monitoring software, FamiGuard tops the list. It is feature-rich tool that comes in handy for the parents when they wish to observe their kids’ internet activities. FamiGuard is concerned about children getting addicted to the phones and therefore makes it easy for the parents to keep their eyes on their kids.

    Key Features of FamiGuard

    It is one of the trustworthy apps available that promises full security.

    You can monitor children’s web browsing history.

    Get all the history of app usage online.

    You can even track all th location history and geofence history of your child.

    You can even block the app usage so that your children won’t be able to use particular apps while studying or sleeping.

    With the help of this amazing parental internet monitoring software, you can filter out web content. This will prevent your child from any harmful site on the internet like violence or pornography.

    It also helps you controlling and tracking screen time. By setting the screen time limit, your kids will not be able to use the device on specific times.

    Quick Guide to Use this Software to Monitor Internet Activity

    Step 1: Firstly, you need to register a membership account to use this software. Then download the app on both your phone and target device’s phone. The web control panel is also supported.

    Step 2: Next, get the target device configured by allow the permissions. Then you can set rules for your child’s online activity.

    Step 3: Lastly, connect the phone and begin to monitor what your kids are doing digitally.

    Part 3: Other 5 Internet Monitoring Apps

    We have learned from the above app what is a good internet monitoring software, it must have the ability to monitor all online activities of children. With FamiGuard, I think parenting remotely is not a difficult thing anymore. Next, I will introduce five other apps about internet monitoring.

    1. Kaspersky Safe Kids

    It is also a software for internet monitoring, it is mainly used to monitor the activity of facebook on children’s mobile phones, as well as the real-time location function. However, if it is to be a perfect parental monitoring tool, it still lacks many functions, such as monitoring which websites the child has visited, the use of each app, whether the child has entered or left some inappropriate places, etc.

    2. Net Nanny

    The app is also an tool that monitors activity and filters websites. Net Nanny’s parental control app is compatible with Windows, Mac and Android devices. Features include blocking websites, monitoring online activity and limiting screen time.

    3. Mobicip Parental Control

    This app is also a good choice for parental monitoring. Its functions are quite complete. Internet filtering, screen time limit, etc. But not good enough in geofencing. Monitoring internet activity is very enssential for parental control.

    4. Family Time

    With this parental control app, you can easily monitor your child’s activities on the phone.This application is compatible with both Android and iOS versions.The parental control app has the following functions in filtering unhealthy internet contens, such as pornagraphy.

    5. Qustodio

    Parents want to monitor their children’s mobile Internet activities for the purpose of caring, always want to choose a good parental control software. Qustodio is a correct choice. It provides multiple functions, such as real-time location tracking, screen time limits and app control. However, there are still some deficiencies in the geo-fencing.

    Part 4: The Necessity to Monitor Internet Activity for Children

    Considering the above scenarios, monitoring children’s phone activity is a thing that seriously needs to be talked about. You would never want to see your children accessing pornography or the content that gives such kind of information especially when their age isn’t allowing, would you?

    Also, when monitoring children’s internet use with an efficient software allows you to track location and setting screen time, you couldn’t ask for more. You get the full authority to limit the app usage or filter out the web content. This way, the purpose can be completely served as you can manage the inappropriate sites and you kids won’t be able to browse it.

    Conclusion

    By now, we hope that you are well-versed with how to monitor children’s internet activity and why this topic carries weight. However, we believe that children, when treated like friends hardly get into wrong hands and they feel comfortable in sharing their activities and details about their routine etc. Try to be friends with your kids in the first place and then think about the internet monitoring software if the need be. This monitoring software just aims to fulfill the need when parents find something fishy with their kids’ behavior and don’t have time to spend with them. Hence, use it wisely without affecting kids’ sentiments.

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    Posted on May 05, 2019 ( Updated: Oct 15, 2019 )

    An expert who has more than 8 years experience in writing blogs for technical websites. She is dedicated to provide tips and tricks on how to parental control.