Friday, 2 March 2018

Set up a child account in Windows 10 to restrict and monitor what your kid sees and does

In our house, the kids only have access to a computer that is set up in the family room. My wife and I chose this purposely, so that we always have an eye on what they are doing. Our children do not have TVs or tablets in their rooms either, as a way to limit unnecessary screen time.

As any parent knows though, things happen and for the moments we can't be right there beside them, it is best to have some tools in place to keep children safe.

In this post we are going to walk through the steps of setting up an child account in Windows. This type of account allows you to set restrictions on web sites, apps, and purchases and will even email you a weekly summary of your child's activity.

Parent Tool : Windows 10 Child Account

To get started, from Windows, hit Start, type Settings and then hit Enter.

Click on Accounts.

Click on Family & other people from the left side menu and then click on Add a family Member.

Click on Add a child.

Enter the child's email address. If the child does not have an address, like mine, click on 'The person I want to add doesn't have an email address' and then create a new account for them. None of my kids have an email address so I just created one for the family and use that. 

Once done, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you used. Either have the child sign into their email account, or if you created a family account like I did, log into it yourself and accept the invitation. Once accepted the child will now be able to log into the PC using that email address.  

Now that we have the account set up we can set some restrictions to help protect the child while exploring the web. 

Log into your account on the following site You should see your child's account here. Click on Activity under their email address. 

You can use this section to see a summary of your child's activity while on the computer. It includes any apps they use, sites they visit, how long they were on, etc. Right now though, we are going to turn on a weekly report of your child's activity that will be emailed to you. 

At the top of the Activity page, there are two toggles, one for Activity reporting and one for Email weekly reports to me. Turn these both on if they are not already.

Now that the activity reports are set we can click on Content restrictions to limit app purchases and web. Under the Ask a parent section turn on Needs adult approval to buy things and Email me when my child gets stuff.

In the section Apps, games & media you can set age limit that blocks the content available to them. Turn on Block inappropriate apps, games & media and then under Allow apps and games rated for set the age limit that is appropriate for your child. 

Now time for the important one. Scroll down to Web browsing.  This is where we can restrict the sites available to a child when browsing online. One thing to note here is that these settings only apply to Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge and not Chrome or Firefox. In our house, the kids account only has access to Internet Explorer for this reason. 

The main thing we need to do here is turn on Block inappropriate websites. This automatically turns on SafeSearch and blocks all adult content. I consider this a must. Below that, there are sections that allow you to Allow or Block specific sites. I will leave these up to your discretion. I do not have anything specific set up in these. 

Voila! That's basically it.

While these settings will help protect your child, it is still best to keep an eye on them while they are online. 

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