Keep Kids Online Safely (Part 2)

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Many people decide that they want to limit kid’s watching time, including TV, console game and Internet. In the computer, you can install programs, which are often called parental control programs, which can define the time for Internet access. You are often able to choose periods which allow Internet access; for the rest, it is unavailable.

To make parental controls effective, you will need separate account for each kid. Having a personal account means that you can apply specific rules to kids according to age.

Open Control Panel from Windows Start menu, click on User Accounts and choose “Manage another account”. Choose “Create a new account” then option for Standard user instead of Administrator. This will prevent them from install new programs and make changes to the computer. Make sure that each account is protected by password.

Windows 7 has parental controls installed by default, which is useful to some extent, but they can’t control Internet access in particular period of day. What you can do is to limit your kid’s using time, which games they can play (sorted in age or name) and what programs they can execute.

Description: Windows 7 has parental controls installed by default.

Windows 7 has parental controls installed by default.

In Windows 8, parental controls are improved plus renamed as Family Safety. When creating a standard user account in Windows 8, you are given an option to activate or inactivate this feature.

Family Safety offers greater improvements of parental controls than Windows 7. You can control the time amount within which your kid can use the PC or when they can start using, and you even can choose different time for each day of week. Family Safety also gives you remote monitoring for your kid’s actions, and changes in settings via Family Safety website.

Windows 7 user can download Family Safety for free as it is a part of Windows Live ( It allows you to lock or let specific website through, control people that your kid may contact via Windows Live and view activity report.

Some web browsers, media player and other programs also have content/age restriction.

Internet Explorer (IE) 9.0 uses the installed parental controls of Windows 7 and Vista, with content filter. Click on the gear icon on top right, and then choose Internet Option. Select Content tab, and click on Enable in Content Advisor section. For each type of content in the list, you can assign the strength of restriction, and set password for turning on/off the filter.

Sadly, Google Chrome doesn’t have parental controls. However, if Google is the default search engine, you can activate SafeSearch when logging into Google account. Go to and click on the gear icon on top right corner of the screen. Choose Search settings to look for and adjust features, then click on Lock SafeSearch link.

Mozilla Firefox doesn’t have parental controls, either, but you can install an add-on from: It works similarly to IE’s content filter.

YouTube has a safe mode, though it is carefully hidden. To enable it, scroll down to the page’s bottom and find Safety message: Off. Click on the right arrow, choose On then press Save.

iTunes: you can restrict downloadable contents from iTunes in age category. To access parental settings in iTunes 10.x, go to Edit, Preferences, then click on Parental tab. Here, you can disable access to podcast, radio and iTunes Store or restrict films, TV shows and music.

Remember that there’s no perfect filter, and it’s not sure that bad content is always blocked. This is the reason why you should keep the computer in public area and keep an eye on what your kids may be doing.

Parental controls

Because not all of kinds of software have filter installed by default, it’s a good idea to install a parental-control program working as a digital baby-sitter and keeping track on any apps in PC.

When choose a parental-control program, there’re some features you need to find:

Description: It’s a good idea to install a parental-control program working as a digital baby-sitter and keeping track on any apps in PC.

It’s a good idea to install a parental-control program working as a digital baby-sitter and keeping track on any apps in PC.

Setting specialized for age level

What is suitable depends on how old your kid is. A 15-year-old one is allowed to enter more website than a 10-year-old one, for instance. Good software offers settings that are suitable for age.

Key word filters

Many content restrictors are based on key words, and smart enough not to block website featuring another forbidden word in its URL. For example, a search for “Middlesex” can be considered inappropriate by some filters.

Black list and white list

Some website filter packs are based on articles such as drugs, porn and weapons. They can also have black lists (blocked websites) and white lists (allowed website). However, for a lot of websites that appear every day, it’s best to install a pack that can intelligently deal with search results and decide whether a website has bad contents.


You can not only assign the time for your kid to use the computer (ideally, you can choose different time for each day) but also set the limit for time usage on each PC. The software must be able to block the browser or other apps in particular moment. This will prevent the kid from being distracted by games while there‘re lots of homework to do.

IM supervision

If you allow kids to use IM services, the parental-control program must be able to monitor their talks and prevent them from sending personal details, even for accepted friends. Most of IM talks are not encrypted, thus any one can be eavesdropped.

Blocking apps

Not all of parental-control packs support this feature, but it’s worth buying a pack allowing you to stop specific apps being used at some certain moment.

Remote management and notifications

The best software lets you make changes to PC running parental-control programs from other PCs. It should send you a detailed report for you to easily see what your kids are doing, how long they have been using the computer…

It’s a good idea to explain how the software work to your kids and you are keeping an eye on their moves rather than to act in the dark and punish them when they do something wrong.

It must be born in mind that parental-control program doesn’t always function correctly, and it’s not the reason for you to not supervise your kids when using computer. Regardless all things, your responsibility is to make sure that they are safe. Older children will always be finding ways to avoid such secure methods, including using USB drive as a proxy to let them browse any website they like (it’d be better disable USB connector and DVD drive in BIOS because of this reason).

Microsoft’s Family Safety is a good free choice, but if you are ready to pay, use Family Safety of AVG or Net Nanny.


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