November 10, 2009

Windows Live - Parental Controls

Using Parental Controls from Windows Live

The Windows Live Family Safety add-on adds Web filtering and activity reporting to your toolbox of parental controls. To add these controls to your computer, first make sure you have a Windows Live account. If you don’t, you can create one the first time you visit the Web site. Open Internet Explorer, browse to, and log in with your Windows Live ID (or create one). Then, click More and then click Family Safety Choose your language from the drop-down list and then click the Download button. Follow the displayed download instructions to start and complete the download process.

The Family Safety add-on gives you the following added capabilities:

- Activity reports: View reports of the Web activity and other Internet activity for the selected child.
- Content filtering: Specify the types of Web sites the child can access.
- Contact management: Specify the people the child can communicate with online through Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail, and Spaces on Windows Live. You can also allow the child to manage his or her own contact list.

To access the new Family Safety settings, click Start > All Programs > Windows Live > Windows Live Family Safety to open the Windows Live Family Safety Filter dialog box. Then, click the Go to the Family Safety link to navigate to the Windows Live Family Safety Web site. Through the Family Safety Web site, you can add child and parent accounts, as well as configure settings for each child’s account. To con?gure settings for a child, ?rst add the child’s account. Click the Add Child link, and if you have already created the child’s Windows Live account, click Sign in with This Child’s ID. If not, click Create Child ID.

After the account is created, you see it listed when you browse to the Family Safety Web site. You can
click the link under the Web Filtering, Activity Reporting, or Contact Management columns to set the corresponding setting.

Each Windows account by default uses the Windows Live ID that was used to install the Family Safety add-on. Before you allow a child to browse the Web, you need to log in to the computer with his/her account and log in to Family Safety with his/her Windows Live ID. Here’s how:

1. Log in to the computer using the child’s Windows account.

Click Start > All Programs > Windows Live > Windows Live Family Safety.

3. Click Sign Out to switch family members.

4. In the Sign In to Family Safety dialog box, enter the child’s Windows Live credentials. If you don’t want the child to have to enter the credentials each time, select the Remember My Password and Sign Me In Automatically options. Then click Sign In.

Defining Web restrictions
The World Wide Web contains millions of Web sites and billions of Web pages. No one person or company has control over what goes on the Web. It’s very much a public place where anyone can post any content they wish. Obviously, not all that content is suitable for children. (Much of it isn’t particularly appropriate for adults, either.)

To define Web restrictions, navigate to the Family Safety Web site as described previously, and click Add a Child. If the child’s account already exists and is listed, just click the child’s account. In the resulting Web Filtering page, you can choose between the following three options:

- Strict: Block all Web sites except child-friendly sites and sites you’ve explicitly allowed.
- Basic: Block only adult content.
- Custom: Choose from multiple types of sites those you will allow the child to access.

In addition to choosing between these three primary options, you can explicitly add sites to the list of allowed or blocked sites. To add a site, click in the text box under Allow or Block a Website, type the site’s URL, and choose the desired action from the drop-down list, such as Allow for This Account Only. Then, click Add. When you’re satisfied with the settings, click Save.

GetWeb sites working
If you’ve set restrictions on Web sites, you might need to do a little tweaking to get the sites working. Log out of your administrative account (click the Start button, click the arrow next to the lock, and then click Log Off). Then log in to the child’s account. Browse to an allowed Web site. If some content from the site is blocked, you’ll see a warning in the information bar (Infobar). You can click the Infobar to review portions of the site that are blocked. Typically, allowing the child to see the blocked content is perfectly safe because it’s still age-appropriate. But you’ll need to choose Always Allow when prompted to make sure the child can visit the site when you’re away.

You can also use one of the child’s allowed sites as the default home page that appears when the child first opens the Web browser. In Internet Explorer, browse to whatever Web page you want to make the default. Then click the Home button in the toolbar (or press Alt+M) and click Add or Change Home Page. Choose Use this Webpage as Your Only Home Page and click Yes. You might also want to add all the allowed sites to the child’s Favorites. For more information on Internet Explorer, Favorites, and default home pages. When you want to get back to performing parental (administrative) tasks, log out of the child’s account. Then log back into your administrative account. Next, you want to specify exactly what the child can and can’t do with the computer. Your options are described in the sections that follow.

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