Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls

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It should not come as a surprise when I say kids just love the Internet. With an island of information available online, your child can access a variety of information which may include unwanted categories like pornography, gambling, racism, hate, violence, and more dangerous content.

As a parent, it is understandable to have concerns for your child, and this ultimate guide to parental controls on Windows 10 will help you safeguard your children online.

So, let's start with why you need to read this guide.

Why Should you have understanding of Parental Controls?

Here are some of the shocking facts you must know:

  • Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing crime in the US and children are the most targeted victims- Your child may be one of them.
  • 95 percent of schools in the US have an Internet connection.
  • Children between age group 10-17 are the most frequent Internet users.
  • Among them, one in every five children sexually solicits on the internet.
  • One in every four children has encountered unwanted pornography.
  • An estimate of 60% children online has received messages from strangers and Internet predators. Shockingly, half of them have reverted leading to scary repercussions.

Now, you must know one of the most dangerous trap your child can fall into is the one that is controlled by a cyber molester. These people are faceless offenders who have a natural medium to reach their prey in the guise of a "peer" or a "new friend." Unless monitored, your children can open a can of worms online without even knowing.

So, what can you do and where should you start?

First things first, you should try to analyze the warning signs.

Warning Signs that tells your Child may be at Risk Online?

What are some of the warning signs that your child is at risk online? It may be easier said than done but there are a few standard red flags you can look out for which includes:

  • Excessive use of the Internet especially during night time
  • Behavioral changes in your child
  • Downloaded images of strangers or inappropriate content
  • Using different online accounts and being secretive about their online activities
  • Deleting browser history before leaving the computer
  • Hiding the screen monitor or turning it off whenever someone enters the room.
  • Receiving gifts or letters from strangers or new friends you are unaware

Keep a watch for any of these signs your child may be showing and prevent them from being a victim of Cybercrime.

Now, that you're aware of the dangers of the Internet, I am sure you must be eager to learn more about the parental controls on Windows 10.

So, let's start now.

Microsoft introduced the concept of Parental controls with Windows Vista. However, because today our focus is on Windows 10, we will be discussing everything from setting up to managing parental controls on your Windows 10.

Let's begin with the setup part first.

Before I start with the Windows Parental control feature called Windows Live Family Safety, there are a few prerequisites you must follow.

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Prerequisites for setting up Parental Control

  1. You should have a Microsoft outlook account setup for the parental control activation.
  2. Your child (or children) should have an outlook account and use it to log in to Windows system.

Once you complete all the prerequisites, let's begin with the central part now.

How to Add your Child as a Family Member

  1. Sign in with your Microsoft account at account.microsoft.com/family.
  2. Now select the option: Select a child to view or edit their settings and select Add.
  3. Enter the email address of your Child and send them an invite.

Once your child has selected the invite, he is a part of your virtual family at Windows Family Live Safety, and now you can use Windows Parental Control tools to restrict inappropriate content and monitor their activities.

Let's see how

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How to Activate Parental Controls

Now that you have added your child as a family member, you can control their online activity utilizing an online interface from your account.

All the restrictions will be automatically applied to their Windows devices and Xbox Live account if they have one associated with their Microsoft ID.

Let's see all that you can do to protect your child.

1. Monitor their Recent Activity

From Recent Activity option, you can track all the sites or content your child visits and explore their online behavior. This opportunity will give you an in-depth insight of your child's activities and proper measures that you should take to control their irrational choices.

2. Block Inappropriate Websites

Under Web browsing option, you can enable Block inappropriate websites. This feature will filter out unwanted content on your child's account and allow safe search on Internet browsers for additional security from online threats to your family.

You can also enable "always allow" or "always block" option for specific browsers to whitelist or blacklist them respectively.

3. Filter Inappropriate Apps, Games and Media

Furthermore, you can block apps and games meant for adults on your child's account. You can also select distinct age ratings for games and media for individual children in your home.

Any settings you make will apply to their Xbox account as well. These changes will reflect in a way that they won't be able to play games that may contain adult content or prevent them from downloading or streaming content on Windows store.

4. Control what your Children Purchase or Download

A parent can add money to their child's Microsoft Wallet to enable them to make purchases but put a limit on what they can purchase and how much they can spend on their account.

It will also help you review your child's purchases at a single place whenever and wherever you wish to.

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5. Set Time Limits on Internet Usage

With Windows Parental Controls, you can efficiently control the computer and Internet usage of your child even if you're not at home. Merely select Screen Time and set their screen time according to requirement. For instance, you can setup different times of the days on different days and set a total time limit for your children.

Once the time limit is up, a parent sign in would be required to continue further.

These are all the settings that Windows Live Family Safety offers for all parents who want to take charge and keep their children safe from the demerits of the Internet. However, if you're looking for more features or parental control tools, I'd like to suggest a few third-party parental control software for your needs.

List of Parental Control Software

1. Qustodio

Qustodio is a third-party parental control software that offers comprehensive tools to secure and safeguard your children online. Its smart filter blocks all inappropriate content even during private browsing mode and monitors social media activity of your children.

It also offers features like setting up screen time, monitoring SMS and phone logs, and tracking your child's location. In case of an emergency, the child can use a panic button to inform the parents of their situation as well.

2. K9 Web Protection

K9 Web Protection is another full suite of parental control tools that can help supervise your kids on the Internet and provide them a safe online atmosphere. It is one of the best parental control software for Windows 10 offering real-time protection and blocking inappropriate websites across 70 unwanted categories like gambling, pornography, drugs, hate, violence, racism, malware and more.

The real-time protection displays all the registered sex offenders living near your neighborhood and blocks potentially dangerous web content including pop-up ads, web banners, etc. You can also create custom lists always to allow or block specific URLs. Further, you can get comfortable reports to monitor your child's web activities and history for detecting any signs of Cybercrime.

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The Internet can be a distressing place if your child becomes a victim or gets exposed to the unwanted and malicious content. While parental controls can help you provide a specific shield against multiple online threats, there is no substitute for educating your child well enough so that they make wise choices even in your absence.

Sit your children down and talk to them openly about the potential threats and your concerns for them. Set up some ground rules which are reasonable and reinforce them to secure your children and family from the dangerous and dark areas of the web.

Stay Informed and Keep Your Children Safe.

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