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Windows Live Family Safety

Our kids are connected to a lot of digital content via the home PC. Windows Live Family Safety is a free utility from Microsoft that allows parents to control the things kids can do on a Windows 7 PC. It also lets you control when they can use the PC and gives you activity reports to see what they have been doing.

To install Windows Live Family Safety, browse to http://explore.live.com. Once the site loads, click on "Other Programs" on the "Essentials" menu at the top. Now click the "Download Now" link on the right. When the installer opens, be sure to click on "Choose the programs you want to install" and choos "Family Safety".

Once installed, you can click on the Start Menu and type "Family" to find the program in the menu. When you run it, you will need a Windows Live ID. If you do not already have one, you can click on Sign Up to create one. The next step is to select the users you want monitored. There is also the opportunity to add new users and to set passwords. Once you have this setup, you can go online to configure the parental controls.

Go to http://familysafety.live.com and login with your Live ID. Here you select the user you want to configure and then you can configure Web Filtering, Allowed Contacts, Time Limits, Game Restrictions and App Restrictions. You can also see a log of web and PC activity for the selected user. The time limits allow you to disable PC use when kids should be sleeping or doing other things. You can also control access to applications and games.

Posted by Charles Swihart on 3/1/2012

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