We are now just one month away from the launch of Windows 10 on July 29, and Microsoft is getting ready in a number of ways. One of them are some changes to its Family Safety features, which are designed to help parents monitor their children's activities on their home PCs as well as online.
Parents who want to manage their kid's settings will now find they are available on the http://account.microsoft.com/family website. That's because the company has made the site its one-stop shop for everything related to a customer's Microsoft Account, including how their set up their family settings. For the launch of Windows 10 itself, Microsoft says:
"On Windows 10, you'll need a Microsoft account in order to use Microsoft family whether you're a part of a family as an adult or a child. When kids are added to a Microsoft family with a Microsoft account, any time they sign in to a Windows 10 device, their settings will be applied and their activity will be reported to the adults in their family.
One thing that's been changed immediately is that account users will have to manage their family settings on each PC. Microsoft admits, "We know this may be painful for some of you, but we're doing this to make way for a simpler, better experience: roaming your child's settings with their Microsoft account." The advantage is that parents will be able to get recent activity information from each PC linked to their account. Microsoft says:
"On the redesigned recent activity page, you can see how your kids are spending their time on each PC, from the apps and games they're using to the websites they're visiting. And while you're looking at their recent activity, you can decide whether or not something is right for them, and block or allow it right there."
Microsoft has also redesigned some of the settings to make them easier to use:
- For web filtering, we reduced the options down to a few crucial ways to keep your kids safe when they're online. We now automatically block adult content in their web browsers, and if your kids are very young, you can allow them to access only specific web sites that you want them to see.
- For apps & games, we've simplified how restrictions are set. You can choose an age setting for them, and based on that, they'll be able to only download apps and games that have been rated appropriate for their age.
- For screen timers, we've taken the complex graphs and settings and simplified them down, while giving you the flexibility to easily control when your kids can use the PC.