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Previously, we showed you how to restrict logon hours, programs, and games with Windows Vista or Windows 7 Parental Controls. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do the following with Windows Live Family Safety:

  • Download Windows Life Family Safety.
  • Set up a Windows account for your child.
  • Set up Windows Life Family Safety.
  • Customize Windows Live Family Safety settings:
    • Restrict specific websites with web filtering.
    • Monitor online usage with activity reporting.
    • Manage contact lists to restrict/allow communication with contact management.
    • Approve/deny requests from users.
    • Set time limits for computer access.
    • Set Game restrictions by game/content.
    • Set program restrictions.

Download Windows Live Family Safety

Download Windows Live Family Safety (or install the latest beta version – I’m using the current beta as of July 27th 2010) and install it on your PC. Be sure to uncheck the other Windows Live programs if you do not want to install them:

Set up a Windows Account for Your Child

If the child you are wanting to protect does not have their own account, learn to set on up here: Create a new user account.

Also be sure to add passwords to all accounts so the child cannot use another account to gain access:

Set Up Windows Live Family Safety

Once you’ve installed Windows Live Family Safety, you are ready to configure it to your needs.

First, log in to your Windows Live account (the account of the administrator, not the child.)

Now select the account(s) for which you’d like to set access restriction rules:

Windows Live Family Safety will now build a profile for this/these account(s):

You will receive confirmation that the account is set up correctly and ready to monitor and manage:

Customize Family Safety Settings

To customize family safety settings, go to familysafety.live.com or click the link within Windows Life Family Safety:

Next to the account for which you’d like to edit the settings, click Edit settings:

Restrict Specific Websites with Web Filtering

On the account settings page, click Web Filtering.

Here you can set the level of filtering. For this example, I set the level the Child-friendly:

Now, when you are logged on to the restricted account, you’ll see the following message when you browse a non-approved site:

a) Your child can either email a request to you (see Approve/Deny Requests from Users below):

b) Or your child can have you authenticate in person:

Now when the child clicks Try Again, they will be able to see the site:

While your child waits for approval, they can browse child-friendly websites:

Monitor Online Usage with Activity Reporting

On the account settings page, click Activity Reporting.

From here, you can see what your child has looked at online:

This is a great way to keep an eye on their activity and ensure they’re not on sites that are inappropriate.

Manage Contact Lists to Restrict/Allow Communication with Contact Management

On the account settings page, click Contact management.

If your child has a Windows Live account, you can manage who they contact (i.e. restrict contact to just their friends and family.)

You’ll need to log in to your child’s Live account and, from there, you can select who they can contact:

By removing the option to “Allow child to manage their own contact list“, you will be the only person who can add and remove contacts from their contact lists on Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Hotmail etc.

Approve/Deny Requests from Users

On the account settings page, click Requests.

Once your child has begun to browse the web or tried to launch applications/games, you’ll start to see requests in your queue. Requests come to your queue when your child opts to “Email your request“.

Approvals are easy and can be applied across all accounts at once. Just choose your response and click Save.

Set Time Limits, Game Restrictions, and Program Restrictions

Please note: as of the time of publishing this post, this is a feature of Windows Live Family Safety Beta.

From the account settings page, you can set Time limits, Game restrictions, and Program restrictions. To understand these settings in more detail, please go here: Windows 7 Parental Controls | Windows Vista Parental Controls.

Now you’re all set up and can rest assured that your family is protected when using their computer.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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4 thoughts on “Windows Live Family Safety Protects Your Children on Your PC”

  1. josinchu says:

    thank a lots

  2. Alexandra Lawrenz says:

    Thanks for sharing this information, Rich. Windows Live Family Safety seems like a great way to keep track of what your kids are coming across online. The activity reporting looks very helpful for monitoring what websites kids visit and how much time they are spending online. Do you have to install this individually on each PC in your home?

    1. Rich says:

      Yes, you will need to install this on each PC but all PCs can be managed centrally.

Comments are closed.

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