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Due to the digitalisation of education system in the modern era, kids have been exposed to computer and online systems. All the study materials, assignments, practice materials and books are available via online modes. These are easily downloaded by the children from the website itself. Since the online world is not limited to the educational materials, there are chances that the children may get exposed to offensive content mistakenly. This can cause bad effects on the minds of the children. This is why parents are always concerned about the usage of web by the kids.

It is for this reason that Microsoft considered developing a technique that would help the parents to monitor their kid’s activities so that they could prevent any unwanted content to be exposed to the kids. This concern has led to the development of advanced safety settings in Microsoft Windows 8 that help in easy parental monitoring.

Before development of these advanced settings, Microsoft conducted a research survey in five countries of the world (India, China, Brazil, France and the US). In this survey, opinions were taken from more than 1000 parents of children of the ages between five years to fifteen years of age. The questions in the survey were focused on what is more important while considering the safety of the children during their online activities surfing. It was found in the survey that 87 percent of the parents are concerned about the offensive content and online predators in the online system. Out of these parents, 43 percent considered that monitoring the kids on the web is important while 45 percent are in the opinion of limiting the online access completely.

Kids today are computer savvy. They are smart enough to use modern devices like mobile phones, computers and tablets etc. Since the children are surfing on internet for a number of online activities like chatting with their friends, doing their homework online and playing games, it is essential to have some safety measures. The survey findings led Microsoft to develop safety settings for the parents to better monitor their kids effectively.

The safety setting available on Windows 8 is the Family Safety option in the Windows account. Create a user account in the Windows for the child to be used for logging into the system. While creating the user account, check the Family Safety option to turn it on. Using this, weekly reports that contain the details of usage of the internet by the child can be reviewed by the parents. In this way, they can have a check on the content the child is accessing on the web. Parents do not need to download any report and configure or install applications in the system. This is simple setting that can be done easily. It is better that a separate account is created for each child.

Microsoft Windows 8 uses “monitor-first” approach that helps the parents to get informative reports about the child’s online activities. This is a unique approach different from the in-person supervision due to lack of safety measures available in the past. When earlier, a number of Microsoft software applications were focussed on web filtering making it difficult to manage by the parents, the “monitor-first” approach is a better alternative to that. It is a more effective method..

Standard accounts for the kids can be created in Windows 8. Parents are the administrators of the system while the kids having their accounts in the system cannot affect the parental accounts. In this way, kids are unable to access the parent’s account and hence this prevents the misuse of parent’s documents as well. Another safety measure available in Windows 8 is the SmartScreen Application Reputation Service. This helps in preventing the kids to download malware and suspicious content.

Windows 8 family safety is considered to be an ideal solution for better monitoring of kids. This safety setting enables the parents to have on an eye on their kid’s activities where ever and whenever they are accessing the system irrespective of the location. For those parents who follow strict monitoring, there are other options available in Windows 8 using which they can customize the settings according to their preference level.

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Samaira Rogers, a technical writer and guest blogger who writes on latest technology. Currently she is writing on kids online safety tips, parental control tips etc.