Parental Controls: Spy like a Pro!!!

I reckon, parental control technology isn’t a new word to almost anyone. It is as old as the word itself. Hitherto, I had never been in a situation to use it or even for that matter, was never used on me. It’s not bad, however I found it awkward, like almost every children when I heard about it for the first time. Even the TV’s had child lock, a predecessor of parental controls. Coming to the present scenario, internet has taken over almost every (or is it just every?) digital ‘thing’ you can find before you. Internet has oodles of good things to offer, but ‘good’ is always accompanied by bad in most cases. Internet is no exception, since you don’t know who the dog is once you are on the World Wide Web. Myriad of malicious users are anticipating naïve children so that they can covertly perform their crack activities.

That being said, parental control is the solution for ensuring the protection of children while using the internet. While parental control can range from using the technology available to literally spying on them, though the latter part is morally a bad activity. There are many parents who are willing to play CBI or RAW (or the much admired FBI) agents to keep their children away from harm. Assuming the child is using a Windows PC, let us see what it takes to set up a parental control.

So, we have finally decided to give it a try. Parents can choose from in built or other services. Many external services like Norton family, Bitdefender Parental Control, FortiClient etc…. are ready to take up the tedious job. On the other hand, if you are hardcore Windows lover and won’t even turn your eyes towards third parties, you can always rely on Windows in built parental control.

The Windows Parental Control gives you two options:

  • Setting the limits
  • Monitoring the activities

Windows family safety cannot be set up for the administrator account. So you need to create a standard account to do that. You can choose between a local account and Microsoft account. If you wish the new account to be a child account, then do not forget to check child account option. The process in a glance is:

Control Panel -> User Accounts & Family Safety -> Family Safety

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Now, we have to select a non-administrator account. As you can see, Standard is the account we need to select.

Click on the account to see a screen like below.

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The screen is self-explanative. If you don’t want Family Safety, turn it off and forget the headache. If that’s what you want, then turn on the activity reports also to get detailed information.

You have the control over four settings.

  • Web Filtering
  • Time Limits
  • Windows store and game restrictions
  • App restrictions

Web filtering allows you to specify allowed and blocked websites.

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The next option literally gives you the ultimate customization on the time of usage. Time filtering can be effectively implemented by

  • Setting time allowance
  • Setting curfew

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In the above screenshot, you’ll be amazed by the control it gives to the parents when it comes to parental control. Separate time settings for weekdays and weekends are allowed.

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Yes, I felt the same. Curfew is a familiar term which I have heard only related to national and state administrations. Well, it has exactly the same meaning in computer also. If you look at the screenshot, Saturday 8:00 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday 4:30 to 5:00 p.m. and Monday 3:00 to 4:00 a.m. are the curfew time. Mind you dear children, you are forbidden from using the computer during the specified time.

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I might as well ask the children to forgive me. Helping the parents with blocking a game is definitely not expected to go well with them, but I am helpless as Windows specifies it for Family Safety.

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Windows feel that some apps that it has to offer may not be suitable for kids. So as a part of parental control, it allows the parents to allow access to only limited apps which they feel is right for their kids.

A huge sigh!! Finally, the setup has been set up. Windows will now do the spy work for you, while parents can sit back and relax. Children are curious and thus consciously or not, they will try to access the blocked content, not knowing that they are being monitored.

If you have not forgotten yet, there was a View Activity Reports option in the safety setup. Windows logs the child’s activity including the reports on activities, Websites visited, File downloads, Apps used and Games Played in this part.

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As you can see, clicking on each options on the left, will give you the details.

And that’s how you spy like a pro. It all looks good until the moral part comes in. This plan fails miserably with the children who already know about parental control and the administrator password. Another difficulty is that, if the children comes to know about the serious spying of parents, it would result in the children lambasting the parents for their activities. It may even end up in the metamorphosis of the children from cheerful to cold ones.

I would like to conclude with a word of advice (not sure though, if I am worthy to give advices). It is always better to talk to the children directly about the bad side of the internet and warn them from becoming a victim. I would recommend the parental control if all other steps fail.

 

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