Good morning Nashville, as promised today is the big day. We start by setting up a Limited User Account for each child then install Parental Controls for each. We have to do two steps today then we’ll be doing a step a day from that point on. You may want to print the article and lay it next to where your working at the moment. As an added bonus I created about a 10 minute video to help you trough the process. You can also watch Microsoft Video on the set up of parental controls
Well I think we may be ready to start setting up our computer. I’m going to be working mostly with Windows7 although if you’re running Vista you will be able to follow along also. If you so happen and you run into a snag you can just Google it. For you Windows XP users you will need to Google from the beginning.
First we don’t want to let our child on our account. These reasons will become additionally clear as we go along. Let’s create them their own brand new limited account. (And parents don’t miss this chance to start net bonding with the child) You’re going to want to do this for each child and every computer that the child will be on.
To add a new user click the start button, open Control Panel, in the drop down box beside view by make sure you are in category view, under User Accounts and Family Safety click on Add or remove user accounts.
Now click on Create a new account.
Just type in the name of the child or (here is also a good opportunity to teach your child not to use their real names on the net, let them choose a cool hacker name) now select the type of account. Never set your child up as an administrator, you’re going to want to make them a Standard User with limited capabilities so they cannot make changes to system settings, delete other user’s important files, or change security settings. Also if a virus does try to install it doesn’t have admin rights.
Now once you reboot the PC you will see the new user’s accounts you just created at the log in screen.
You will want to password protect your child’s account as well as create a strong password, (At least 8 characters using both upper, lower case and numbers) for your account if you haven’t done so already. Change passwords on a regular basis. You may even want to create a password reset disk. (Google; Make a password reset Disc)
To create a pssword click on the account the just created account or your account and select create password. Type in a password, keep it simple for your child’s sake, retype to confirm then fill in the password hint, click create password and your done.
Now when you or your child is logged into the child’s account and you try to install or make certain changes to the system, the OS will prompt you for a password. This will be your password not the child’s. Need I say how important it is to keep your password safe?
Now that wasn’t so bad was it? Guess what, we’re a long way from being finished. Let us get on to locking the account down somewhat by setting up Parental Controls. Windows Vista and 7 have middle-of-the-road parental controls, no need to buy anything although you can later use free software to strengthen Windows Parental Control. If not installed already, Windows Live Family safety is a free download from Microsoft that you can use to strengthen and add functionality to Parental Controls.
To start, click on the Start button, next click Control Panel in the right-hand pane. From the Control Panel menu that pops up, choose User Accounts and Family Safety. From there, click on Parental Controls.
This will bring up a list of all the accounts on the computer. The default Parental Control settings for all accounts are off. With that selected, notice all the control options are grayed out, signifying that you can’t use them. Click the round on, enforce current settings button, also known as a radio button to allow the controls to be enabled.
With Parental Controls enabled, we have the option to control a number of options: Time control, Games, and Allow and block specific programs. Click on the blue links to get to each of those sections.
Clicking on the blue Time limits will bring us to a grid which allows us to control the hours your child is allowed to use the computer. For instance, you may not want them to use the computer while you’re away. The grid is initially blank, with no hours blocked. To pick certain hours, you can click each block individually, which turns them blue. To select multiple hours, click in a block, hold down the mouse button, and drag in any direction. The hours that are blued out, if your child attempts to log on to the computer during these hours they will be blocked.
The next item in the list is Games. The Yes radio button is clicked by default. If left at this setting the child will be unrestricted in game play and if the No radio tab is selected they will be totally restricted. Again by clicking the blue links will allow us to make certain changes.
The other two choices other than the ones above are, allow games to be blocked by content or rating, or blocking specific games for whatever reason you choose. Click on the blue link to set by game ratings or Allow or Block specific games to get to each section.
PC games are rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB, according to its content. If you click Set game ratings from the previous menu, you’ll be presented with the ESRB’s listing guide. Choose whatever rating level you think is safe for your child. The lower level or safer ratings, is selected automatically. So if you choose the Everyone 10+ rating, the two lower levels are also selected.
Notice at the top are two radio buttons, to Allow games with no rating and Block games with no rating. These are for games that have no ESRB rating. It’s safer to set this to block games with no rating, if your children are very young.
Games can also be blocked by the type of content they contain; for example, bad language, explicit material, or a multitude of other reasons. Following the ESRB ratings is a checklist of items that can be blocked. You can check as few or as many items as you like.
And finally, games can be blocked by title. By clicking on the Allow or Block specific games will bring up a list of installed games. Check specific titles to allow or keep your child from playing the game.
The final item in the Parental Controls screen lets you block particular programs, or even parts of programs. Click Allow and block specific programs to start this option. The default setting is to allow a child to use all programs on the computer. If you choose the radio button underneath that, a very long list will be compiled (this will probably take some time) and presented to you, with checkboxes.
I don’t particularly like Microsoft’s implementation of this function, since it’s likely you won’t ever understand most of the options here; they are far too detailed for anyone but a computer expert to understand. But what you do need to know is if you want to block a program, say maybe QuickBooks or any other program you need to find the executable or the .exe. In QuickBooks it will be the QuickBook.exe. Put a check mark beside any program you don’t won’t to allow executing and it will be blocked from running.
Now go back to the main Parental Control screen and make sure that Parental Controls on and standard user are beside each account you set up. If so you’re finished here. You have just set up Parental Controls.
That wasn’t so hard now was it? Got your confidence up enough to tackle additional setups tomorrow. Good we’ll be looking into web filtering and activity reports. Awesome job.
Let us know how you did on the setup and was it easy enough for you. What can we do to make how-to’s easier for you.
Merry Christmas Nashville and Be Blessed