Windows Vista Tips And Tricks

How To Use Parental Controls In Windows Vista

Windows Vista Parental Controls let you decide how your children or grandchildren use your PC. You can use Parental Controls to set the time limit that your children or grandchildren can use the computer; control the types of games they can play; restrict the types of websites they can visit, restrict the programs installed on your computer they can run.

By setting time limits on your child or grandchild's computer use you can prevent them from logging on during certain hours (like for instance when you're sleeping :-). You can even set different log on hours for different days of the week. If they are logged on and their allowed time limit is reached, Windows will automatically log them off.

You can also control the games your kids will be allowed to play. You can control access to games and allow or disallow games based on their suggested age-rating level (most games have suggested ages for which they're appropriate). You can even choose which games to block based on content. You decide what games you will allow them to play and which you won't based on age-level, game-rating or game content.

Most importantly you can restrict which websites your children or grandchildren can visit. You can block specific websites (like MySpace) or block websites based on content that you don't want your children or grandchildren to see. You can also restrict downloads, set up filters to block profanity and nudity, and control your child or grandchild's access to the Web.

You can also prevent your child or grandchild from running certain programs on your PC. And finally, you can set up an "activity report" that will track your child's computer activity and let you review everything they've done while using your PC.

1. To run Parental Controls click Start and type Parental Control in the search box.
Note: It's important that you set a password for accounts with administrative privileges to prevent others people using your computer from turning off the Parental Controls you've set.
2. Create an account if it has not already been created.
3. Turn Parental Controls on.
4. Select whether or not you want an activity report on your child or grandchild's activity while using your computer.
5. On the Windows Setting dialog, select the controls for Internet, time limits, games and programs.

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Your child or grandchild might be upset with the limits and restrictions you impose and you might have to explain to them why you've set restrictions. Also, be aware that kids are pretty computer savvy and they might be able to hack the parental controls you've set. So it's still important that you take an active role in monitoring their computer use and not rely on any software to do all the work. Hey, being a parent or a grandparent is a huge responsibility, but it does bring tremendous rewards, right?

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