Windows 8 makes it easier for parents to track kids' internet usage

Windows 8 makes it easier for parents to track kids' internet usage
Parents can track kids' internet usage across multiple devices

Microsoft's Windows 8 will include a brand new suite of tools to help parents keep track of what their kids are doing on the internet.

The Windows 8 Family Safety toolset will send weekly usage reports about the sites that have been visited, and will allow parents to block specific websites and apps, set time limits for usage, lock search engines into strict SafeSearch, and track Windows Store purchases.

All of this can be done through a parent's administrator account, so the kids don't have access to the information and tools.

The administrator is meant to set up separate accounts for each child so they can keep track of exactly who is doing what.

The reports aren't limited to a single device, either, instead collecting information on websites visited, time spent on each website, search histories, and apps and games usage from every device a child uses his or her Windows account on.

Microsoft has some parenting advice

"Computers give children access to many positive experiences; however, parents face challenges in monitoring what their children see online, the people they meet, and the information they share," said Phil Sohn, Microsoft's senior program manager for family safety, in a blog post.

"Parenting techniques like this are important, but they may be difficult to employ if your household has multiple PCs or if your kids use laptops and tablets. And glancing over a teenager's shoulder can be awkward for both parents and kids," he continued.

Sohn said the purpose of using individual Windows accounts for each family member isn't solely to monitor what they're doing online.

"It is also a great way for each family member to maintain their own unique online identity while still sharing a single PC," he said.

He believes that the simplicity of the new Windows 8 Family Safety tools will cause more parents to readily use them.

Via InformationWeek

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.