I’ve been trialling out the Windows Live Family Safety Filter so that I could have it running on the computers for my kids. I’ve got a teenager and a soon to be teenager, and I need to monitor both and block some of the less than desirable web sites from their computers. My kids often take their computers to friends places and therefore I needed a solution that will work regardless of where they are. I also needed a solution that will allow me to unblock legitimate sites if I need to.
So I installed the Windows Live Family Safety Filter on my laptop. So far so good – I tested it over the last few weeks and it works fine for me. I can via the website see where I’ve been and my wife and I can both use it to monitor and block access as required. Below you can see the initial control panel where you can select what level of blocking you can select on a person by person
You can then drill down into the Activity Reporting section and see the websites that have been accessed by the child along with how many visits the child has done to the website. You can also elect to see only the blocked activity if you wish.
On the right hand side, you can choose to Change Setting – this will allow you to block the site either for this user or for all accounts in your management domain. Note – I don’t normally go to www.playboy.com – but did so to illustrate what you can do with this. If you select the arrow to the left of the website, you can expand all the pages on the site that the child has visited (I didn’t here as there were some VERY adult articles there).
Furthermore, you can then see what applications are accessing what websites on the “Other Internet Activity” tab. Below you can see that Outlook.exe has accessed a number of sites – this is for the images in emails that I received.
All in all – this is a great free tool that you can use to monitor and manage the web surfing activities of your children and therefore provide them with additional protection. Naturally, I’m not relying on this alone. I am also working on educating the kids so that they will more readily recognise “bad stuff” and avoid it.