Online privacy has been a growing concern for many users of the internet. From social media to email, people are looking to take control over their online information and who can see it. The Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPs) give individuals the right to know what you do with personal data that is collected about them.
The “facebook activity tracker, online” is a useful tool that allows users to control all of their online activity. This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.
Vladimir has a penchant for all things computer-related, having spent his whole life as an artist and playing professional handball. With a natural curiosity for investigation and analysis, and the realization that… Read more
- You’ll need appropriate parental control software from a reputable vendor to safeguard your children and other family members.
- Microsoft Family may be a one-stop shop for all of your requirements.
- We’ve showed and discussed the features, benefits, drawbacks, and real-world performance specifics of the Microsoft Family in our review.
- If you’re considering using parental control software, this in-depth review will offer you a better understanding of Microsoft Family, allowing you to make an informed choice.
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Life is getting more computerized in the current day. Smart gadgets are used by everyone, even our children. However, the problem arises when our children get access to inappropriate information and grow hooked to smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles.
There are a variety of parental control applications that can track and monitor your children’s device activities as well as limit their access to unsuitable information.
Every parent wishes for their children to be safe. However, selecting the incorrect program might ruin their experience. Microsoft Family is one of the most widely used parental control apps for Android and iOS.
The family safety feature has also been launched for Windows 11 PC as an inbox app in the current Windows 11 Dev Build 22572.
Table of Contents
Microsoft Family Safety is a robust parental control program for smartphones, tablets, and personal computers.
Microsoft Family, like other family control programs, is meant to monitor and regulate kids’ activities on smart devices. It is, however, accessible for your desktop PC, unlike most other apps.
Its versatility and customizability make it a preferable option. Because it is a Microsoft product, parents can relax and not be concerned about their children’s privacy.
Using Family Safety on your smartphone to get started
It’s simple to set up Microsoft Family Safety. The installation procedure is the most straightforward you can imagine. On a PC, all you have to do is download the software from the Microsoft Store. The Family Safety app for cellphones will seek for certain permissions. To allow these rights, you must hit yes or equivalent alternatives.
After you’ve installed the Family app on your smartphone, you’ll need to complete a few additional steps, including sign-in and setup. You can either sign in with an existing MS account or create a new one.
After that, encourage all other members of your family, especially your children, to join Microsoft Family. You may either register new Microsoft accounts for your family members or send the invitation to them using their current email or phone number.
Once everyone has accepted your invitation, you may begin properly watching your children. You will, however, need to set your settings for how you want to track your child’s activities across devices.
The Family app is available on Google Play, Apple App Store, Microsoft Store, and more platforms. They may be used by both parents and children.
What are the characteristics of the Microsoft Family?
Microsoft Family provides a number of handy tools that allow you to keep track on your children in a variety of ways. Its primary characteristics may all be customized. The most important ones are listed below in detail.
➡ Web & Search filter
The web & search filter features let you block websites and inappropriate searches on your kid’s device. However, It works only on Microsoft Edge browser on both Windows and Android devices.
Other web browsers will be immediately disabled if you use this function, so your children won’t be able to visit undesired websites or search for improper information.
The web content functionality is simple to modify. You may either provide a list of white-listed websites or specify particular websites to be blocked. It does not, however, provide any categories that you may utilize to more effectively block certain sorts of websites.
For the search, you may activate and disable the Bing safe search option. It will prevent your children from accessing the Microsoft Bing search engine to find inappropriate stuff.
On Android and Windows PCs and laptops, both web content and the Search filter tool are accessible.
How to use the Web & Search filter on the Microsoft Family Safety app
- On Windows, open the Microsoft Family app.
- Select your child’s profile.
- Go to the Content Filters section.
- Select the Web and search tab from the drop-down menu. By default, it should be open.
- Filter unsuitable websites and searches by toggling the switch.
- You may either add a list of websites you don’t want your kids to access or only the list of websites they are permitted to view.
You also can enable the Web content & search filter feature using the smartphone app as well as the web portal.
➡ App & Game blocker
The App and games blocker is the tool you’ll need if you wish to prohibit certain applications for your children. It enables you to restrict some dangerous applications and games from your child’s device.
There is, however, the opportunity to choose an age. Based on the age you provide, Microsoft Family will automatically prohibit the incorrect applications.
You can quickly ban a list of applications or put a time restriction on certain of them. It may help keep your children from becoming hooked to a certain game or software.
When your kid attempts to download an inappropriate program from the Microsoft Store or the Google Play Store after you’ve set it, the system will immediately prevent the downloads. Not only that, but it will also prevent your children from downloading any previously downloaded inappropriate applications.
Even if a restricted or inappropriate app is accidentally launched, the system will shut it in a split second.
If your child need an app for a one-time usage just to complete an urgent requirement, you may ask for permission. You may then authorize the app if you believe it is useful at that specific time.
How to use the game blocker and the app
- Go to your child’s profile on the MS Family app.
- Go to Time spent in front of a screen and choose Apps and games from the drop-down menu.
- To disable or restrict an app, click the three vertical dots next to it.
- Depending on your desire, choose the Block app or Set a restriction.
Limitations on the device
Both Windows and Xbox support the device limit function. You may use this option to restrict the supported devices that your children can use. Your children are not permitted to use the gadgets for longer than the time allotted. You may establish a device restriction for each device separately, or you can set a schedule or time limit for all devices at once.
You may also base the time restriction on weekdays. This guarantees that your children do not spend too much time on their cellphones or computers on any given day.
How to Make Use of the Device Limits Option
- Select the Time spent in front of a screen option from the drop-down menu.
- The devices tab should be open by default. If not, go to the Devices tab and, depending on your requirements, flip the option next to Use one schedule on all devices on or off.
- If the aforementioned option is turned off, you may establish device restrictions for each specific device.
Monitor your Time spent in front of a screen
You can track and manage your child’s Time spent in front of a screen across all of their devices with Microsoft Family. The graph shows the Time spent in front of a screen on a daily and weekly basis.
It is also able to see each app and game Time spent in front of a screen and, if required, change the time restriction.
If your children go over their allotted Time spent in front of a screen, you may also ask for permission. If you like, you may allow for excessive usage.
How to Use Family Safety’s Time spent in front of a screen Features
- Go to Time spent in front of a screen in the Windows Family app.
- The graph may be seen there.
- Click on any app or game in the Apps and Games section to view the Time spent in front of a screen for that item.
- To alter an app’s Time spent in front of a screen, click three vertical dots to see suitable choices.
More information about this subject may be found here.
➡ Location sharing & alert
Location sharing is one of the most important elements of any parental control program. Microsoft Family also has a tool that allows you to monitor your child’s current location.
There’s also the possibility of adding new locations to the stored list. The most intriguing feature, though, is the location alert. You may be notified when your kid arrives or departs. This option, however, is only accessible to premium members.
The location sharing & alert feature is only available on Android and iOS. On the Windows version, you can only see the live location of your family members, including the kids.
What is the best way to set up the location alert feature?
- On your smartphone, launch the Family Safety app.
- Open the Settings menu.
- Select your profile (Organizer).
- Select Location Alerts from the drop-down menu.
- When you’re in your child’s profile, tap on Tell me.
- There you may set your preferences.
This option is not currently accessible on PCs. However, both PCs and cellphones may be used to see location.
Spending is one of MS Family’s most fascinating elements. It allows you to add balances or even a credit card to your child’s account. Then you can check how much money your children are spending on different apps and games.
You may establish an age restriction to prevent your child from purchasing adult applications or games. One of the benefits is that every transaction made with your Credit Card requires your consent. If you add a credit card instead of accumulating balances, your children will be unable to buy anything without your permission.
You’ll receive a notice for every app purchase on your child’s smartphone after you’ve set it up, even if the app is free.
summary of activities
When you first start using the Microsoft Family app on your PC or other devices, the activity summary will be the first thing you see.
When you click or touch on a child’s profile, a graph of Time spent in front of a screen, app and game use, browsing and search activity, spending, Xbox online gaming activities, and so on will appear.
If you allow it, you will get a weekly report on your child’s activities.
Administrate from both the app and the web interface.
The parental control features may be managed using the Microsoft Family app or the online interface. Content screening, app and game limitations, Time spent in front of a screen, and location sharing are all easily managed with both smartphone and desktop applications. The web interface and desktop, on the other hand, provide alternatives more clearly.
Only smartphone applications support the Location Alert function. Everything else, on the other hand, can be managed easily from both the app and the online interface.
This parental control program does not currently support macOS. However, you can still control your children’s devices from any browser on macOS.
Additional features and perks of the Microsoft Family
The above-mentioned functionalities are available in Microsoft Family. It does, however, have some more micro-features that you may investigate after using it. This parental control program, on the other hand, is tightly linked with Microsoft Office.
If you have an office subscription, you may receive these fantastic office features as well.
You may establish bespoke family email addresses like email@example.com and communicate with your family members through email if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription.
You can keep track of everyone in your family’s future activities by using a shared family calendar.
The Family OneNote allows you to effortlessly arrange family affairs or anything else that is important to your family. Because the message is shared among all family members, it will benefit you and your children in a variety of ways.
This is one of the Microsoft Family safety app’s most intriguing premium features. Driver safety allows you to keep track of your driving habits and share them with your family’s organizers.
When sharing data with the family organizer, the Drive safety comprises the route map, peak speed, phone use while driving, hard braking, quick acceleration, and so forth.
This function is currently only accessible to Microsoft 365 Family subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
Performance in the real world and additional details
We attempted to investigate the Microsoft Family on our own to learn more about its features and advantages, as well as how it functions in the real world.
We immediately began watching the test device after setting the app on all of our devices to determine its efficacy. The user experience on both the PC and smartphone applications seems to be satisfactory, as does the online interface.
It was simple to locate and navigate between required choices. However, there were several instances when the Android Time spent in front of a screen restriction for applications and games proved ineffective. On a Windows 11 PC, though, everything worked well.
On the desktop platform, banning applications performed as expected throughout testing. However, on Android, it did not always prohibit applications that should have been blocked.
Microsoft Edge’s web content filtering worked well. When we attempted to open other browsers that were quickly closed, we were only able to use Microsoft Edge, as expected.
The location sharing and other functions functioned as planned with no issues.
Pricing for the Microsoft Family
Microsoft Family is a parental control program that is available for free. When you have a Microsoft 365 Family membership, however, you get extra perks.
The following features are included in the free version:
- Tracking your location
- Filtering on the internet and in searches
- Blocking apps
- Time spent in front of a screen
These features may be utilized by up to six members of your household.
You can access all of the free features as well as premium features like location alerts, Drive safety, and Drive history with Microsoft 365, previously known as Office 365 family membership. Other premium features include 6 TB of OneDrive storage (1 TB per person) and premium Microsoft Office programs for up to six users.
The premium features are available to each user on up to five devices. It implies that the premium features may be used on a total of 30 devices.
The last word
Pros Free to get start Built-in with upcoming Windows 11 builds Drive safety for Microsoft 365 Family users Location alert Works on smartphones, PCs, and Xbox game consoles Can be managed from both app and desktop browsers Weekly activity report Monitor kid’s spending on app purchases Cons Screentime is not 100% effective on Android Blocking apps may not work on Android in some cases No categories to block apps, games, and websites
Overall, Microsoft Family is an excellent parenting program with a high level of privacy protection. However, in certain instances, the performance fell short of our expectations.
There may also be other capabilities that allow parents to monitor more activities on their children’s gadgets. When we sought to disable social networking applications, for example, the absence of an app category made things difficult. We had to do everything by hand.
If we ignore the drawbacks, we may conclude that Microsoft Family is a solid parental control program. Even if it isn’t the greatest option right now, you can give it a go since it is free. If you already have a Microsoft 365 family membership, you should give Microsoft Family a try since it has some unique features such as Drive safety and Location notifications.
What are your thoughts after reading our Microsoft Family review if you’ve already been using parental control software? You may tell us in the comments section.
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The “off-facebook activity” is a way to keep your online activity private. By using this service, you will be able to take control of all online activity.
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