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Setting Up Windows 8 Family Safety (part 2) - Setting Web Filtering

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3/12/2014 9:37:00 PM

2. Setting Web Filtering

To control which websites a child can view, click the Web Filtering link. You can allow or block access to specific websites, or specify that Windows should block web content automatically. Figure 3 shows the Web Filtering page. If you use the former feature, manually specify which sites can be visited (for example www.disney.com) and which are blocked (for example, sites that are suspected as being adult-related sites). If you use this feature, you can limit your child’s web activity only to those sites you specify in the Allowed list. This provides you absolute control over the sites your child can view.

FIGURE 3 Use the Web Filtering page to set which websites a user can visit.

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Caution
We need to point out that when you use Family Safety, your child’s browsing history is maintained on a Microsoft website (http://familysafety.microsoft.com). This can be handy because you have access to the browsing history from any location, such as at work. However, it is a potential privacy risk. If you don’t like the idea of your child’s Internet usage history being stored on a public server, even if it is secured to prevent others from browsing the history, consider not using Windows 8’s Family Safety feature.

Click the option <username> Can Only Use the Websites I Allow to be able to set web filtering options. Click Set Web Filtering Level to choose the web restriction levels. The Web Restrictions page opens, which is shown in Figure 4. On this page, you can select the Allow List Only option, which enables you to specify a list of sites that a user can access. All other sites on the web, including suspected adult sites, are blocked.

FIGURE 4 Use the Web Restrictions page to specify a web restriction level.

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The other options on the Web Restrictions page relate to content areas that Family Safety monitors automatically. If you choose to let Windows block web content automatically, you have the following categories from which to choose:

  • Child Friendly: Blocks suspected adult-related websites. Allows your child to view sites on the Allow list and in the child-friendly category. When your child visits popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, the SafeSearch setting is automatically enabled, limiting the types of search results your child will see and blocking adult images.
  • General Interest: Blocks suspected adult-related websites. Allows your child to view child-friendly sites, general interest sites, and those specified on the Allow list. When your child visits popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, the SafeSearch setting is automatically enabled, limiting the types of search results your child will see and blocking adult images.
  • Online Communication: Blocks suspected adult-related websites. Allows your child to view child-friendly sites, general interest sites, social media sites, web chat, web mail, and those specified on the Allow list. When your child visits popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, the SafeSearch setting is automatically enabled, limiting the types of search results your child will see and blocking suspected adult images.
  • Warn On Adult: Does not block suspected adult-related websites, but does display a warning if the site contains adult-related material. All other sites are available. When your child visits popular search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, the SafeSearch setting is automatically enabled, limiting the types of search results your child will see and blocking adult images.

To edit the Allow List Only option, click Allow List Only and then click the Click Here To Change Allow List link. The Allow Or Block Websites page appears. Figure 5 shows an example of this page, with some sample websites listed in the Allowed Websites and Blocked Websites lists. On the Allow Or Block Websites page, enter the web address of a site you want to block or allow. Click the appropriate button — Allow or Block — for the site you enter. The site will appear in the Allowed Websites or Blocked Websites list.

FIGURE 5 Enter the sites you want to specifically allow and/or specifically block.

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Click the back button at the top right of the window when you finish. This returns you to the Web Restrictions page.

Finally, to prevent your child from downloading files to your computer, select the Block File Downloads option on the Web Restrictions page. Click the User Settings breadcrumb on the address bar to return to the User Settings page when finished setting Web Restrictions.

 
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