This is part of a weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team
Ever wonder what your kids are clicking, tapping and swiping when they’re out of sight? Wish there were an easy way to regulate the websites they’re visiting and apps they're using?
If so, you’ll love the Family Safety suite of tools on your Lenovo system. This comprehensive feature is designed to keep parents both informed and in control of children’s computer activities. It’s the easiest way to stay tuned in to how your kids and teens are using your PCs.
You can monitor computer use, filter out inappropriate apps and even set curfews. Family Safety equips you with all the parental tools you need to teach safe and responsible computer use starting at a young age.
Get started with two quick steps in Windows 8.1:
1. Set yourself up with an administrator account
You can create a local account on each device in your home or use your Microsoft account for all the PCs you own. The key is making yourself an administrator on every system—this is the account type you likely set up when getting acquainted with your new Windows 8.1 system.
2. Create a separate account for your child
Once you’ve set yourself up as an administrator, create a child account for each young person whose activities you’d like to monitor. This way, the Family Safety feature will turn on automatically.
To create a new child account:
- Swipe in from the right edge of the screen (or move your mouse up from the lower-right corner) and tap or click Settings, then Change PC settings
- Tap or click Accounts, then Other accounts
- Tap or click Add an account, then Add a child's account
From here, you have several options:
- If your child already has a Microsoft account, select Enter email
- To create a new Microsoft account, choose Sign up for a new email address
- If you don’t want your child to have an email address, select Add a child's account without email to create a local PC account
Quick Tip: If your children are young and close in age, you can set up one account for them to use jointly. Is your little one too young to type in a password? Use a picture instead.
If your child already has a standard account on your PC, you can turn on Family Safety for that, too. Just follow steps one and two above, then select the account you want to monitor and tap or click Edit. In the Account type list, select Child.
That’s it! You'll now start getting reports on when and how your child is using your PC. You can add another person to help monitor at any time. Simply sign in to the Family Safety website using your Microsoft account and select Add parent—handy if a nanny or grandparent spends a lot of time with your child.
And this is just the start. You can block websites, set time limits and more.
Limiting Your Child’s PC Use
You probably can’t (and don’t want) to hover every time your child uses a digital device. But you can set limits using Family Safety.
Follow these instructions to set time allowances, filter websites, block downloads, rate games and limit apps. You may want to lock a PC during work hours when it’s tough to supervise, for instance, or control what can be downloaded from the Windows Store.
Using Reports to Monitor Activity
This is where Family Safety really comes in handy. By default, the tool is set to track all activity and email regular summaries of websites visited, games played, apps used and more.
If you want to delve deeper, you can do that as well. Online reports provide an abundance of information so you can see virtually everything your child’s up to, right down to what phrases he or she is typing into search engines.
Clicking any of the email links will take you to a more thorough web report, or you can sign in to Family Safety and select Activity Reporting. From here, you can see all kinds of details such as:
- Specific days and times your PC is being used
- Which websites they’re visiting (or attempting to visit before being blocked)
- What your child’s downloading
- How long each app is used and game is played
You can also adjust views and change how often reports are emailed.
With devices woven into virtually every aspect of daily life from an early age, many of today’s kids understand technology better than their parents. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines. Your Lenovo system is packed with tools that can make it easier to raise and protect your children in the digital age.
Lenovo Companion | Your Go-to App
If you like reading this type of content, make sure to check out the Lenovo Companion app that is preloaded on all Windows 8 and 8.1 Lenovo and Think systems.You can find it on your system in the Lenovo Apps section on the Windows Start Screen.
Lenovo Companion is filled with exclusive content to help you learn about your new Lenovo or Think system. You'll find quick-reference “how to” articles on everything from getting to know the preloaded apps on your system to how to use your new trackpad. And, in select countries, you'll be able to stay up-to-date on technology news with articles and blogs from trusted sources, partners and Lenovo Insider bloggers.
Be sure to note...the new version of Lenovo Companion is only available on Windows 8.1. So, if you’re running Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, now is the time to upgrade. Continue reading more about Lenovo Companion in this blog post.