Finally Microsoft added a feature that is much easier to use than previous utilities to help parents monitor youth activities.
Although features such as this have previously been embedded into the Windows operating system it is not until now that they have been so easy to use. If you have ever configured the Internet Explorer content adviser you know what I am talking about. Another aspect to these utilities that were previously not available are the reporting features.
Microsoft has embedded all the previously available utilities into an easy to use interface and added some new unique features.
With the release of Vista you now have the following abilities to monitor and control how your children interact with the computer and the Internet.
You can restrict the websites that children can visit, make sure children only visit age-appropriate websites, indicate whether you want to allow file downloads, and set up which content you want the content filters to block and allow. You can also block or allow specific websites.
You can set time limits to control when children are allowed to log on to the computer. Time limits prevent children from logging on during the specified hours and, if they are already logged on, they will be automatically logged off. You can set different logon hours for every day of the week.
You can control access to games, choose an age rating level, choose the types of content you want to block, and decide whether you want to allow or block unrated or specific games.
Allow or block specific programs.
You can prevent children from running programs that you don’t want them to run.
Finally you don’t have to purchase a third party application to monitor and control access to content. Being a father myself I can definitely say I will be interested in learning more about how well parental controls work. I hope Microsoft continues to develope this new utility.