If you’ve been following along with our Family Safety series you’ll know what it takes to get this fantastic feature enabled and configured for your child’s account. Once you’ve enabled web filters, game filters and time limits, you’ll know that you child can’t get into much trouble. Even still, you may still find yourself wondering what they do with their time on the computer. Thanks to the Family Safety website, you don’t have to wonder any more. You can visit the page any time to view usage reports for your child’s account. You can see what pages they’ve visited, what games they’ve played and plenty of other information to ensure they’re computing responsibly.
How to Access the Family Safety Website
In Windows 8, the easiest way to access the Family Safety site is via a direct link from the Control Panel. Navigate to Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> Family Safety and click or tap the link that says "Manage settings on the Family Safety website."
Your default web browser will launch and take you to the page.
If you are using Windows 7 or if you aren’t at your home computer the process is still very simple. Just open any web browser, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, and navigate to familysafety.microsoft.com.
Regardless of which method you use, you’ll be required to enter your Microsoft Account credentials to sign in.
Once you’ve logged in you can view your child’s activity reports by clicking or tapping the link next to their name in the Family Summary.
How to View Your Child’s Web Activity Reports Using the Family Safety Website
The first chart of the activity report shows you the websites your child visits most commonly along with a bar graph detailing how often they’ve visited each. You can also see the latest blocked sites they’ve tried to visit and any recent searches.
For more information you can click or tap "View all" where it appears after "Most popular websites," "Latest blocked pages" or "Latest Searches." This will load the "Web Activity" tab and display the requested information.
From here you can view all of the sites your child has visited since you enabled Family Safety on their account. It shows the following information
- The name of each site your child has visited in the chosen time period
- Whether the site was allowed or blocked
- What type of site it was
- When the site was last visited
- The number of times your child has visited each site
This gives you a great idea of their browsing patterns and can alert you to any erratic behavior.
From here you can also use the "Change Settings" column to block pages that cleared your filter but are still inappropriate for your child, or allow pages that are harmless but are still blocked.
You can also filter your results using the drop-down boxes at the top of the window. Select the date range you want to view and click or tap "Show Activity."
How to View Your Child’s PC Activity Reports Using the Family Safety Website
Return to the "Summary" tab to view the second chart on the page. This displays the amount of time your child has spent on the computer. The bar graph details the number of hours per day for the last week. You’ll also see a short list of the most commonly used apps and games along with any apps recently downloaded from the Windows Store. Click or tap "View all" on this graph to open the PC Activity tab and view more information.
At the top of the PC Activity tab you’ll see a chart displaying the specific times of day your child has used the computer in the past week. Just as you could on the "Web Activity" tab, you can change the date range shown using the drop-down lists at the top of the page.
Beneath the PC Time chart you’ll find a list of all the apps your child has used during the chosen time period. The chart shows you the following information
- The name of each app your child has used
- The number of times each app has been used
- Whether the app was allowed or blocked
- When the app was last used
- The cumulative amount of time the app was used
Scroll down farther to view lists of files your child has downloaded, games they’ve played and apps they’ve installed from the Windows store.
As you can see, the Family Safety website offers very detailed information about your child’s computer use. With this information you can ensure that your child isn’t pushing the boundaries of your rules and that they aren’t doing anything irresponsible. This can help you encourage smart browsing practices from a young age so you won’t have to worry about you kids when they get older.
If you haven’t read the other articles in our Family Safety series, you should have a look. They’ll help you get your settings in order so you can start to view the reports we mentioned above.