Today, over six in ten Filipino kids are now internet users. This is according to the New Generations Philippines 2009 Study which surveyed 1,000 parent-child pairs, covering children from seven to 14 years old. Apart from this, 64% of them would rather use the computer than ride a bicycle (36%)! Among those who use the internet, gaming is their top activity (78%), watching videos coming in a close second (61%) and schoolwork comes third (55%). Given these facts, I was glad that our Windows 7 OS (operating system) came with internet parental controls.
Game Ratings Board
While my son is only three years old, I don’t think it’s too early for me to prepare. Internet parental controls aren’t new but it’s something that parents might take for granted. One of the things that come with the Windows 7 Parental Controls is something called a Game Ratings Board. It provides an age-based ratings level for all online games and it examines each game and adds content descriptions to the ratings as well. This means, I don’t have to filter all the online games myself. I can just set the age range that I want for my son’s user profile and I can also specify what kind of content the games shouldn’t have like: references to alcohol or tobacco, animated blood and gore or cartoon violence.
Protecting Your Child’s Internet Use
Another feature on the Windows 7 Parental Controls is the ability to set a certain time limit and even the days of the week that my child can access the internet. It can allow and block certain programs that I choose as well.
With Windows 7, you can download something called the Windows Live Family Safety for free. This free program helps you manage which websites your children see and who they can talk to online. It also provides helpful, easy-to-read reports of their online activity. You get the following benefits: You select the internet content your children. You get to filter what sites they visit or block sites that aren’t appropriate for your kids.Easy-to-read and detailed activity reports for each child show you the websites your children visit (or tried to visit), and whether a site was allowed or blocked.Filtering helps you protect your kids from the online content you don't want them to see, and you can create different filters for each child. By checking User requests, you can see if your children have requested permission from you to view blocked sites.You can access and adjust each child's safety settings from the Family Safety website, accessible from almost any computer on the web.There’s a built-in contact and website approval which helps you know who your kids are talking to in e-mail or blogs on Windows Live Spaces, or in IM on Windows Live Messenger. Just sign in to the Family Safety website to approve or reject each new contact.
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Today, Badger is still too young to access online games and navigate on his own on the internet. However, that day is coming very soon. I’m glad I can now practice parental controls on our Windows 7 OS.
Desktop Gadgets and HomeGroup
Lastly, some of the things that my husband and I love about Windows 7: The useful desktop gadgets and a simplified user interface. In short, less clutter.HomeGroup: this allows us to work and share files on both our laptop and our desktop computer at home. So, while our son, Badger, is playing with Purble Place or Chess Titan (two of the many built-in games in Windows 7) on the desktop, we can work on the laptop computer while still accessing the files in the desktop. Another article you might find useful: Kid-Safe Internet Use