Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Family Safe Computing & Microsoft

As a Microsoft MVP in Windows Security, obviously my interests are security and malware related issues, fixes, tips and what-not around computer security. However, as a grandmother, I am even more concerned about safety.

When I read the Windows Vista Blog writeup on Family Safe Computing, I was very surprised to learn that only somewhere around 10 to 15 percent of family computers today have parental controls. Yet, 80 percent of the families have indicated in surveys that they want such controls. I was relieved to learn that my daughter's family computer is included among the 10 to 15 percent that does have parental controls.

The exciting news is that Windows Vista has customizable family settings and parental control features. In fact, as David A. George - Director, Family Safe Computing - Microsoft wrote in Family Safe Computing and Microsoft:
"With the release of the consumer versions of Windows Vista, Microsoft will have parental controls tools, family settings, or content controls across all of our major platforms (Windows Vista, Xbox 360, Xbox On-Line, Windows Live/MSN, MSTV, & Zune)."
It the above-linked blog writeup, David George provided a clearly illustrated walk-through of these features in Windows Vista. I hope all parents will take a close look at what is available to protect your children.
The beauty of the controls is that parents can place age-appropriate restrictions on each child's account. As they get older, adjustments can be made to their account, providing additional flexibility.

If you live in the east coast area, you may have an opportunity to catch the
Windows Vista Coach Tour, in which case you can ask for a live demonstration of the customizable family features, including parental controls.
Today they went to Cincinnati and then Jeffersonville. According to the schedule, they have Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Charlotte, Savannah, Jacksonville, Orlando, Gainsville, Atlanta, and points in between to cover yet. Keep an eye on the Windows Vista Blog for where they are headed next.

Until you upgrade your family computer to Windows Vista, below are some sites for your consideration.
  • Child Safety on the Internet

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