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How to setup parental controls on your PC or Mac

Parenting in the digital age is a lot harder than it used to be. Nowadays, parents need to protect their children from both dangers in the online world as well as dangers in the real world. Although there are many benefits to the internet, the infinite amount of content and ease of accessibility means children are more likely to be exposed to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and malicious websites.

For parents, protecting your children from the dangers of the internet can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task, and hitting the right balance between digital freedom and boundaries can be difficult. Fortunately, most PC’s and Mac’s now come with parental control settings to help keep your children safe on the internet and allow parents to choose which boundaries and limits they want to set.

Adding parental controls to your PC or Mac can help reduce the risk of your children accessing specific websites and can allow you to monitor their internet activity. Parental controls can also allow you to limit how much time children can spend on a computer each day. Other settings such as app usage and limits on spending money can also be added. Implementing these parental controls can provide peace of mind to parents as children will only be able to view content that is age-appropriate and ensures that they are safe on the internet.

Setting parental controls on your computer does not have to be complicated, follow our step-by-step guide here.

On a Windows 10 PC

  1. Sign into your own Microsoft account before proceeding.
  2. Set up a child account. To do this go to Windows settings and select Family.
  3. Click Add a family member.
  4. Proceed to create a Microsoft account for your child. Enter your child’s email address or follow the instructions to create one.
  5. Once a child account is set up, your child will receive an email asking them to accept your invitation.
  6. Click on Manage Family Settings Online to set up parental controls.
  7. All parental control settings are turned off by default. Enable the features individually and customise your settings. You can keep an eye on online activity, screen time, app and game limits, content restrictions and spending.

On a Mac (Mojave and older)

  1. Click the Apple icon and select system preferences.
  2. Click the Parental Controls icon.
  3. Click the lock symbol and enter your password.
  4. Select the account you want to filter with parental controls.
  5. Click Enable Parental Controls. From here you will be able to manage apps, the web, stores, time, and privacy.

On a Mac (Big Sur and newer)

  1. Whether you’re setting up parental controls on your account via Family Sharing or on your child’s own account, go to System Preferences and select Screen Time.
  2. Choose the child you want to add controls for if using Family Sharing.
  3. Click Options in the left-hand panel. Then click Turn On in the upper right corner.
  4. You will then be able to customise your parental control settings, such as scheduled downtime, app limits and content/privacy restrictions.

At some point, children hit an age where they need to be able to use the internet for school or connecting with friends. Instead of limiting their access, it’s important to teach them about the dangers of the internet and explain why parental controls are sometimes necessary. Ultimately, parental controls can filter a variety of content, ensure that your children are not exposed to inappropriate content and will always be protected when using a computer.

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