Windows 10 and Your Child’s Online Life

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in responsible monitoring and supervision of children’s online or digital lives. But this news report made my eyebrow do an immediate dance of the arch.

The lowdown
The arrival of Windows 10 was met with much excitement, and many excited users immediately queued up that download. But, according to media reports, in the family version of it, it seems that parents are – by default – set to receive rather detailed reports of their child’s browsing activities, time spent on sites and the like.


That’s not on.
Simply put, monitoring and supervision of your kid’s online life needs to be a two-way street – something you, the parent, opt in to and commit to, and something your child agrees to. It’s a negotiation and understanding… and Windows 10 making it a default setting (because really, did you check every setting? No, you didn’t) isn’t in line with negotiating or having a conversation around an online life. Use software, set up content filters, check in on your child, however you do it – but the conversation about how your family manages their online life shouldn’t come down to a default setting. What about families who’ve chosen not to monitor? (and they may have very good reasons for that – each family is different). Perhaps it was done as a responsible measure by Microsoft, but it’s left many families surprised. 

Microsoft Family Controls
Did you activate Windows 10 for your family computers? Aside from this little surprise, I’m really quite pleased with how well thought the control panel is, and how parents are given user-friendly controls for their family network of machines. You can learn more about Microsoft Family Controls here



What do you think?

Cath Jenkin

As a mom, Cath raises her daughter with a strong focus on technology, as she believes that digital literacy is as important as learning to read. With a long history of creating content for online and print publications, and in particular as a parenting columnist, Cath brings her curious mind... Read more

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