Limiting computer access through parental controls
Windows 7 has a new feature called Parental Controls. You can control any user account using these parental controls. You can limit the access in the following three ways :
- Time restrictions. You can limit the user to logon only in the specified time period. If the user is logged in and time goes outside the specified time period, that user will be automatically logged off. For example, you can force a user to logon only in the time between 6 PM to 8 PM. Outside this time period, that user cannot use the computer.
- Game restrictions. You can restrict the user to play only specified games or games with a particular category or rating.
- Program restrictions. You can restrict the user to use only specified programs. The user will not be able to use any programs other than you specified.
To set parental controls for a user, open Start Menu → Control Panel. Click on Set up parental controls for any user subcategory under the category User Accounts and Family Safety as shown
In the Parental Controls window select a user by clicking on that user's picture. Then in the User Controls window click on On, enforce current settings. Now you can set up various options for that user.
To set the time restrictions, click on Time limits. A new window will open upin which you can click on an hour block in a week. If the block representing that hour is blue, it is blocked. If it is white, it is allowed. After making changes, click on OK to save time limit settings.
To set the game restrictions, click on Games. In the new window you can set whether the user can play games or not. You can set the ratings of allowed games. By default ESRB ratings are used. You can also specify what kind of content is to be allowed in the games in the game descriptor settings.
To set program restrictions, click on Allow and block specific programs. In the new window that opens, click on User can use only programs I allow. Windows will prepare a list of programs on your hard disk. Check the programs you want to allow. You can also browse a program, if you do not find it in the list. Click OK to save settings.
This way you can use inbuilt parental controls features in Windows 7, to restrict access to games, programs or you can control at what times your child can actually use the computer.