Let’s face it, there are so many ways our kids could get in trouble online these days and while there are a lot of apps dedicated to helping us all be safe there is always room for improvement. Microsoft are looking to do that with the release of their new Family Safety app.
The new Microsoft Family Safety app is “designed to help you protect your family’s digital and physical safety” and will be available on both mobile operating systems, Android and iOS, along with Windows and Xbox. If you are like me and have kids who continually try to push boundaries with their online times and habits then this could be yet another tool in you arsenal — and the availability on both mobile platforms is a massive bonus.
The Family Safety app provides an email each week to both the parents and the child highlighting the child’s online and digital activity with an ability to highlight just how much time your kids spend on Roblox etc.
Learning from home has added a new issue to the fire with kids using their devices for schooling a lot during the day and as such limiting their screen time overall may limit their learning time. The new Microsoft app allows you to set their game and app limits, allowing you to set individual app limits. The kids can of course request additional time via the app on their end and you can remotely allow or deny.
Of course there are also content filters that you can set to help them be safe online without having to worry about them stumbling across things they should not. Sites can be added individually to the blocked list or to the allowed list.
The app will also tell you if your child is purchasing anything from the Microsoft Store, such as a game pass or Robux etc. Another addition is the ability to track where your kids are in real time with location sharing — something many of us already use within Google Maps. Microsoft promise that “unlike other location-tracking apps, your family’s location data will not be sold or shared with insurance companies or data brokers”.
One addition that is coming to the app soon, but will not be free, is “location alert” which will notify you when a family member arrives or departs a specific location — something that I will definitely be using as my son often forgets to message me when he arrives at school. This will not be a free feature though with it forming part of a Microsoft 365 subscription.
The app is available now on Android and will be arriving on iOS later this week. The cross platform functionality is something that is extremely useful especially to me so I am definitely looking forward to checking it out.