Setting Up Parental Controls and Privacy Settings for Kids on a Windows Phone

Microsoft's Windows Phone division shared some tips to basic parental control on Windows Phone to help protect you kids. Here are the steps to set up Windows Phone-related control settings:Creating a child account - First thing you'll need to create a Windows Live ID account for your child, if they don't already use Hotmail, Zune, […]

Microsoft's Windows Phone division shared some tips to basic parental control on Windows Phone to help protect you kids. Here are the steps to set up Windows Phone-related control settings:

Creating a child account - First thing you'll need to create a Windows Live ID account for your child, if they don't already use Hotmail, Zune, or Xbox. Once you've created a child account, enter it during Windows Phone set up or the first time your son or daughter uses Marketplace.

Choosing what apps your child can download - Assuming, you've created your child's a Live ID, you now have some control over what apps your child can buy or download. (Parents are always asked to sign in to approve changes to these settings.) Here's how to do it:

Setting Live ID account for kids on Windows Phone

  1. Go to Zune.net, click Sign in, and enter your child's new Live ID. (The first time you'll be asked to enter your country and child's date of birth once more, and sign in with your adult account to confirm. This article has more detail about child accounts.)
  2. Click My Account.
  3. Under Account Summary, click Update Family Settings. When prompted, enter your Windows Live ID to authorize changes.

    You'll then see an option to block or allow purchases including apps, music and videos. If you choose Blocked, your child can't buy any paid apps from Marketplace. But they can still download free apps--something worth remembering. (If you want to allow them to buy a specific paid app later, you can always go in and turn this off temporarily.)

    The second option applies to explicit music and games with an ESRB rating of Mature or higher. Choose Blocked to prevent your child from downloading or streaming this type of content.

    A couple caveats: "This setting doesn't affect music acquired outside Zune, or prevent your child from seeing explicit titles while browsing Marketplace. It also won't prevent your son or daughter from downloading apps and games that haven't been rated," Microsoft explains.

Xbox LIVE-related settings - you might already know about some of the parental controls and privacy settings for the console. But a few--such as the ability to approve Xbox LIVE friend and game requests--can apply to the Games Hub. You can also decide whether your child can see other people's Xbox LIVE profiles and friends. Most of these settings are blocked by default for anybody 12 or younger.

Setting up Xbox LIVE Parental Controls

To change these settings:

  1. Go to Xbox.com, click Sign in, and enter your child's new Windows Live ID.
  2. Click My Account.
  3. Under Settings & Preferences, click Privacy and Online Settings, and sign in with your Windows Live ID when prompted.
  4. Make your choices. More details on all these settings are described here.