For better or worse, families are spending more time than ever together—working, learning, and playing from home. But how do you find the right balance between high-tech gadgets and connecting with the natural world? Enter Microsoft Family Safety.
Introduced in March and rolling out now as a limited preview for iOS and Android, the mobile app lets parents control their kids’ screen time and viewable content, create flexible schedules, and—once lockdown ends—stay connected by sharing locations.
“Give your kids independence to learn and explore, while setting boundaries that help them make good choices,” Aimee Sudeck, product marketing manager for Microsoft 365, wrote in a blog announcement, highlighting features like screen time limits (across Windows and Xbox platforms), web and search filters, and location sharing.
In an effort to promote transparency, children and adults alike can access the same activity logs, with information about screen time, top websites visited, and search terms. You can even opt in to receive weekly email summaries to keep tabs on your family members. “We work around the clock to help protect your information and will not sell your data,” Sudeck promised.
“Microsoft Family Safety is best when used together,” the blog post said, calling for “families with children of all ages to join the preview.” Sign up online for early access. The free app is expected to launch more widely soon. “Our team is committed to bringing you additional physical safety features in the coming months, like safe driving,” according to Sudeck. “So as we go back to a new normal you can help protect your family across your whole life.”