Microsoft Family Safety is more or less just what the name implies: It’s Microsoft’s family safety and parental controls app that you can use to manage your kid’s screen time and device usage.
To use the service, you need to install the Microsoft Family Safety app on each mobile device you want to manage, and every family member you want to track needs a Microsoft account.
What to know about Microsoft Family Safety
Once configured, Microsoft Family Safety monitors the screen time and time spent with specific games and apps on phones, tablets, and Xbox. Parents can do more than just monitor usage as well: You can turn on screen time limits and schedules, and filter specific apps and web browsing. The app also tracks locations using mobile device GPS, so you can see where your family members are.
Most of these features are free, though some premium features are only available if you have a subscription to Microsoft 365 Family, most notably location alerts and drive safety features.
How to get started with Microsoft Family Safety
To use Microsoft Family Safety, you’ll need to install the app on each of your family member’s devices. You can install Microsoft Family Safety for Android or for iOS. Start by installing it on your mobile device as a parent and sign in to your Microsoft account.
Unless you’ve already created a family group, you’ll initially be the only member of your family. Tap “Add a family member” and enter their email address associated with their Microsoft account. If your child doesn’t yet have a Microsoft account, tap “Create a child account” and follow the instructions to create one for them. They will get an invitation to join your family group; if needed, help them accept the invitation and get started with Family Safety.
Be sure to install the Microsoft Family Safety app on each of your kids’ devices, signing them into their own Microsoft accounts.
Using the map and tracking your family’s location
Microsoft Family Safety displays the location of your family members on a map, as long as you’ve enabled that feature in Settings.
To see the map, start Microsoft Family Safety and tap “Map” at the top of the screen. You should see pins for each family member.
If you want to, you can add saved locations to the map, which Microsoft calls “places.” When someone goes to that location, you’ll see it displayed on the family member’s card on the home page, so you can tell at a glance where they are.
Incognito mode – also known as “private browsing mode” – is a sneakier way to use the internet.
When you browse the internet with incognito mode on, you won’t leave any trace on the device you’re using. Your browser won’t save your browsing or search engine history, and won’t remember what sites you’ve logged into – or even what your username and password is.
It’s great if you share your computer or phone with other people, since no one else will be able to see what you’ve done once you close the window.
Nonetheless, incognito mode is great for enforcing privacy on a busy or shared device. Here’s how to turn on incognito mode on your computer or phone.
How to activate incognito mode or private browsing on your Mac or PC
Incognito mode is a feature in every major browser, although each browser tends to give it a different name. When you activate a private session, a new window will open – this is your incognito window.
When you’re done, just close the window to exit incognito mode.
How to activate incognito mode or private browsing on your phone or tablet
The browser on your phone also comes with private browsing options. We’ll explain how to activate it using the default browsers for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.