1. markfive's Avatar
    Giving your child access to a Windows Phone 8 device
    This is a quick guide to the options available to you for giving children access to a WP8 device.

    Windows Phone 8 has a feature called Kid's Corner that allows you to create a ring-fenced list of apps, games and content that your child can access without the risk of them being able to get access to anything else on your phone.
    Kid's Corner works well for younger children using your phone, but if you want to give your child a WP8 device of their own it's not suitable - scroll down to the section headed "Beyond Kid's Corner" for some ideas on how to tackle this particular challenge...

    Setting up Kids Corner
    Firstly you have to have a PIN code or password set on your phone:

    1. Go to Settings > lock screen and turn the Password slider to On
    2. Follow the prompts for creating a password or PIN code as required - if you decide to have a PIN/password that kicks in after a period of time then note that this might mean you need to enter the PIN/password before your child can use Kid's Corner

    Once you have a password set:

    1. Go to Settings > kids corner
    2. Turn the slider to On the headings Games, Music, Videos and Apps appear
    3. Touch each heading and tick the boxes of things that you want to appear in Kids Corner. Hit Done to save your selections

    How to use it
    To access Kid's Corner, lock your phone and then swipe left from the lock screen. Or lock your phone and hand it over to your child - they'll find it quickly enough

    Kid's Corner Tips

    • You can select playlists as well as albums under Music
    • Third-party browsers can be enabled under Apps, so you could use something like AVG Family Safety 8 as a family-friendly alternative to an (unrestricted) IE10 icon
    • You can pin individual websites to Kid's Corner using IE10, and if you do then only that website will be accessible via that shortcut
    • Your child can add their own name to Kid's Corner and choose their own theme colour
    • An "add to kid's corner" option will also appear under "pin to start" in the apps list menu, so you can add apps from there as well if desired
    • Some built-in apps (most notably Store, People, Phone, Mail, Messages) are not accessible
    • Apps do not have to be specifically written to support Kids Corner

    Disadvantages of Kids Corner

    • Kid's Corner is useful, but if you add games to it that have in-app purchases enabled, you only have yourself to blame! Personally I'd suggest setting a Wallet PIN just in case.
    • In-app purchases are not disabled
    • If you wanted to give your kids access to any of the in-built apps, you cant
    • Theres no way to backtrack on notifications you receive whilst KC is in use, although Live Tiles are updated
    • The phone can still ring

    Beyond Kids Corner
    Kids Corner is designed for an adult to control child access to the adults phone. Its not a solution for when you want your child to have their own phone. Just like giving your kid their own tablet or laptop, a broader approach to parental control is required.

    What does Microsoft offer?
    Microsoft have a Family Safety feature that covers Windows 8 and, in a very limited form, Windows Phone 8. The Windows 8 features are pretty comprehensive (web filtering, block lists for apps, time-based curfews and so on). The Windows Phone 8 features are limited to being able to disable paid downloads from the Store, and enforcing one of the recognised game age rating systems (e.g. PEGI) for games.

    In order to use the MS family safety features, you and your child must have MS accounts and the device you want to control must be linked to the childs MS account (or at least to an account that you dont mind having these restrictions placed on)

    As this question has come up quite a few times, its worth stating that as of the time of writing (April 2013) Windows Phone 8 does not permit:

    • Control over access to IE10
    • Filtering of web addresses
    • Access to a history of accessed pages (other than via the IE10 history)
    • Control over when a phone can be used for games, internet access and so on

    Internet access
    There is currently no way to disable or uninstall IE10 on WP8. You can install a 3rd-party browser on a childs phone but IE10 will still be in the start menu, so it probably wont take long for your child to find it and at that point they have open access to the internet. Other apps will also access the internet directly (Youtube apps for example)

    Many parents will see this as a disadvantage. Note that neither iOS or Android address this particular issue directly, although both allow apps that can provide this facility, with names such as Symantec, AVG and Kaspersky all offering solutions.

    Hopefully this is an area that MS will address sooner rather than later (or allow a 3rd-party to address) but in the meantime your options are limited. Here are a few suggestions as to what you can do:

    • Check with your carrier for parental controls that they can place on data connections. Some carriers have content filters that they can enable for U18s. In the UK these filters are enabled by default on all new connections and the account holder has to request their deactivation.
    • Some carriers will also disable data access upon request
    • Assuming your child has access to your internet connection at home, check for parental control facilities both on your router and via your ISP. Some routers have this sort of feature built-in. Of course any filters that your ISP can put in place will apply to your whole connection.

    Of course none of these suggestions will help when your child is on someone elses wifi.
    05-12-2013 01:12 PM
  2. enthuz's Avatar
    Please make this a Sticky!!! I will be using this and sharing it. Good job!! I would love to see more like this.

    ....Just fix the picture links please.
    05-12-2013 05:14 PM
  3. NokiaPureView's Avatar
    Great post!

    Posted via the WPC App for Windows Phone 8.1
    02-08-2014 06:46 AM
  4. gerzhwin's Avatar
    Great post!

    Doesn't the wallet PIN restrict in app purchases?
    02-08-2014 07:08 AM
  5. CyclingGuyNola's Avatar
    Great post!

    Doesn't the wallet PIN restrict in app purchases?
    Yes, as well as music and app purchases.
    02-08-2014 07:48 AM
  6. CyclingGuyNola's Avatar
    Another point that needs to be made: Watch what you add. Just because it's an app catered to kids, some developers use this as a way to add random ads using trickery to bait children into clicking.
    02-08-2014 07:55 AM

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