How to Keep Your Child Safe With Limited Accounts in Windows XP

Child Safe
Most Windows owners have little knowledge of the facility to set up separate accounts on their PC, or Laptop, with numerous people all using one account. However, Windows has the useful ability to provide separate accounts for each user. This enables individual areas that can be run by each person and personalised at will.

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Therefore, children and teenagers can have their own personal accounts separate from their parents, and, with safety in mind, these accounts can be restricted to allow access to only certain files and programs. Setting parental locks in these limited accounts allows parents further control over their offspring’s activity online. All versions of Windows have this facility to set up separate accounts and this is how to set up an account in Windows XP.


Click Start and select Control Panel.


Click User Accounts then Create a new Account. If you have already created an account and wish to change the settings then this is also where you access the account. If this is the case, click Change Account.


Give the account a name and choose whether you want to make it an administrator account or limited. With an administrator account the user will have full access to all files and be able to download any Internet files. For a family system it is best to reserve the administrator account for the parents and make the children’s accounts limited. A limited account will allow the user to change their own password only, change their desktop settings, and view their own saved files and any files in shared folders, giving the parent the option to choose which files the child can access. Limited accounts may also need administrator permission to install certain programs and can have separate parental locks applied to Internet access for each account.


Click Create Account. One proviso to setting up separate accounts is that it does reduce the amount of disk space for each user. Whereas one account will have all available disk space at their disposal, two accounts will halve that amount and so on. However, with the size of hard disks getting ever larger this should not be too much of a problem to the everyday user.

The ability to set up a number of accounts in Windows is often an overlooked facility. However, it can be useful where a family, or group of friends, are all using the same computer. This is especially the case for parents who want to keep a check on their children’s activity online. By giving the child their own area on the PC, with password protection stopping access to the administrators account, parents can let them use the computer unsupervised in the safe knowledge their child is unlikely to view, or download, anything that may cause them, or the system, harm.

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