Earlier this year in March, Microsoft announced subscriptions for its new Microsoft 365 along with fresh AI features and app experiences. While the office suite was rolled out in April, the new Family Safety feature is now available for limited preview.
Available for iOS and Android, the Microsoft Family Safety feature is a new app to help protect what matters most on the digital platform and your physical safety.
Microsoft will reach out to users who have already expressed interest with instructions to download the preview. It has limited availability for additional users on Android and iOS. As a participant in the preview, users will gain early access to the app and get to help shape the product by sharing feedback about their experience.
Microsoft says with families working and learning from home, many are spending more time on computers and phones and are looking for ways to ensure loved ones are safe. Microsoft Family Safety helps to facilitate a dialogue with kids about the time they are spending on their devices and type of content they are viewing. The app provides transparency on where everyone is spending time online and allows to create flexible schedules to carve out more time for things like online learning. Additionally, it helps stay connected even when apart with location sharing.
"Our team is committed to bringing you additional physical safety features in the coming months, like safe driving, so as we go back to a new normal you can help protect your family across your whole life. Find the balance that is right for your family. Give your kids independence to learn and explore, while setting boundaries that help them make good choices. Kids can see the same activity reports their parents see, so everyone can be part of the conversation. Additionally, with Microsoft Family Safety, family members can manage their data and information and who it is shared with. We work around the clock to help protect your information and will not sell your data," writes Aimee Sudeck, Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft 365.
Some of the features available in the preview of Family Safety include developing healthy digital habits with activity reporting, screen time limits, content control, location sharing, and more.
Activity reporting includes getting information about the family's activity to have a conversation about what kids are doing online and on their devices. For example, view screen time, top websites visited, and terms kids are searching for online. A weekly summary email is sent that will help facilitate a dialogue on healthy digital choices and begin developing good habits from a young age.
Screen time limits can be set across Windows and Xbox devices. If kids stay on the devices longer for things like online learning, limits can be set for specific apps or games. If kids run out of screen time, they can ask for more. Parents will have the choice to add more time or not based on what is right for the family.
Content controls help create a safe space for the kids to explore content online. You can set healthy boundaries with web and search filters to block mature content and set browsing to kid-friendly websites on Microsoft Edge. It can notify you if a kid wants to download a more mature app or game from the Microsoft Stores with age limits. Family Safety provides you tools to choose content that is right for your kids.