Feb 21, 2003
I have two children, my daughter is 5 and my son is 8, who both have their own computers. Originally they used to have Mac's and we loved how easy things security wise were set up with it. We installed their games, programs and when they would log in all they would have is a launcher with their programs. They couldn't download or install anything, those were the only icon choices they had in their launcher.

Win98 used to have something similar but since then we've been using WinXP. Unfortunately some programs even as a guest account can still be installed. They can also download flash games, install and run those so the desktop ends up cluttered with about 50 million icons. Once a week I clean out the system and reset things. My daughter isn't too bad about it, but my son on the other hand very easily figures things out.

I've heard that Vista has a few better options for setting up security on a guest account. I don't have Vista on any my systems since I just have WinXP for my game machine and Ubuntu for my work machine.

Is there something easier to set up the OS to be child friendly with Vista other than the Admin/Guest user set up?
Set up standard user accounts for your children, then:

1. Open Parental Controls by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, and then, under User Accounts, clicking Set up Parental Controls. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

2. Click the standard user account for which you want to set Parental Controls.

3. Under Parental Controls, click On.

Limit Content: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/ff9aa367-0420-4b84-86cd-45bd898fccef1033.mspx

Set Time limits: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/8b715e12-0c48-4aaa-9288-56c4094f56201033.mspx

Specify games: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/5dbca3cd-0d67-4a90-9e81-386d4f9d16141033.mspx

Allow or block specific programs: http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/Help/7770e3a3-1cb4-492c-897a-e76b79594f321033.mspx