Hello World! I’m Sharon Cohen, Program Manager for parental controls in IE7. If you haven’t heard about Windows Vista Parental Controls, be sure to read Brian’s blog post which gives a great overview of the feature. I’d like to fill you in on the great features IE7 adds to Windows Vista Parental Controls.
IE7 offers two features which will enhance the Windows Vista Parental Controls experience for both parents and children. As Brian described, when Parental Controls have been enabled on a child’s account, Windows will block web navigations to particular sites. When a top level navigation is blocked, preventing navigation to an entire site, the child will see an error page which provides a link to request permission from their parents to view the content.
However, if only part of a page is blocked, then IE will display as much content as possible along with an Information Bar which provides an option for requesting permission to view the blocked content.
From both of these blocked content dialogs, children can access an interface which allows their parents to approve the blocked content without logging out of the child’s account. (Parents have to put in their password before they can get to this interface.)
The other Parental Controls feature which IE7 provides is download blocking. When the child goes to download a file, instead of seeing the run/save/cancel download dialog, children see a message that due to Parental controls restrictions they can not download the item. (Download blocking is a setting which parents can enable through the centralized parental controls setting panel which Brian described.)
There is no over-the-shoulder override on blocked downloads as there is with blocked web content, however, parents can view a log of the failed download attempt in the child’s activity report.
With these two features, Windows Vista Parental Controls become fully integrated in IE7, creating a safe and enjoyable experience for both parents and children.
Update: Updating this as requested to make it clear that this is a Windows Vista-based feature.