Before starting this guide we strongly recommend you read the first article in this series: How to setup Microsoft Family Safety
So you’ve successfully set up your Microsoft Family Safety group and now you would like to ensure you have spending restrictions in place right? Great!
Microsoft has made the spending restrictions options to assist your family to shop responsibly online. There have been numerous stories in the media of children racking up huge credit card bills by making online purchases because parents link a credit card to the account, but they don’t set rules on how it can or can’t be used.
The following ‘How-to’ guide will help you to go through some of the basic settings found within the Spending Restrictions page of your Microsoft Family Safety account and set a safe online purchasing environment for your kids and help you avoid the potential surprise debts if they try buying online without your say so.
Access the Spending section of Microsoft Family Safety
So first you need to login to your account, click here: Microsoft Family Safety
Once logged in you should see your list of family members, click on the More options button to reveal the sub-menu as seen in the image below, and then click on the Spending option.
The Spending page has a shortlist of settings that are quite straightforward and self-explanatory.
As you can see in the image below, you are introduced to the purpose of the Spending restrictions page which is to help everyone shop responsibly. The opening text also refers to the ability to Change content restrictions and if you would like to know more about to set up Content restrictions please read our Guide here: How to set up Content restrictions in Microsoft Family Safety
The first two options you can see in the image are on by default and we suggest you keep them switched to ‘On’, these are:
Although your family members might not be too keen on having to ask for approval to buy things on the Microsoft Store, it only takes a few seconds to approve a purchase and keeps you in the loop on what is being bought and installed on your families devices.
The email option is just handy to quickly review what has been purchased or downloaded at a later date, and again is a good way to stay informed.
The next option is your Microsoft Account Balance.
This is a handy feature to add funds for your family member to use in advance. You Add money to your family member’s Microsoft account, so they can buy what they want, without spending too much.
This allows them the freedom to shop up to the limit of their account balance that you set for them. They can not exceed the limits you have set, so it adds a certain layer of security yet freedom all at the same time.
To add fund click on the Add money button as seen in the image below.
You will be taken to the next page where you can choose the amount you would like to add to their account. You are unable to specify your own amount, it has to be one of the preset amounts shown, which at the time of writing is a choice of $10 / $15 / $25 / $ / $75 / $100 you can see this below.
Simply select the amount you would like to add to the balance of the account and follow the steps to pay.
Finally, you also have the Purchase history stored for each member of your Family Safety account.
Microsoft Family Safety Spending restrictions – Made Simple!
That’s all there is to it. These simple yet very important steps can save a lot of time and trouble when it comes to securing your families spending online.
There have been instances where families did not take the proper steps to secure their children’s spending online, and even after lengthy court battles the families have had to pay out thousands of pounds in costs.
You can read about just a few of those stories here on the BBC News website: ‘My son spent £3,160 in one game’
We hope this guide helps you to secure your family online, and if you need any more help please leave a comment below and we will do our best to help.
Consider reading some of our other articles in the Microsoft Family Safety series, click one of the links below for the guide you would like to follow next: