Windows Phone introduces MyFamily parental controls

Microsoft has developed the MyFamily platform, allowing you to customize your child’s experience on Windows Phone. You can not only limit whether or not they are allowed to buy things from the store (i.e. spend your money), but you can also specify the age-ratings of the games they are allowed to play, and affords you additional auditing and safety features.

From the Windows Phone team: “My Family works with Microsoft Family Safety, a service designed to help you keep tabs on kids’ computer and online activities. If your child uses a PC or Xbox, you may already have set up a family in order to use parental controls.”

Some excellent instructions for setting up My Family can be found on WindowsPhone.com, so have that open or printed off, and then get started on WindowsPhone.com/Family.

Answering your questions: is cloud backup safe? Can I host my own cloud?

These are some common questions to a pretty abstract concept. Whenever you “back up to the cloud” there will be a server out there somewhere with your information. Whether you use Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, or the well known independents DropBox and SpiderOak, or even paid “backup” solutions which offer syncing, like Mozy and Carbonite, you are trusting your data to someone else. I understand how uncomfortable that can make some people – whether it’s just for your peace of mind, or for privacy reasons. Continue reading

3 easy steps to disable Facebook Auto-Play videos

Facebook’s new auto-playing video strategy is causing headaches. I disabled it when it was first introduced I’m shocked that, even a year later, not everybody else did. Maybe they just didn’t know how? This can make your facebook faster, keep your internet running speedier for other things, and alleviate the pressure on your bandwidth cap.

Luckily, it’s an easy fix!

  1. In the upper right hand corner, near the notifications, click the downward facing arrow, then click Settings.
  2. On the left, at the bottom, click Videos.
  3. Using the bottom drop down, change “auto-play videos” to “Off.”