Posted by Stacia

Hi there, I’m Stacia, one of the Lead Program Managers for Messenger. I’ve been working on Messenger for a whopping three years now and love building this product for folks like you – our avid users.

With over 280 million accounts using Messenger, one of the things we take very seriously here is safety.  We want you to feel safe in the conversations you have, and we want you to feel confident that the people you care about are protected as well.  To support these goals, I’m excited to tell you that one of the new features in the Messenger beta is integration with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety.  As a parent myself of two little girls, I’m personally excited to see this type of functionality become available.  Ensuring my daughters can have fun and learn in a safe, secure way is super important to me. 

If your family has signed up with Windows Live OneCare Family Safety, parents can set limits so that Messenger usage can be blocked or allowed.  This setting can be controlled by the parent from any machine, so adjustments made at work can take effect on the child’s account at home.  Windows Live OneCare Family Safety also provides contact management for parents who want to allow their child to use Messenger but want to restrict the conversations to only those individuals the parent approves.  We recognize that Windows Live Messenger can be a major social outlet for kids, so we’re thrilled to support this integration in a way that lets families decide what level of usage makes sense for them.  

One great part of the Family Safety integration is how simple and straightforward it is to set up.  Parents simply go to the Windows Live OneCare Family Safety web site, click Get Started to set up their account, add their child’s Windows Live ID, and apply the right settings for their child.  There are Family Safety settings for a growing number of Windows Live services (including Spaces!) and you can rest assured that we’ll be adding more settings in the future. The goal is to provide the parent with as much (or as little!) control as they like over their child’s experience on the computer and with Windows Live.

Note that because Messenger and Family Safety are in beta, this functionality isn’t currently available in all markets and all the usual beta caveats apply. 

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If you have a comment on this post please comment! For other questions/concerns/discussion topics/rants/raves/etc – please head over to the Windows Live Messenger Newsgroup.