Enable Parental Controls In Vista

While XP completely lacks any built-in Parental Controls, Vista provides plenty of ways for parents to limit when and how their kids use the computer. Just look for Parental Controls from the Start Menu, and Vista will not only let you block Web sites and set limits on Internet and computer usage, but also restrict games based on the game's title or ESRB rating (or one of several other popular rating systems).

Vista's Parental Control feature also lets you view account and Internet activity reports, including info on not just what was blocked, but also sites successfully visited and files downloaded. And unlike router logs, these reports don't disappear when the system is shut off or restarted.

Despite its name, Vista Parental Controls' value certainly isn't limited to family use. Small business owners may also find Parental Controls useful in restricting their employees' access to certain sites and for monitoring Internet activity on a company computer.