Technology has become a part of daily life for people of all ages, and your children are probably using computers for school and for entertainment as well. But how do you make sure the kids and computers are safe, when your little ones are on them? Computers can greatly enhance the learning experience and give your kids access to endless resources of information and entertainment, but they can also be very dangerous too. Cyber-crime isn’t limited to adults, and in some instances is targeted specifically at youthful users. All manner of dangers are out there, including online predators, inappropriate material, hazardous ads, and gambling sites. The good news is there are plenty of ways that you can prevent these problems from happening without taking computer privileges away from your kids. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your kids safe on computers.
Use Computers in Shared Rooms of the Home
One of the easiest deterrents for inappropriate computer use is to keep the computers in public areas of your home. This won’t prevent a child from accidentally stumbling into something they shouldn’t, but it is a good way to keep them from intentionally visiting sites of which you don’t approve. If they can take computers into their bedrooms or areas of the house where they can’t be monitored by others, kids may access things which you have forbidden. If they know you and everyone in the home can see what they are doing, they are much less likely to do something that will get them into trouble.
Limit Computer Use
Sometimes trouble can occur when kids are spending too much time on the computer. Homework can be neglected, chores may be ignored, and they may fall into unhealthy habits by sitting in front of a computer all the time. If you limit their computer usage, you can prevent this from happening very easily. There are several ways to do this:
- Control Wi-Fi access with passwords
- Set up different profiles and place time limits on children’s
- Keep computers put away when you don’t want them used
There are plenty of programs which allow you to place time constraints on computer access and have master control of the technology in your home. Shop around and see what works best for your situation.Some are already built into your computer.
Block Inappropriate Content
Educate yourself on inappropriate web material and how to prevent your kids from accessing it. You can manipulate browser settings to only display safe material, and require a password in order to access anything deemed harmful. The internet can be a filthy place, and whether kids are trying to access bad material on purpose or stumble onto it by mistake, safe searches and censoring are great ways to keep your kids safe on computers. Many browsers also allow you to set up a pop-up blocker, which can keep children from clicking on bright, attractive ads that can cause harm to your machine and endanger your information.
Talk to Your Kids about Appropriate Computer Use
Sometimes the solution is a simple as sitting your children down and explaining the rules. They may not understand the harm in clicking on ads or putting up too much info on social media sites, and talk can solve that problem. You can also purchase machines specifically for your child’s use, which are built to keep them safe and allow them to enjoy educational and appropriate apps or sites. However you choose to handle the situation, it is important to address it as soon as possible. Then you can keep your kids safe on computers and allow them to develop appropriate behavior with technology. If you would like more tips or information about child safety options, contact us and we would be happy to help.