Safe PC, Safe Surfing, Safe Kids

How to Child Proof Your PC

One of the common concerns of all parents in how can you be sure they are safe online. We want our children to be IT literate but we also want to them to be IT savvy.  Ultimately that means as parents we have to be IT savvy. So what steps do we need to take to ensure kids safety online? Additionally what action can we take to ensure that out PCs don’t get trashed.

 Safer Kids Surfing

There are many free tools available to allow your PC to be a safe electronic playground and educational tool. These downloadable programs work in different ways.

 Programs which act like operating safety systems are great for younger kid.  Zoodles and Kidrocket are two good examples of these types of program. These are free to download, they are easy for young kids to navigate and are brightly coloured.  Programs like this act as a type of protective clothing for the web. They limit play to safe online games and content.  They also block adverts and if so required can be configured to only be enabled at certain times of day.

 Alternatively and probably better to install if you have older kids are programs which work with your existing operation systems and browsers to block or limit content. An effective solution is Naomi internet filter whilst unsupported can still be downloaded with a bit of google digging. This runs in the background, monitors all internet activity and blocks all inappropriate content. 

Another great free solution for families is “K9 web protection”. This program is more configurable and takes a little more effort to install.  K9 also allows access to certain sites (via passwords) for a certain amount of time. This feature is great for older kids and teens allowing the facility to review content before allowing access on a one off or for all time.

 Take Control

 It not only web content that you may need to keep away from your kids. The last thing you need is all your hard work or favourite photographs deleting.  Obviously various back up options are available and it is recommended that these options are taken up.  However to avoid the need to restore from backups make sure that where possible folders are password protected. Additionally create user accounts with limited access for each of your children and use the MacWindow parental controls to restrict access further.  It is also possible to limit hours of use for the accounts you created and even the age ratings of games the accounts can access.

 Good Preparation

 Finally think practically. Small kids have small hands, tend not to be as careful as adults, are liable to have grubby fingers and spill things.  Therefore think about buying larger keyboards and a smaller mouse just for the kids. Better still go wireless to prevent pulled and damaged wires.  If you want to go the whole hog think about a washable keyboard, although are a little expensive. A cheaper option would be to purchase a waterproof cover.  Just to help out younger kids even more think about removing the double click by accessing the control panel in windows and enable single click mode.

 In conclusion keeping your child safe online and work safe is relatively easy and also free.  There is no reason not to implement safe surfing as a minimum. Remember however to keep your passwords safe and away from prying eyes.