Thursday, August 5, 2021

Setting Rules For A Family PC

If you want your kids to be able to use a computer, and learn plenty of technology related skills, it’s a good idea to set up a family PC in the living room or your home office. This way your kids have free reign of the computer, but in such a way you keep an eye on what they’re using it for. It’s the most safe way to introduce your kids to the digital world!

But even so, there still needs to be some rules in place when it comes to PC use. Your kids need to have some boundaries when it comes to interacting with things like video games and the internet, to make sure they grow up knowing how to use such applications in a safe and fun way.  

So without further ado, here are a few tips on setting such rules, and making sure they stick when your child wants an extra 10 minutes or two!

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Set Up Parental Controls

Every PC that’s shipped comes with parental controls of some kind. For example, a Windows computer comes with a ‘Family Safety’ application, and can be installed as and when preferred. As long as you’ve got a Microsoft account, you can use it! You can add users to a ‘family’ group to help keep an eye, and even just set screen time limits and app blocks on a PC itself. 

When using parental controls, you won’t have to constantly keep an eye on the way your child uses the PC, and you can also give your child a sense of privacy during their computer time. If you’re not physically there to keep an eye, but the computer is sending some reports of how your child is spending their time on it, everyone is a lot happier! 

Talk About Virus Prevention

One of the best things to do is to talk to your children about the dangers of online activity, including on social media, and even in their email account, if they have one. Malicious links can reach you via a variety of means, and when you’re a child and don’t know any better, a spam email headline can seem like an exciting thing to open!

Most of all, tell your child that if they receive a message from someone they don’t know, or an email address they don’t recognise, to come to you straight away. You can then assess the situation for them, and run them through how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can also run through the checklist for removing malware with them; this is a good way to provide a visual element to what you’re telling them, and you can remind them they can always come back to it if they’re ever confused. 

And if you’re worried your children won’t listen to your concerns, you can alway block websites, and even revoke access to any personal accounts they have if you notice suspicious activity. But overall, it shouldn’t be hard to get your kid to listen up. Kids love to learn about new things, especially something as technically complicated as a computer virus - they’ll definitely feel a lot smarter being able to explain it to their friends! 

Have a Curfew

There should always be a set time that your child has to come off of the computer and do something else. You don’t want them to stay on it all day, straining their eyes and missing the sun, and that means you’ll have to set a curfew of some kind! After all, it can be hard for a child to regulate their own time, and they’ll spend 8 hours in front of that screen without even knowing it. 

You should have an accumulated hours curfew, as well as a clock curfew. So if your child has been using a computer for more than 2 or 3 hours, they have to come off. And if it’s 7 or 8 in the evening, then it’s also time to come off the computer. These are both simple deadlines to keep to, and you can customize them in any way you see fit. Maybe you could even give them an extra half hour of computer time on weekends, just as a treat? 

A family PC is a great way to introduce tech to your kids. Make sure it stays productive, fun, and safe using tips like those above. Your children will definitely benefit from such a positive experience at a young age! 

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