Child Getting A Laptop For Christmas? How To Keep Them Safe While Online

If you are getting your child a laptop for Christmas, you need to keep an eye on the websites they go to. This can make it difficult to do on your own because they will be moving the laptop around with them anywhere they want inside your home. Fortunately, you can keep a close eye on this in many ways three of which are listed below.

Ask Your ISP For Help

Your Internet Service Provider may have products that are already in place specifically for this use. For example, some ISPs have parental controls that you can set up to limit your child's access to certain websites, as well as types of communication, such as emails, chat, and instant messaging.

Exactly how this works depends on your ISP but it is generally easy to set up. If you have questions, contact your ISP, and ask them if they offer this to their customers. In most cases, it will not cost you anything.

Change Your Browser

You can make some changes to the browser that you use, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. These browsers include filters that you can use to filter out things like violence, sex, language, and nudity. In most cases, you will find this information in the Settings area in the browser you use.

There are also kid friendly browsers you can install for your child to use and instruct them to only use. These browsers have many limitations on what your child has access to.

Your child could easily stumble upon something they shouldn't without trying to, as some search results will take them to places they should not be. These browsers will now allow any "bad" sites to show up in search results. The only way this will work well, however, is if you uninstall all other browsers from their laptop.

Use Web Filtering Software

There are a variety of web filtering software packages on the market that you can purchase to install on your child's computer. A web filter is a program that screens web pages before they open to determine if the websites should display on the screen. Within the software, you will set up rules and the filter checks the websites against these rules. In most cases, the software will come with rules already set in place but you can change them by adding to them or taking away from.

The web filter will block out websites that include things like porn content, objectionable advertising, viruses, and spyware.

No matter what you do there is still a chance your child can get into something they shouldn't. To help, you can turn off the wi-fi connection at your home when you want, such as while you are not at home, to disable their Internet access. 

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Keeping Your Computer Clean

Computers get more and more portable with each new generation of equipment. Laptops, netbooks, and laptop/tablet hybrids are easy to pack up and bring with you anywhere. Unfortunately, that means that these computers are exposed to more hazards than their larger counterparts. Keeping your laptop clean and free of debris and spills is important to keep it running smoothly, but that can be more difficult than it sounds when you're working in a crowded coffeehouse. Take a look through this blog at some strategies for protecting your computer, keeping it clean, and doing damage control in the event of an unexpected spill or mess. Taking advantage of your computer's portability doesn't have to mean a shortened lifespan for your computer.