Sharing a computer or mobile device with the family can be quite difficult for many people. Keeping the kids from accessing dangerous material without locking yourself down might seem impossible, but it’s actually easier than you might think. There are computer monitoring programs like Stealthmate as well as manual things you can do to make it convenient for you to use the computer while still keeping the Internet safe for your children. Many of these things will also help protect your computer from viruses and malware at the same time!
Photo Credit: StealthMate
Most families today have both a desktop computer and one or mobile devices like a smart phone or tablet which has access to the internet. While mobile devices are becoming more and more powerful with each update, they still function very differently than a desktop computer so it is important to address Internet safety on each one separately.
Protecting Your Desktop
Most people are already aware that they need some sort of anti-virus program on their desktop. While this is a great start, it is not enough when you also want to protect your children from accessing content that you don’t want them seeing. Here are a few ways you can protect your kids and your computer while still having access to everything you need:
- Web Content Filters – There are dozens of content filters which can block sites which offer adult content or other questionable material. You can block by the type of content or specific URLs. This is a great way to keep kids safe, and with a quick password you can have unrestricted access to the web.
- Time Based Blockers – Most families have something of a schedule so they know what hours of the day their kids might be on the computer. You can set up time based filters to only block certain sites during certain hours to keep the children safe without inconveniencing you while surfing.
- Open Monitoring – For those who don’t want to install software to block sites, having a policy in the home saying that parents will be checking computer logs regularly is surprisingly effective. It is typically obvious when kids delete the browsing history so even if they try to hide their tracks the parents will still know something’s up.
Protecting Mobile Devices
Mobile devices used to be pretty safe when it comes to viruses and accessing harmful content, but that is always the case anymore which is why taking precautionary steps is essential. The following tips for keeping kids safe while using mobile devices without causing any problems for the parents should help any high-tech family.
- Internet Safety Apps – There are internet safety apps available for all smart phones and tablets. Choosing a high quality app like Vodafone Guardian will allow you to block different content based on keywords, subject or any number of other things. Like web content filters, this can be turned off with a password so parents can enjoy unrestricted usage.
- WiFi Logging – All mobile devices today can access the Internet through an existing WiFi connection. The vast majority of WiFi routers allow for logging to be turned on based on device. Logging the Internet usage of mobile devices is a great way to track what everyone in the family is doing from their mobile devices.
- Surprise Inspections – There aren’t nearly as many keyboard shortcuts and other ways to quickly hide your tracks like there are on full computers. Having random inspections of mobile devices for unauthorized apps or inappropriate web usage is typically a strong enough deterrent to keep kids in line.