This is part two about children and computers. Read the first part on Keeping Your Kids Safe on the Computer.
John is a busy grandfather who has learned more than once the importance of protecting your computer if kids are going to be using it. The first time John ran into a problem was when his four-year-old grandson visited for the weekend. Left alone in the computer room for a few minutes, the budding computer genius quickly pushed a series of keys and clicked on icons until John’s computer stopped working altogether. Several years later, another grandchild visited, this one a teen who was using the computer for a research paper. After he left, John’s computer had sustained a virus that ultimately crashed his system and lost all data.
Kids don’t intentionally set out to destroy data, but it’s easy to do on computers. Fortunately, using some simple controls can help protect both your data, and your peace of mind.
1. Password-protect your user profile. This will keep the kids out. Instead, only allow them access to their own profile, and limit the changes they can make by setting up parental controls in the Control Panel or System Preferences.
2. Password-protect sensitive data. It doesn’t hurt to be doubly safe. Any critical documents should receive a password that is different from your profile password.
3. Install virus protection software. This will protect your computer from common viruses a child may encounter, provided you keep the software updated. AVG, Symmantic are good virus protecting softwares. Also keep your computer updated with the latest patches since not updating can create security flaws.
4. Back up your files regularly. If, with all of your protections in place, you still lose data, maintaining regular backups allows you to restore it quickly and easily. Backblaze is a great online solution which backs up your files online.
Careful utilization of parental controls can minimize risks to both your children and your important data. By selecting age-appropriate parental controls, supervising your children’s computer usage, and talking to your kids about responsible computer use, you will be far less likely to encounter difficulties as your children enter the information age.
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