We just set up a new computer and this one is meant for the whole family. The older my children get, the more horror stories I hear from other parents about the things their kids are encountering online and on their devices (including family devices that simply haven’t been appropriately locked down). I’m working with HP on their Family Time program, and I wanted to start by telling you what I did when I set up our HP Touch Smart to get things set up for our home (and my internet/technology paranoia).
Computer Safety Settings For A Family Computer
- Visibility: Keep your computers in visible, high traffic areas of your home. No basements or bedrooms!
- Users: Each member of your family should have their own user account with individual settings. Your teenager will need different settings than your grade-schooler.
- Anti Virus: A must! We have Norton Internet Security installed on our HP TouchSmart
- Internet Browsers: You can install some family friendly browsers/plugins like Cocoon. We’d love to hear what your favorites are!
- Communication: We had a sit down meeting with the kids about family rules, expectations and online safety. This has to be an ongoing conversation.
- Setting Family Rules and Contracts: This goes beyond just talking about the rules. Decide as a family what the code of conduct and guidelines your family will abide by. Have everyone sign it and keep a printed copy near your computer.
- Safety Products and Software: Check out products like NetNanny, Action Alert and Pandora’s Hope to help filter content and protect your family.
- Require Passwords: Make sure that you computer requires a password each time someone sits down to use the computer. This will ensure that the individual user accounts are used, and that you are able to track the various user accounts separately.
- Set Time Limits: This can change from user to user. Some families who are genetically engineered to have amazing self control may not need this, but left unchecked at my house, our screen times would rocket to the edge of the universe.
- Google: Activate and LOCK Google Safe Search (and remember to do it on your other laptops, desktops, and devices in your home. You’ve got more than you think.)
- YouTube: Turn on Safety Mode
- Social Media Accounts: Review the various safety and privacy settings for each of the social networks that each member of your family has an account with. This is a great time to make sure everything is set up just as it should be.
Finding Family Safety Settings in Windows 8
- Open your “File Explorer”
- Go to “Desktop”
- Click on your “Control Panel”
- Click On “User Accounts and Family Safety”
- Set up User Accounts and Family Safety settings here (the program is fairly straight forward and will clearly walk you through each piece).
Setting Up Family Safety Settings in Windows 8:
- Turn Family Safety ON
- Turn Activity Reporting ON
- Web Filtering: Set your preferences
- Time Limits: Set your preferences
- Windows Store and Game Restrictions: Set your preferences
- App Restrictions: Set your preferences
Online Safety Courses for Kids
What’s Worked At Your House?
Please add any comments on how you’ve handled computer safety at your house. What’s worked? What hasn’t? Any products or services you’d recommend? We’d love to hear more!
Want to Chat?
- Who: @HP, HP PC Brand Ambassadors, @WindowsBlog, @Microsoft, @kristinalibby, @gizmogladstone, @AFinnie, @MelissaZieger
- What: A live Twitter chat about HP PC and Windows 8!
- How: Just follow the chat using the hashtag #winchat and #HPFamilyTime
- When: Tuesday, June 18 from 12-1 PT (3-4 ET) on Twitter
- More Info: http://blogs.windows.com/
Best of all? They’ll be giving an HP Pavilion TouchSmart All-in-One PC away at the end of the chat! Mark your calendars and I’ll tweet you there!
More to Come!
Want to know what I think about switching between a Mac and PC? Curious about all of the bells and whistles of the HP TouchSmart? I’ll be posting more of that soon!
More Computer Safety on TodaysMama.com: