Our children live in a world that is surrounded by technology. While this Internet-centered world is mostly beneficial (anything they could possibly need to know is only a click away), there are significant risks as well. As well as being full of information, the Internet is unfortunately also teeming with inappropriate content, malicious and predatory users, and many other potential dangers. At Modernize, we believe that you can embrace this technological world in your own home and keep your children safe at the same time. Here are some tips to help you equip your home with a family friendly computer space that allows your kids to explore the online world safely.
Choose your equipment wisely
Before you begin setting up your family’s computer room, it’s important to think about what kind of computer will work best for your family. While laptops and tablets are great for portability and convenience, they are easily misplaced and much harder to control in terms of online safety. Large desktop computers, on the other hand, stay in one place and help keep you aware of where, when, and how your children are using the computer.
Find an appropriate space
Once you’re ready to set up a family computer station, you’ll need to find an appropriate space for all your technology. Many people don’t have the luxury of spare offices or computer rooms, so a corner of the living room, kitchen, or playroom will have to do. Whether or not you designate an entire room to your family’s computer area, make sure to choose somewhere safe but central that gets plenty of traffic. This way, you can give your kids some privacy working online while also keeping a watchful eye on their computer use.
Consider shared work stations
For particularly small or full homes, a shared computer space works just as well as an office for both work and play. A double desk or wall desk with multiple seating options allows you to work alongside your kids and keep track of their progress and safety at the same time. If your playroom has designated zones, a homework or study area is the perfect place for your family computer and can be easily monitored during playtime.
Set computer room rules
Once you’ve set up your family friendly computer area, make sure to set ground rules for use of the Internet. Do your research for age limits on websites and apps and keep yourself up to date with current warnings and potential threats online. Make sure your computer’s parental restrictions are set with a secure password and consider disabling the webcam if you are going to allow your kids to surf the web without supervision. Set time limits and other restrictions for your children, posting any rules you wish them to follow next to the computer so no one gets confused. Finally and most importantly, ensure that your kids know how to be safe online by discussing these rules and making them aware of the world at their fingertips.
Guest Post by Kaitlin Krull