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Looking to set up a computer for the family? This is an exciting time as it is a big investment and one that the whole family can benefit from, both young and old members.
However, there are a few considerations that you will need to make while setting it up to make sure that you all get the most out of having a computer in the home (this is particularly true if it is a large family!).
Working through these considerations will make sure that everyone can enjoy the computer and that it will perform to the required standard and fulfill all of your needs:
If you have just one computer in the home, you may need to draw up a schedule for when everybody can use it and limit the time that everyone gets to spend. It will be particularly helpful if somebody needs the computer for work, others need it to study or complete their homework, etc.
It is easy for fights between little ones to break out over time spent at the computer, so make sure that you know how you are going to address this. It is also crucial that the kids do not spend too long at the computer and you still arrange a time to spend as a family.
Setting up accounts for each individual member is essential. Otherwise, your important business documents could easily get jumbled up with your kid’s artwork. In addition to this, having separate accounts enables you (the administrator) to control each account and set up certain restrictions so that the kids cannot find any unsuitable material, change system controls, chat to strangers, and so on.
Parental controls are extremely important in today’s digital world, so make sure that you have thought these through and have them in place before the children start using the computer. Although everyone will have their own accounts, you can also set up shared folders if you wish.
If you have a large family and you have multiple devices in the home (smartphones, tablets, etc.) then you may want to consider a high-speed internet connection, particularly if the family regularly downloads and streams content. It should ensure that you do not encounter any issues or suffer from slow, unstable internet.
High-quality and up to date antivirus software is an absolute must. The internet can be an incredibly dangerous place, particularly for a young user, but max security antivirus will provide sufficient protection. The best software will block web threats, secure any transactions, block dangerous websites, safeguard your children and even optimize the performance of the machine. The top antivirus systems will also protect all of your devices too.
Most kids know better than many adults how to safely use a computer, but it is still important that you go over how to be safe when using the computer and also set up a few ground rules. Many parents like to keep the family computer in a high-traffic area of the house so that they can keep an eye on them and make sure that they are not breaking any of the rules.
Kid Safe Email and More
Following on from this, if you have young children, then you can set them up with a kid-safe email service which is a good way to introduce them to email (which will now be an important part of their life!). These services enable a parent to control and monitor who they are emailing and the content, to block inappropriate language and block certain users amongst other features.
Backing up all of the data is incredibly important and especially if there are business and school documents, family photos, music collections on the hard drive as it can be devastating to lose these.
Backing up to an external hard drive or cloud storage is a smart move just in case something were to happen to the hard drive. In addition to this, it is also a good idea to regularly go through and delete any unnecessary files, software, and son, although your antivirus may do this for you.
A family computer can be an excellent idea, and it is important for children to learn how to use a computer safely.
There are certain issues that you will need to overcome, however, which can make it a challenge, particularly if you have a large family.
The key is to establish the rules for usage early on and to make sure that you have adequate protection in place along with fast enough broadband and all the software that you will all need to get the most out of the computer.