EVERYONE who has a child at home would readily realise the importance of childproofing one’s computer. If the child is less than five years old, the computer is nothing more than an interesting toy for him or her. The moment your back is turned from the computer, the child might hop aboard your seat and start tapping on the keyboard. It is surprising how quickly a child is able to the nitty-gritty’s of moving the mouse and opening new websites by clicking on the myriad links.
If you are around to keep tab of what the child is doing on the computer, the child’s activities might seem quite harmless and even funny. However, it is possible that the randomly pressed keys and the movements of the mouse could lead to the deletion of important folders and files and perhaps open and close some programs. Older children face the risk of being led to mischievous websites through the Internet. So it is important for all parents to childproof their home computer.
Here is a list of some easy ways:
Lock your computer
This is the simplest way of dealing with most of your computer and Internet related concerns at home. Once you have a password system of logging into your computer in place, the screen will not react to any amount of tapping of the keys or moving of mouse by your child. You have the option of enabling the password on the screen saver itself to ensure that your child is unable to get into the computer before it gets into the sleep mode.
Enable User Account Control (UAC)
It is quite difficult to stop a child older than 3 years old from playing video games on the computer. So for older children, you can use the UAC system. Once UAC is installed, you can create a Separate Guest Account on your computer for your child. Through this account, the child will be able to have limited amount of access to the computing system. He or she will be able to access video games and other basic aspects, but the child will not gain free access to the Internet or to your files and folders, which are saved in your “Administrator” account. UAC is standard feature in most Windows based computers, it allows you to set the highest setting and any standard user account will have to enter a password in order to complete the task.
Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 come with built-in parental controls, which allow you to restrict the programmes that can be run on the computer, the time the computer can be used and even filter websites that the user can visit. If you conduct a simple search on Google, about the ways of enabling Parental Controls, you will be led to many different options. The thing is that Parental Controls mechanism does not offer comprehensive protection. While it will prevent the child from visiting mischievous websites, it will not protect your files from being accidentally deleted.
Lock your apps
The Windows 7 comes with a programme called AppLocker, which allow you to choose, which programme a certain category of user can be allowed to run.
Encryption and freezing
Well, if you are really protective about the data that you are holding in your computer, you can try strategies like encryption or freezing. You can download a free programme like TrueCrypt, which will create a secure encrypted container in your system. The secure container will not even show up on the system so the files are secured from accidental tampering or deletion. The programme called Deep Freeze comes at a price, but it is something that a lot of parents would love. Even if your child manages to delete files, change settings and install spyware, you can get everything back to normal with few clicks on the Deep Freeze programme.