Getting your child a laptop may seem like a necessity for doing homework and other school projects at home, but it does come with some concerns. A major concern for any internet-enabled device in novice hands is the threat of malware and viruses. The following tips can help you protect the computer, along with any important family information on the device, from these threats.
Tip #1: Use a "net nanny" program
Many parents are aware of net nanny programs for preventing their child's access to websites containing explicit or questionable material, but these programs can also serve another purpose. Most can be programmed to block specific websites, such as some of the more popular social media or forum sites. Most experienced users of social media are aware of the common ways scammers try to hack social media accounts using friend requests or internal messaging systems, but a kid on their first laptop may not be aware so they are an easy target. Using a net nanny program to prevent access can help minimize the risks of viruses and malware.
Tip #2: Block ads and popups
A pop-up blocker and an ad blocker are a must on almost any computer, but especially on one used by a child. Pop-ups aren't just annoying, your child may not realize that they shouldn't click an ad, especially if it appears to come up on an otherwise trustworthy website. Also, it can be easy for an inexperienced user to accidentally click on an ad or pop-up while trying to scroll with a mouse pad on the laptop. Finally, sometimes inappropriate ads show up on useful and appropriate websites, so keeping these off your child's computer is desirable.
Tip #3: Install Anti-Virus and Malware programs
You need to make sure the computer is kept up to date with virus, malware, and spyware protection programs. It also isn't enough to simply install these programs. Make it a weekly habit to manually check for any updates to these programs, even if you have automatic updating enabled. Real-time programs are your best option since these should be downloading updates as threats become known or are detected on the computer. You may also want to teach your child how to manually run a scan in case they accidentally click something or visit a site that seems questionable. Finally, set the programs to scan at least once a day, as well, just to further ensure any problems are caught and corrected quickly.
For more help in setting up a laptop for a child and ensuring that it is safe against problems, contact a computer repair and service company in your area, like Computer Exchange or a similar location.