Making your Mac safer for children...

I recently attended a chat with Mediocre Mum and Tony Anscombe from AVG, this was generally about how our children interact with the internet, as well as how to keep them save when online.

Now recently the 9 year old was lucky enough to get an iPad for Christmas, and the teenager has had a mobile phone for a few years.  It certainly did make me think about how they use their devices and what they have access to.  

I certainly cannot approach them both the same way, one is nearly 10 the other nearly 18 so will potentially loose all control (in a way), with regards to the 9 year old I certainly had a lot to think about.

The first thing I did when the 9 year old received her iPad was ensure this was set up safely, restricting app access, in-app purchases etc (Mediocre Mum has a great post about this here), but one point I hadn't considered was what she can access on the Mac.

This weekend I set aside half an hour or so to ensure it was safe, only this morning I typed in the website address of a well known outdoor clothing shop and ended up on a very different site, so I was adamant that the little one could not make this error on the Mac.

The first step if you haven't considered this is to ensure that your child has their own account, this way you will be able to control what they see and how they can use the computer, you will also need to make sure your account is locked and they are unable to access this.

Once you have done this the next few steps are pretty simple, below is a number of screen grabs that will show you where to find the parental controls and what settings to look out for.

The main point to consider however is that all the hard work of making your settings safe for your child are only as good as the control of your own account, children are smart cookies and can quickly see or guess your password, so make this safe and secure from your children.

I also talk though the settings with my youngest, I don't show her how I set them, but I show her what is restricted and most importantly why I restrict certain sites, once a child see's something they shouldn't have its too late! 

In the run up to Safer Internet Day I will try and share some more tips I have about keeping your children safe online, and the importance of understanding tech.

Any questions don't be afraid to get in contact.