This article is for those looking to prepare a Windows 7 or 8 computer for kids. These are the steps i take as a minimum.
- 1. Remove all unnecessary software from the PC. Unnecessary software (such as download assistant software, assistive software, adware software, etc can lead kids (and adults) to websites of poor taste. Remove everything you don’t need. If you’re not sure if a program is needed or not, Google it or ask an expert. Go through the list of installed software in the Windows Add/Remove list. See the steps below.
- 2. Remove whatever anti-virus you have on the PC and then install something trusted like AVG. AVG comes free for personal use. Free doesn’t mean bad in this case. AVG has a great reputation and doesn’t take over your computer.
- 3. Turn on Parental Controls for the kids account. This means creating a new computer login account for the kids. You can log in with full access to make changes to the computer, etc but kids have restrictions. You have the admin account and kids and the Parental Controlled account. See below for steps.
- 4. Set Internet Explorer to the default browser and ensure no other browsers are installed. Internet Explorer does NOT have a good reputation but it works well with the Parental Controls that we previously enabled. Other browsers don’t. Also, great browsers like Chrome have excellent features that block bad images but they require you to have a Google/Gmail account for the user. Ironically, only adults can have such account. So we’re stuck with Internet Explorer. While on this topic we must set a good Search Engine as the home page and the default search engine for Internet Explorer. I recommend “www.duckduckgo.com” which claims to ‘not track’ their users.
- 5. Watch and educate your kids. Keep the computers in the lounge or kitchen where you can monitor them.
These are the steps to take.
1. Go to the Control Panel and select the Uninstall Programs link/option. Select one program at a time to remove and click the Uninstall or Change button at the top of the list. You can’t remove more than one at a time.
2. Using Internet Explorer, download AVG Free using the link below. Then go back to the Uninstall Programs utility and remove the currently-installed antivirus program. Download AVG Free from “http://download.cnet.com/AVG-AntiVirus-Free-2015/3000-2239_4-10320142.html”. Click the “Download Now, Secure Download” link on that page.
3. Turn on Parental Controls. First we need to create the Kids a new account and leave yours (the one with full access) for your use only. Go to the Control Panel and click User Accounts and Family Safety. Click Add or Remove User Accounts. Then click Create New Account and give it a name such as “Kids”. Make sure to select Standard Account. Click Create Account. Now click on the N”Kids” account (the button) and click the “Set Up Parental Control” link. Select the “Kids” account and change the option from Off to On. Click OK. Now you need to set your own account’s password if one isn’t already set. DO this by going to the Control Panel and then User Accounts and Family Safety. Then click the Change Your Password link. Set your password to something the kids don’t know. You’re done. You can set the Kids password too in the same way if you like. Finally before logging out, make sure your account is “Administrative”. Do this by Going to the Control Panel and clicking User Accounts and Family Safety. Then go to Add or Remove User Accounts. You will see the words Administrative below your account name. If not, go in and change it using an Administrative account. Test what you’ve just done by logging out of your account and in as the Kids account.
4. Set Internet Explorer as the default browser and make sure the default search engine is “www.duckduckgo.com”. Open Internet Explorer and press “Alt+t” and then “o”. You will see the Internet Explorer Options Window appear. In the top field, remove whatever is already in there and enter “http://www.duckduckgo.com” and click the Apply button. Click on the Advanced tab and in the Settings list, go to Security and then tick the Enable Enhanced Protected Mode. Again click the Apply button. Now click the Programs tab and click the Make Default button. Click OK. You’re done.
5. Watching your kids is obvious but worth it. One wrong click and they end up seeing something very uncool.