1. Take control
Before handing over a laptop to a child, it’s important you set up some parental controls. This lets you decide what your child can look at and how long for. You can also set it to prevent them downloading inappropriate content.
Both Apple and Windows operating systems have parental controls. They allow you to choose the highest content rating for apps, games, movies, TV, music, podcasts and online books that your child can access. For anything over this rating, they’ll need to know the unique pin – set by you – to get to it.
2. Set time limits
There’s lots of research showing that staring at a screen for too long is not good for our children. It’s not only unsociable – eating into quality family time – but it also strains young eyes.
Modern laptops have clever tech built-in which limits eye fatigue – like the Blue Light filter in Windows 10 – but the ideal is to set limits on your child’s screen time.
5 top tips to manage children’s screen time by child internet safety charity Internet Matters offers sound advice on how to do this.
3. Choose an operating system
Most laptops will support one of three operating systems (OS) – Windows, Apple or Chrome. Each has its own unique features – you just need to decide which is right for your child.
Windows 10 – the latest OS from Windows – runs the popular Microsoft Office that includes Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Useful for writing up school projects and presentations. See our full range of Windows laptops
All Apple computers run macOS. It’s loved by creatives but also has Pages and Numbers for schoolwork. Find the perfect Mac for your needs
With Google’s Chrome OS the software isn’t stored on the laptop but on cloud-based apps – this makes Chromebooks more affordable and a great starter option for your child. Check out our range of Chromebooks
Want to learn more about the different operating systems? See our breakdown of what's right for you
4. Keep viruses at bay
Visiting the wrong website or innocently opening an email attachment can be all that’s needed for a virus to sneak onto your child’s computer.
Ensuring their laptop is protected with antivirus software is a secure way to keep viruses and malware at bay.
Read How to protect your child’s computer from viruses for more hints and tips.
5. Talk to your child
Now their laptop is secured, there’s just one thing left to do – talk to your child.
Keeping an open dialogue will help you keep them safe and aware of issues that may arise. Internet Matters can help you with this, providing advice and guidance on the following:
- Cyberbullying – the internet and social media has changed the way children experience bullying – help keep them protected
- Internet reputation – everything said and posted online is recorded forever – help your child manage their online reputation
- Online gaming – teach your child to stay safe when playing online games and recognise what games are appropriate for their age
- Inappropriate content – set filters and teach your child how to avoid inappropriate content
Set on which laptop is right for your child? Check out our full range
Currys PC World are proud supporters of Internet Matters, an organisation committed to helping parents keep their children safe online. Internet Matters offer the best advice and information available to parents, to make their children’s online life fulfilling, fun and above all safe.
Visit: https://www.internetmatters.org/ for more information.
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