General Question

hornet's avatar

What restrictions should I put on my daughter's laptop?

Asked by hornet (241points) August 8th, 2016

My 11-year-old daughter finally saved enough money to buy a laptop. I helped her purchase this one.

I am strongly leaning towards putting Linux on it. I haven’t used Windows in years, but I use Linux every day and I feel better about configuring and securing it. All of the programs she is interested in run perfectly well on Linux.

I work on the internet so I appreciate all the good that is out there, but I also know that there is a lot of nasty stuff that I would like to protect her from. I let her use our home computer, but that is in a common area that is easy to supervise. I’m happy to give her the freedom of a mobile computer, but I also a bit guarded.

I want to know three things:

1. What kind of rules/policies do you recommend?
2. What kind of software should I install (parental controls, time restrictions, etc.)?
3. What other precautions should I take?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

hornet's avatar

I’ve been trying out linux distros and I currently like Elementary OS the best.

zenvelo's avatar

I set my kids’ computers so I was the admin and could get into any app/program/history. When they were younger, (second and third grade) I put on an Internet access control program that had a pretty good whitelist, and easy to use controls on when it could be used.

And I set the computer up so they could only use it during certain hours; they had to ask me if they wanted extra hours.

Strauss's avatar

My experience pretty much follows that of @zenvelo. I don’t know that much about linux, but my guess is that if there’s a program or application for Windows, there should be an equivalent or better for linux.

We required our kids to ask permission each time they wanted access. In addition, we restricted (on the device) access times, which could be overridden by admin only. Here is a link reviewing a few linux-friendly parental control software packages

LornaLove's avatar

I’d put the lap top in a family room with the screen facing towards the family. Like on a a desk or table that faces the wall.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I think the behavior suggestions above are best. Train & educate your kid to be a smart and responsible user.

But whether you have kids or not, I recommend using the free OpenDNS service to protect all your computers. You can set it on your router or individual computers so harmful sites are blocked.

There are two free options

1) Family Shield
“Pre-configured to block adult content”

OpenDNS Home
Is full customizable.
At the least you get security against malware and phishing.
At the most you can block lots of different things (settings screenshot).

OpenDNS Home Internet Security

hornet's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay I already use OpenDNS, but I appreciate the suggestion.

hornet's avatar

@Yetanotheruser thanks for the link.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther