Many families today have a shared home computer to help with day-to-day activities. A teen can search for a job and stream shows. A parent can check work emails, pay household bills, and shop online. A youngster can play an educational game to buy Mom or Dad a few minutes of peace. Yet with COVID-19 sending so many people home to work, the shared computer is getting a lot more use.
Not every employee was lucky enough to get sent home with a business laptop. Some employers ask you to use your own computer. At the same time, you may also be accommodating kids doing online learning, and those little ones still want to go online and point and click to help Elmo plan a birthday party.
But sharing the computer can now present a security risk. You may have important work documents on the home computer. You could log in to the business network unaware of malware downloaded onto your home device, and, of course, that malicious software isn’t doing your home computer any favors either.
With so many people using the computer, make sure to set up virus protection on your home device. Additionally, you may set security patching and software upgrades to happen automatically. One of your young users could be seeing the message requiring an update and ignoring it. That leaves you unaware the software is vulnerable to bugs or threats.
With everyone sharing the desktop, your work is at risk. You could have downloaded a spreadsheet containing employee personal identification information. That represents a compliance risk if another user inadvertently accesses the document.
Or you could lose hours of work. Someone else might drag that project you’ve been working on to the trash with a school assignment rubric.
Our IT experts can set up different account profiles for each user. Doing this not only helps to secure your work from home but can also add protection for your kids.
The immediate appeal is personalizing the desktop for the individual user. Your kids can pick their own home screen backdrops and menu bars. You might not need access to Netflix, but your teen is thrilled to have it right there on the desktop. For smaller children, you can make icons and text bigger. Set up narration to give yourself a break from the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon.
For parents, security advantages of the profiles include being able to set up the following:
Web filtering enables you to set rules to screen incoming Web pages. This can help avoid children seeing explicit content or accessing a malicious site. You might also limit Web browsing to particular sites.
App limitations can ban kids from buying and downloading certain apps or making in-app purchases. For older kids you could require parental permission first.
You can set up Screentime limits for particular sites (e.g. Netflix or YouTube) or allow young people to access online content only at certain hours of the day.
Age restrictions allow you to filter mature content from search results. These also filter what apps, games, and media the young user can view or buy.
Individual profiles also make it easier for parents to track online activity and computer use. We can even set it up for you to receive reports on Web browsing and application use.
Secure your work from home and protect your family of users. Get help setting up the right controls for your home computer needs. Visit us online at www.YellowstoneComputing.net or visit our new store at 219 N Washington St, downtown Thorp. We’re open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
For additional information, go to Homeworking & Homeschooling in COVID-19 by Brad Egeland | MindGenius
Joe Smoczyk is the owner of Yellowstone Computing in Thorp, WI. Joe service the IT needs of local municipalities, businesses, and residents. Joe has been a contributor to the Sentinel & Rural News since 2014.Profile
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.