How To See What Your Child Downloads On Their Computer
In this age of easy access to technology and easy downloads, it can be unsettling to think your child can download inappropriate images or viruses that can take over their computers. You can’t always look over their shoulders to track their activities, or can you?
To see what your child downloads on their computer, you can download and install monitoring software such as Wolfeye Remote Screen. You can also check their computers when they’re asleep, at school, or a friend’s house. Or you can just ask them what they have downloaded.
Monitoring your children’s online activities can be a full-time job, but if you take advantage of monitoring software and have an open dialogue with your children, you can head off any potential dangers. This article will show you how to do this and give you other tips on keeping your child safe online.
1. Download and Install Wolfeye Remote Screen
The best way to see what your child is downloading is to view their screens in real-time remotely on your computer. Several software programs do this, but the best one seems to be the Wolfeye Remote Screen, which can be downloaded as a free trial.
Here’s how to do that, according to their tutorial:
- Prepare your anti-virus program so it recognizes and doesn’t flag the software as a virus.
- Click the „Download Free“ button on the homepage and follow the prompts to install the program.
- You’ll then be prompted to click the „Share Screen“ button. Once you do this, you should be able to see your child’s computer screen.
- To hide your screen from your child’s computer, click the „Hide + Win Startup“ button.
You can also read their tutorial in-depth for more information on this process.
Benefits Of Wolfeye Remote Screen
When using the Wolfeye Remote Screen, you can monitor your child’s activity without them knowing about it, as it runs invisibly as soon as you start up your computer and the program. You can also take screenshots of your child’s actions, including downloading inappropriate things.
Watching your child’s activities remotely can be beneficial, but it also has the potential to cause a rift between you and your child. So tread carefully with this program.
2. Check Your Child's Computer For Inappropriate Downloads
Depending on your child’s age, you may or may not get away with checking their computer when they’re at school or asleep. Of course, you want to give them privacy and trust that they’re not downloading viruses or things that aren’t age-appropriate.
But, being children, they tend to do things they’re not supposed to do.
You won’t need to check their computer all the time, but doing a spot check occasionally can show you what they’ve downloaded recently or where they’ve been online. If you find something concerning, you might want to discuss what you’ve found with your child.
But you don’t want to have an accusatory tone, or your child might resent you for invading their privacy.
Also, if your child is older than 8 or 9, you might not want to go poking around their computer without talking to them first. They may get very upset about you invading your privacy and might hide their activities further.
Children tend to get crafty if they think their parents are spying on them. So it’s better to talk with them first so they understand why you’re monitoring their activities.
3. Keep Your Child's Computer Out Of Their Bedroom
When you allow your child to keep their computer in their room, they can download things that might not be age-appropriate without your knowledge.
It’s also more difficult for you to monitor their online activities.
Place your child’s computer and desk in a public place in your home, such as the living room. Not only does this keep your child off the computer when it’s time for bed, but it also allows you to see what they download.
4. Open a Dialogue With Your Child About Online Activities
Children can sometimes be very intelligent and responsive while lacking common sense at other times. That’s all part of growing up and learning how life works. But they’re always listening and learning, no matter the situation.
Therefore, to keep trust between you and your child, you’ll want to talk with them about what they’re doing online, who they’re chatting with, and what not to download.
For example, several questionable sites contain malware that can cause your child’s computer to crash or have other issues that are difficult to fix. Or, there might be files your child downloads that contain ransomware, which locks the computer until you pay the ransomware owner to unlock it.
Discussing these things with your child can reduce how much you need to monitor their online activities.
Other Ways To Keep Your Child Safe Online
Monitoring what your child downloads is a big part of keeping your child safe online, but it’s not the only way. In fact, if you implement any of these other ways, you can prevent most inappropriate downloads.
Use Safe Search Settings On Search Engines
Google and other search engines have a „Safe Search“ setting you can adjust to control how strict you want the search results to be. Once you turn this on, your child won’t be able to see or visit inappropriate sites or download things you stipulate within the settings.
It works like a filter and blocks these sites from appearing in the search results.
Use the Parental Controls On Your Children’s Devices
Most technological devices have built-in parental controls in the settings, so before giving these to your child, you might want to turn those on. This can go a long way in keeping your child from downloading inappropriate content.
You may want to especially do this with their tablets and smartphones, as you won’t have as much access to them once you hand the device to your child.
Install Filters On All Your Devices
Several companies, like Google and Microsoft, offer third-party software that filters what your children can see and download. These filters also work on tablets, PCs, smartphones, and streaming devices.
While you might need to pay for a subscription, keeping your children safe might be worth it.
You might also be able to find a few free software services, though they might not be as all-encompassing as you need them to be.
Children can find themselves in compromising situations online and need your help to get out of them. For example, they may end up downloading a virus that destroys their computer. Knowing what your child is doing can often mitigate this and reduce how much trouble they can get into.
Following the tips in this article, you can dramatically reduce the dangers your child might face online.