5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Personal PC for Your Teen

These days, it is not practical to think that your child won’t need regular access to a computer. It is not uncommon for teachers to have websites through which to communicate assignment guidelines, provide resource material, and accept homework, and for students to even bring their laptops to class with them for note-taking. Today’s teenager has a heavy workload when it comes to school, and the computer is the perfect tool for getting things done. However, private access of a computer is also a responsibility – one that teenagers may neglect or take for granted. Here are five things you need to consider before buying a personal PC for your teenager:

Cyberbullying

Bullying is getting a lot of attention these days, and the Internet has made it easier than ever for bullies to cause destruction on a large scale. You will need to make sure your teenager is aware of cyberbullying, as well as watch for signs that your teenager might be involved in cyberbullying (on either end).

Child Inappropriate Websites

If you don’t want your child viewing pornography, drug use, and violence on the web, then you will need to takes steps to prevent that from happening. This means sitting down for a serious talk about what is and is not allowed on the computer, or you may even go as far as to install specialized software that will allow you to track your teenager’s Internet use and/or block sites of a certain nature.

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Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blakespot/4461960573/

Privacy

One of the most common uses of the Internet for teenagers is social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, many teenagers are unaware of the implications and dangers of sharing their personal information on the web. In order to protect your privacy, as well as your teenager’s safety, you need to monitor what your teenager shares. This goes for photos and videos, as well as text.

Chatting

It’s not uncommon for teenagers to join chat rooms and have conversations with complete strangers, and it is all too easy for adults to take advantage of this by posing as teenagers to get information that they shouldn’t have. This information can be used in a destructive way, so warn your children of this danger.

Balance

The Internet can be a major distraction and time zapper – even for adults. Therefore, teenagers may need some guidance (and boundaries) when it comes to the amount of time they spend on the Internet. Your teenager’s Internet use can even be so distracting that it leads to falling grades, inadequate socialization, and disinterest in activities that your teenager used to find enjoyable. Help your teenager maintain balance by paying close attention to how much time is being spent on the Internet, and by enforcing some time restrictions.

A personal computer can be of great benefit to today’s teenager, but it can also be a threat if it is not used appropriately. Consider these points before handing over that huge responsibility.

About the Author: Tammera Kosik just purchased a computer for her teen daughter upon entering high school. In addition to the rules about when she can and can’t use the computer, Kosik also limited the number of inkjet cartridges her daughter can have per month for school work. Anything beyond the allowance she’ll have to buy for herself!

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