The internet is playing a larger role in family life now more than ever. We have more devices that are connected to it, it’s more important to our work, education, and entertainment, and we keep finding new uses for it. As such an important resource, it should be no surprise that when something goes wrong, it can lead to arguments and fights in the home. Here, we’re going to look at some of the common stresses and concerns of living with the internet and what you can do to fix them.
You don’t have to be a technical wizard
First of all, let’s talk about how infuriating it can be when you’re trying to connect to the internet, but it seemingly just won’t work. We all have those troubles from time to time, but before you spend half-an-hour on hold waiting for technical support, you should look at some of the most common issues yourself. CNET.com/ has a handy guide on some of those issues, as well as the troubleshooting and DIY fixes you can try yourself. You don’t necessarily have to be technically gifted with computers, as there are plenty of guides that lay out every individual step you need for a thorough troubleshooting.
Loading, loading, loading
So, you’ve connected to the internet, but it’s slowing down to a crawl and making it near impossible to do anything productively. The truth is that many families fail to really consider their needs when deciding on their internet package and find themselves with not enough bandwidth to go around. If you have multiple people connect to multiple devices, or you have family members that do high-demand things like playing online games or streaming movies, then you need to look at high-speed options like Suddenlink.com/. If you’re on the Wi-Fi, you should consider that your signal might be obstructed. For instance, if you’re on the opposite end of the house, a wireless signal won’t be able to reach you as readily. Powerline adapters can connect you directly to your router through the power supply in the house.
Staying safe on the world wide web
Most of us nowadays have data and files on our computers that we would rather didn’t get out into the rest of world, as well as those we would rather that we didn’t lose. Malware is more prevalent on the internet than ever before. Anti-malware software like AVG.com/ can help, but you should also take the time to learn internet safety tips that can help you avoid the most common dangers. For instance, if you’re online shopping, make sure that you’re on a secure, legit sight before inputting any financial details. The easiest way to see whether a site is secure is to make sure that its URL includes the “https” code instead of the “http” code.
Be careful what you share
Just as commonly as having your data stolen or deleted, we tend to give away the keys, so to speak, by providing too much personal information in the wrong spaces online. Most of us are aware of the recent Facebook scandal unveiling that lots of big organizations had access to a treasure trove of data on its users. There are a lot of ways to protect your data. If you’re not using your file sharing features on your device, for instance, you should disable it. If you’re on social media, be careful who you add and check your preferences to ensure that your photos, posts, and personal information is kept private.
The internet has seen moral panic after moral panic, from the rise of online video games that highlight violent and abusive behavior to the sheer amount of explicit content on there. As a parent, it’s entirely understandable that you should worry about what your kids are doing and seeing online. However, a big part of the problem is that parents simply aren’t present in their kids’ online lives. But you can keep an eye on them and help dictate what they do and don’t have access to thanks to tools like Netnanny.com/. You can set parental locks that stop them from accessing certain sites and don’t allow them to use certain apps. This is especially important if they’re using devices you’re sharing with them and could accidentally make purchases on your own credit cards because you’ve enabled one-click purchasing for your own convenience.
Talking about it
Even with parental control apps like the one mentioned above, you can’t be there to see what your child does online all the time. Especially as they grow into teens, they want some room and privacy for self-expression and exploration. The best policy is to stay updated and talk about not just what they do on a regular basis, but also the latest threats. Social media is one of the biggest concerns as of late. From people sharing too much information to getting caught up in arguments that can negatively impact their mood long after the net, talk to them about how they communicate and who they communicate with on the internet.
Too much tech
Technology is playing a much bigger role in all our lives and this has become something of a concern for many of us. While it’s an endlessly effective tool for working, education, entertainment and so on, it can be addictive. Finding the time to spend with the family away from technology and keeping your kids entertained away from the kids can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Set aside time every week, if not more regularly, to do something outside or just away from any monitors. Families that don’t spend as much time together and spend more time on their individual digital tech are more likely to get into regular arguments.
The internet is a truly fantastic resource and one that we shouldn’t take for granted. Hopefully, the tips above help you get more out of it and better manage how your family uses it so that everyone stays satisfied, safe, and happy online.