How do I keep my teen from using my computer? Even with password protect I know he is still getting on there through Safe Mode.
Let's face it, teenagers probably know more about computers than us parents can ever hope to know. But that doesn't mean that we can't take a few steps to make it more difficult. First, let's address the issue of Safe Mode and then we'll go from there.
Safe Mode is a horrible way to use a computer in general so I can only assume he's using Safe Mode to snoop around and view files. Otherwise, with its low resolution screen and limited device drivers, Safe Mode isn't much fun. Now, you can password protect Safe Mode in Windows XP if you want. Doing so involves booting into Safe Mode and then clicking Run and typing control userpasswords. From there, pick Administrator and click on Change my password. Now, you'll need to create and confirm your password. Beware, if you forget this password and ever need to troubleshoot your PC in Safe Mode, you'll have a bear of a time. Make absolute sure you will remember the password!
Now, that that's out of the way, you may want to install some sort of parental controls software on your teen's computer as well as your own. If your teen has a computer, try PGSurfer from Paretologic Software. This is a completely free program that will give you greater control over how your teen uses the computer. Rather than completely restricting computer access, you can control it. If you have Windows Vista, you can also use the built-in Parental Controls utility to restrict how the computer is used by specific user.
Another option is to physically secure your computer. A variety of products are available for locking your computer including tower lockers and laptop locks. If these aren't options or are cost-prohibitive depending on the type of computer setup you have, you might even install door locks on the room.
By adding a password to Safe Mode, installing parental control software, and physically securing your computer, you stand half a chance against having your privacy invaded by your teenager.