The first thing you can do is buy a book.
When you're talking about computers, the "For Dummies" series is absolutely great.
There are "For Dummies" books for everything from basic computing to Windows XP to Word Processing, you name it. I own a couple of the "For Dummies" books and I recommend them.
Another thing you can do is surf over to websites like Secure Florida.org, which is run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
"The best thing parents can do is educate themselves and become aware. That's one of the things we hope to accomplish with Secure Florida," said Mary McLaughlin, a computer expert with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
At Secureflorida.org, you'll find topics on Internet safety, educating yourself on computer basics, and how to chat safely online.
"We're trying to give parents the information that they need to keep themselves and their children safe," said McLaughlin.
And don't be afraid to talk to your kids. They can be a valuable source of information.
Computers can be intimidating, but with a little reading self-education and time, you too, can use and understand your computers as well as your kids.
Here's a list of the best "self-education" websites:
Secureflorida.org is a great site run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. On there you'll find computer basics and how to stay safe while your online.
TechTV is a network dedicated to everything technology. Comcast Cablevision bought the US version of TechTV and turned it into a gaming network named G4, but in Canada, TechTV in sort of a hybrid of its former self still exists. I wrote that to tell you this: Call for Help is a show that used to be on in the U.S. They cover a lot of how-tos for the novice computer user all the way up to the expert level. Leo Laporte is the host. If you need info on something, just click on "search" at the top of the screen. And I also recommend you look through the "show notes" from previous episodes. You can find a shortcut to "show notes" on the left side of the screen. Leo knows his stuff.
The website of the so-called "Digital Goddess" Kim Komando. Another favorite of mine, Kim makes understanding computers very easy. She hosts a nationally-syndicated radio show on the weekends dealing with computer basics. Here you'll find daily tips, basics and how-tos.
This is the homepage of the "For Dummies" book series. You can find the "For Dummies" books at any bookstore.