Family Software Guide

The right software can protect your family’s computers, help prepare your taxes, and even give your children a leg up on learning. This family software guide outlines some popular options.

Family Software 101

The programs you purchase for your home computer will bring it alive and ensure everyone in the family gets value from it. Business and home office software will turn any computer into a powerful productivity tool for work, school or managing the family's finances. Tax and financial planning software helps you save money by preparing your own taxes. Everyone in the family, from preschoolers to mature adults, can benefit from the wide range of educational programs on the market. And there are lots of great software programs for managing and enjoying your digital photos, music and movies. A good antivirus program is also essential to protect your files from harm and keep your system in good running order.

Types of Family Software


Antivirus & Security Software

Protecting your computer from internet viruses, spyware and other online intruders should be your top software priority. Most operating systems include a basic antivirus program, but more advanced security software offers added virus protection and peace of mind. Before making a purchase, read consumer tech web sites and publications for reviews and ratings of the different antivirus programs. Good security software runs quietly in the background without slowing your system. The protection provided should include file backups, virus detection and containment and warning if you visit unsafe websites. Comprehensive software packages may also include parental controls and system tune-ups, and allow installation on multiple machines.

Business & Home Office Software

Do you have a home business, track your household expenses or manage the budget for your kids’ sports league? If so, then you stand to benefit from good bookkeeping software on your desktop, laptop or tablet. Small business software makes data entry a snap. It's a must for entrepreneurs, and it’s also the family's financial watchdog for itemizing transactions, tracking costs and performing calculations and projections. Specialized accounting software is written for specific tasks and typically comes with numerous templates and preformatted documents to save you time and effort. You can also get resume software to help you present a professional image to prospective employers. A comprehensive business software package for your home office should include separate programs for spreadsheets, word processing, notes and memos, presentations or slide shows, a calendar/scheduling and online storage/backup.

Educational & Family Software

Educational software can turn your home computer into a one-stop learning centre for everyone in the family. Teach yourself key phrases before you go abroad on vacation or strive to master a new language with the help of language teaching software. Learning a musical instrument has never been more convenient thanks to the plethora of software products that offer detailed professional instruction and allow you to progress at your own pace. Child-friendly, curriculum-based software is ideal for introducing your pre-schoolers and kindergarteners to the basics of reading, writing and math. Whether you're looking to track your ancestors, expand your cooking skills or fix that leaky pipe, there's an educational software program that can show you how and walk you through the process step-by-step.

Photo, Music & Video Editing Software

The latest programs make it easy to store, modify and share your priceless digital memories and artistic creations. With a few keyboard strokes, you can transfer all of your of vacation shots and baby videos into a single photo program for sorting, labelling and editing. A good photo editor is easy to use and includes a basic set of tools for adjusting colour and contrast, resizing, cropping and adding text or filters. Today’s video editing software is simple enough to allow anyone to expertly edit and splice digital footage. You can add a music soundtrack, voiceover and subtitles to your wedding or graduation video for a more polished presentation you’ll be proud to show everyone. Music software is ideal for cataloguing your music by genre, artist or era for easy reference when you’re transferring files to a disk, MP3 player or mobile device. If you’re a musician recording your own work, there are audio software programs with digital studio tools to enable you to record and produce your songs and play them back on your handheld during rehearsals.

Tax & Financial Planning Software

Filing your personal income tax return online is easy and fast, and it’s even easier with tax software that's approved by the federal tax agency and contains digital versions of the official government forms. All you have to do is enter your data and push send. It couldn’t be easier for the average taxpayer. Various tax software packages allow you to file four or more returns per kit. The best-known providers stand behind the accuracy of their calculations and will defend your case if challenged by the authorities. There are more complex software packages for small businesses and others designed to monitor the performance of your financial investments and for retirement planning.

Family Software Buying Tips:

• Make sure software is compatible with your operating system (Mac or PC)
• Confirm that your computer has enough memory to host the software
• Take advantage of free trial periods before purchasing software
• Compare features of different software products to determine the best fit and value
• Search tech info web sites for software ratings and reviews

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Parental Control Tips:

• Enable parental controls on your computer operating system
• Adjust your browser options to restrict or block certain websites
• Monitor your children’s web habits by checking the history tab
• Educate children about safe internet use, downloading and chat
• Restrict computer access when you aren’t there to supervise
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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