Cyber Security

Filtering Your Child’s Internet Use

Before you start any type of Internet activity with your little one it’s important to have a stable understanding of what’s acceptable online and what’s not. It’s easy to see that despite your best intentions to keep your child safe online, the illicit nature of the Internet can at times take a toll on your family as people you love and trust become victims of fraud, harassment and even sexual predation.

It’s understandable, then, that you may feel overwhelmed by the idea of how to protect your child from online abuse and the dangers that lurk behind every corner of the web. If you have four children in total, there’s no way you can keep track of everything they do online, since they might all be aged from ages 14 to 17, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly what they’re doing. Luckily, there are software types that can help you better monitor your children’s online activities.

Filtering Your Child's Internet Use

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One of the easiest ways to filter your child’s Internet use is to install what is known as a web filter. These types of software can be downloaded from different reputable companies and filter the sites that they think are appropriate, allowing only child friendly sites to come up when your child is on them. The great thing about these filters is that you can notify the company if your child uses a site that shouldn’t be there, and the company can then allow the site to come back online or take it off the block entirely.

If you want to take things a step further you can also install software that will track your child’s Internet use. Parents will now be able to see exactly what websites have been viewed, along with how often and for how long. This information is then used to help advise your child as to what he or she should be doing on the PC.

Many people think that because they have software on their PC that they can let their kids surf the Internet without putting any restrictions on the type of sites they can visit. That is to say, until that software is downloaded and installed it is impossible to know what your child is doing on the PC. So, despite your best intentions it is simply not possible to know whether or not your child is, in fact, looking at pornographic sites or other less than age appropriate sites.

There are numerous websites that support parents in seeing exactly what your child is doing online. Once again, some of these sites are innocent and some are not. Some are more age appropriate while others are not. It is important to find a filter that is easier to use and less time consuming.

You may not realize it, but as long as you have the IP address of your family computer it will keep you from acting responsibly. It’s very important to monitor children’s Internet activity. Once again, it can be done anonymously without compromising the safety of the kids. Spybot Net offers the perfect solution. It is free to download, install and use to monitor, protect and filter your child’s Internet use. If you want to take things a step further you can also visit ScanSafe or any other anonymous surfing software you may own.

As a safe bet, all these services will work to monitor your child’s activity while in limited form. However, you must be aware that not because these services offer this protection do not keep your child safe from the dangers of surfing the Internet.

With all the risks, the key is to balance the ease of use with the safety of your child. If your child cannot safely use the Internet then the one thing you must realize is that the dangers of the Internet will become very obvious.  Without proper filtering and monitoring of your child’s Internet use, you will most likely see some concerning things that reveal themselves about your child’s activities.

I feel that it is safe to assume that anything you don’t approve of your child doing will be considered inappropriate and unacceptable. However, this doesn’t mean you must not tell your child about those contents that pertain to him or her. In fact, you must want to assure him or her that they are not alone in these scary times.

The Internet can be a repository of information for the seekers of knowledge. However, we must also assure our children that they do not go too far in the dark holes of the Internet. We must let them know that there are many friendly people and genuine places online. With the click of a mouse they can visit these sites and discover exciting things. However, they must know that they can also encounter danger and that it is necessary for them to carry out a survival training session just like we did when we were kids.

 assessing their online activities and personally checking them out, will gradually lessen the chance of booking online. Of course, we will have to be a bit more careful now since the Web is now tied to the entire world.

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