As kids become more Internet savvy parents have to be savvier yet to protect them. Probably every Internet user has, at some point, innocently seen something they didn’t want to see. Content filters are a way to protect you self and your family from seeing what you don’t want seen. They are also one of the most effective ways for ensuring that your teenagers don’t use the computer in the wrong way.
Parental controls such as content filters can be purchased as software that you install on the computer. This software can be purchased at any computer store. There are also some programs that you can download and install for free.
The way that content filter software works is easy. The filter company has a database of web sites that are unacceptable. Every time a Web address is typed into the computer, the addressed is checked against the database. If there is a match, the word PROHIBITED pops up on the screen. If a web address is typed in has not been check all the links in the site are tested against the database. One match and that web address is added to the list of prohibited sites. Using this type of software virtually insures that your children will not be surfing to dangerous sites.
You may want to install some of the free software that is available. One of these downloadable programs is called K9 Web Protection; it is a part of the Blue Coat Community outreach.
This program downloads right from the website and doesn’t include any spyware or licensing, just follow the download wizard. The problem with the currently available free software is that it doesn’t monitor chatroom conversations. It also doesn’t block questionable content from coming in through email and email attachments.
To find free downloadable software on the Internet you can just type “content filter free” into the Google toolbar. There are actually a good number of companies that provide downloadable content filers.
If you want to be a safe as possible, you might purchase some software and install that. Commercial software can be found online or purchased at a store. If you buy the software on line, you will be asked to key in your credit card number and expiration date. Make sure that you only type in credit card information on a secured sited. Once you have paid for the software just click through the installation wizard’s instructions.
If you buy your software at the store, you will need to install it yourself. To do this you just place the CD or DVD in the computer and open it. If the software opens up to show you a bunch of folders click on the folder that says install. More often than not, the install folder opens automatically when you put in the disk. Follow the instructions after you click on install. You will be asked about a serial number. Find this on the packaging that the disk came with. After you install the software, you can start enjoying the protection.
The web changes all the time and so does the software. The filtering software you install will need to be updated regularly. Become familiar with the symbol and logo associated with your software. When you see a pop-up window with that log make the changes that are recommended. Usually you just have to click an “accept” button to accept changes to the software that is already on your computer.
The online filters that you buy are usually purchased for a year at a time. After about eleven months have passed, you will be notified that it is time to re-subscribe to the service.