Need to Know: Child Internet Safety Software

by Barbara J. Feldman on December 27, 2007

The Internet is an integral part of our lives and we use it for online banking, buying gifts and other products, communicating with friends and family and doing research about various things. There are many ways that the Internet can enrich and fill our lives with good things. But there are also ways that the Internet can jeopardize our security and that of our family. There are many ways to keep yourself protected from unwanted material or other problems coming from Internet use and to keep them from affecting your family. Children are especially prone to problems online and are often targets of people who want to take advantage of others for their own gain. Keeping the Internet safe for your children is one of the most important things you can do. Here are some things you need to know about Internet safety software to keep your kids safe while on the Internet.

Many parents believe that their family is immune to many problems that occur online and that they have everything taken care of to protect themselves. They may even believe that the problems that are reported aren’t even real and may just be a marketing ploy to get people to buy software programs and other services that they don’t need. The fact is that the problems and hazards affecting children online are real and are a true threat to their security. It is reported that one in five children from the ages of ten through seventeen have received some type of sexual solicitation over the Internet. Whether it is through chat rooms, e-mail or instant messaging, this statistic is quite real and doesn’t take into consideration the advances on children that aren’t even of a sexual nature but could still be harmful to your kids.

While this information is at times disheartening, there are ways to fight the abuse of children online and protect yourself from unwanted intrusions. Many companies now offer child Internet safety programs that provide and manage any number of services that will help keep your kids from finding the wrong stuff while on the computer. It isn’t possible to be hanging over your child’s shoulder every minute that they are online, so these types of software can give you the peace of mind and security that you want without having to spend so much time supervising. Of course a program is never a proper substitute for good parenting and communication with your children, but it can make it easier and more natural to help.

Child safety software should do many things including: block pornographic sites and images, monitor what sites were visited, when, and for how long, any attempted or successful downloads, generate reports and statistical information to provide parents with the info they need to help, and a host of other things. These things are all important to keep a grip on what our children are doing online and to understand how we can improve security and help them stay where they should be while on the Internet and to keep them safe.

One of the most basic requirements of a safety program should be to keep track of illicit sites visited and block pornography and other explicit images sites. Many joke sites that are popular with children also have unsavory images and humor that would offend most people. Many programs offer customized blocking to rule out specific sites or categories of sites that would pose potential problems for children. These programs should also be compatible with the most popular search engines to add additional filtering to Internet search results.

One other very important feature is to have a report generated that is given periodically to the parents or system administrator for evaluation to see if any changes need to be made or if any specific sites need to be blocked. There are many other things that can be done by an online safety program and all of them should be used in conjunction with good communication and an effort to help your children understand why certain activities are not allowed or appropriate online.

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Feldman, Barbara. "Need to Know: Child Internet Safety Software." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 27 Dec. 2007. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1248/need-to-know-child-internet-safety-software/ >.