For many parents, keeping their kids safe while they surf the web may seem like a full-time job. Even as internet trends change nearly continuously, kids seem perfectly able to adapt to the newest programs, parents may feel like they are unable to keep their children safe online. Luckily, parents can invest in an internet filtering program to help keep their kids safe online. As there are many software options available with an even more complex set of features to pick from, here are a few tips on using internet filtering to keep kids safe.
First, parents must decide how much they need to monitor their children’s online activities. Some kids are not interested in chat rooms or online messaging, while others may have blogs, Facebook or Myspace pages. Sometimes, the best way for parents to learn about their children’s online habits may be to play the student and ask their children how it all works. After a little research, parents will start to get a feel for what dangers may be lurking near their children and what needs to be blocked.
Internet Filtering Programs
Once parents have an idea of what their children are doing online, they must choose a program to help them filter the internet accordingly. Depending on their kids’ use of the internet, enabling the internet browser’s pop-up blocker may be the best option. However, most parents will need to buy an internet filter software program. Internet filtering programs have different strengths, abilities and features. While some programs specialize in monitoring instant messaging programs, e-mails and web pages, others are good at blocking websites with questionable content; still other programs may have a great reporting feature to keep parents up-to-date. Parents need to review their kids usage habits then review the different filter programs for their must-have features before they decide which filtering program is best for their family.
Installing internet filtering software might be tricky for less-than-savvy parents but most software designers understand that, so they have made their programs very user friendly. Installing some programs is as simple as placing the disk in the drive; the software is designed to install itself with little or no human help. However, in order to customize the program for their family, parents may need to do some tweaking. Parents should always read the instruction book that came with the computer software as it typically gives parents a step-by-step guide on how to customize the program to fit their needs.
Parental Involvement in the Mix
Parents that wish to keep their kids safe on the internet will need to combine internet filtering and parental supervision to best fit their family’s needs. Internet filtering programs are great resources to help parents keep kids safe, but they are not fool-proof. Many kids are better able to use most software programs than their parents so placing the family computer in a high traffic room will help parents keep an eye on what their kids are doing online. Parents should also communicate openly with their children about the internet as this can give parents a good idea of what their kids are doing online without invading their kids’ privacy. Creating a combination of internet filtering and parental involvement is the best way to ensure kids’ safety on the internet.