InternetSafety.com, a leading developer of products that control online usage for consumers and businesses, offers these tips to ensure a safe and wholesome Internet experience for your kids:
1. Teach online safety -- Be sure that children know about online stranger danger, what to do if they come across a website or have an online conversation that makes them uncomfortable, and so on.
2. Provide a clear list of “don’ts” -- Explain, for example, that children should never give out personal information such as their last name, address, city, phone number, siblings’ names, school name or parents’ workplaces.
3. Block inappropriate websites -- You can automatically prevent access to sites that have been “blacklisted” because of objectionable content by using parental control software like InternetSafety.com’s Safe Eyes® (www.SafeEyes.com). Advanced programs let you select which website categories will be filtered (adult, alcohol, dating/personals, drugs, gambling, hate sites, pornography, profanity, sex, violence, weapons, etc.). You should also be able to block specific websites and/or keywords of your choice.
4. Explore the Web together -- Spending time online with your children, whether visiting websites or Facebook or playing an online game, can help you steer them in the right direction and enable you to better understand their digital world.
5. Beware of “back door” dangers -- Sometimes an objectionable YouTube video will be sent by email or embedded on someone’s social networking page, or a peer-to-peer file sharing program like BitTorrent may have inappropriate photos or other objectionable material. This is another reason to monitor your children’s computer use.
6. Monitor “live” communications such as chat and IM -- Online sex offenders usually meet victims in chat rooms; cyberbullying often happens during IM sessions; and both can happen either place. Some parental control software can block IM programs, save the full text of IM conversations, and alert parents if children post forbidden information.
7. Encourage trouble reports -- Children should feel comfortable coming to you if they encounter something or someone online that makes them feel uneasy or threatened. Be sure to applaud their honesty so that they will keep you informed of future problems.
InternetSafety.com has been a leading provider of web filtering solutions for consumers and businesses since 1999. The company’s flagship software, Safe Eyes, is the two-time recipient of the PC Magazine Editors’ Choice Award, earned a separate Editor’s Choice Award from LAPTOP Magazine, and was rated as the #1 parental control solution by America’s leading consumer advocacy publication. Other products include Safe Eyes Mobile, the first family-safe browser for the iPhone; EtherShield, a network-level solution offering plug-and-play Internet filtering for business environments; and Safe Eyes Business, an end-point filtering service for businesses of any size. The company’s products are used by customers in more than 150 countries. The company also supplies the technology for McAfee® Family Protection online safety software. For more information, visit www.internetsafety.com.