Parents must always be weary of the evils that lurk on the Internet. Although it’s a wonderful resource offering limitless possibilities, there is one problem; it can also expose a child to harmful material. The good points are that the Internet improves reading skills, teaches them to become resourceful in their ability to search and solve, and exposes them to things that they might not otherwise be exposed to. But again, there is that downside. There are over 1 million websites on the Internet that have pornography and pornographic content in various forms that children have access to. And besides, unrestricted web surfing will greatly increase the chances of your computer picking up harmful viruses and mal-ware.
So how do you minimize a child’s exposure to those harmful resources? Full restriction is one way; but a better solution is the use of Parental Control software. Parental Control software provides an automated tool that assists parents in controlling the content that a child can have access to on the Internet. These software programs falls into three basic categories: Content Filters, which restrict to age appropriate content; Usage Controls, which regulate time spent on usage as well as certain applications; and Monitoring, which tracks location and activity. These applications are also commonly used by employers to restrict employees' Internet access.
There are many different brands of this software designed to fill those needs. ContentWatch uses a parental control web filter program. There is however, an annual fee required to use it and each account is limited to one computer, which seems a little unfair. But it is easy to install and use - and they do offer free tech support. WebWatcher, another brand, is a recording type of software that logs all activity such as email, websites, chats, IM’s, and can be accessed from any computer, at any time of the day, whether online of offline, and can be accessed from any computer at any time you log on. CyberPatrol has the ability to filter and block websites that have specific content harmful to children. The program breaks down websites into 13 categories, allowing parents to specifically filter what a computer can have access to. You can also allow or disallow specific websites and certain keywords in URL’s that can be specified either from user-to-user or in overall fashion.
The best way to find the most suitable option is through the Internet. You will find you have many choices tailored to suit your needs.