By taking responsibility for your children’s online computer use and following the guidelines below, you could greatly minimise any potential risks of them viewing unsuitable sites.
The older children get the more likely they are to use search engines like Yahoo, AltaVista and Excite. These sites are great for finding out lots of information, but they can also locate sites you would rather your children didn’t visit.
There are search engines that filter out any potentially bad sites for children. They will not return sexually explicit, violent, or hateful content. This is the general idea, but it is not one hundred per cent fool proof. You shouldn’t let this deter you, but just be aware of it.
There are great search engines out there that will provide great entertainment for your children like Yahooligans, Ask Jeeves for kids and SuperSnooper. These will restrict searches to appropriate sites for children. If you feel this option would be easy to manipulate, you can apply a filtering programme yourself.
Filtering programmes are also available to buy. Some are designed especially for parents – they give parents total control for designating appropriate websites and blocking objectionable ones.
Filtering programmes do a variety of things; some can allow the parents to monitor incoming and outgoing messages. Others allow multi-user access with customisable profiles for each family member, allowing you complete internet access, while your child can only access a number of safe sites.