Parental Control Software - What are the Options?

 


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With over 48 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 using the internet on a regular basis, it’s important for responsible parents to ensure that their kids are protected from dangerous online predators and inappropriate websites.

For most of us, it is impossible to physically monitor everything our children do online, as we simply do not always have the time to sit with them while they research homework topics, play games, and socialize with online buddies. It’s important to let kids use and experience the internet, as it’s a great place to learn and discover. On the other hand however, the web is full of unsavory sites and dangerous predators just waiting for a curious youngster to come their way.

The best way to protect children from the dangerous side of the web while still allowing them the freedom to explore and enjoy all the good things the internet has to offer is to use Parental Control software. This special software handles the internet monitoring for you, and can easily be customized and set to reflect your household rules and family values.

There are two ways protect your kids online with the help of parental control software: Either get a good internet computer security suite that includes some parental control features, or get a specialized product that is designed to provide a total “blanket of protection” against all internet security threats that target children online. If you opt for the latter, Net Nanny is the product of choice.

Internet Security Suites with Parental Controls

Several internet security software companies incorporate parental control elements into their “all inclusive” computer security suites. Also known as Internet Security Suites, these excellent products offer protection from computer viruses, spam, spyware, and hackers as well. Most of the security suites that offer integrated parental controls utilize a technique called “web filtering”. Web filtering allows parents to block access to a built in set of “blacklisted sites”, which are known to contain inappropriate material and/or attract a lot of predators. Parents can also add their own prohibited sites to the blacklist, thereby controlling what sites can and cannot be displayed.

Panda Platinum Internet Security and f-Secure Internet Security are two examples of excellent security suites that include web content filtering software. F-Secure Internet Security includes the added benefit of a “web timer”, which allows parents to block internet access altogether during certain times (late at night, for example).

Net Nanny

The absolute best product you can buy to protect children online is Net Nanny by LookSmart software. This robust, full-featured parental control software product has everything you need to fully protect up to 12 different users (adults as well as children) with different “age appropriate” settings that are also fully customizable.

Net Nanny includes web filtering software, which allows you to block access to an included “blacklist” of known undesirable websites, while allowing parents the option of removing or adding more prohibited sites as needed. Popup blockers prevent any “surprise” advertisements, and parents can also create keyword lists to filter out any inappropriate terms on sites that kids are permitted to visit. You can optionally block access to instant messaging, downloading, and addictive online games.

Net Nanny includes a web timer so you can control the amount of time children spend online, as well as set “no access” times. An internet monitor can be configured to email you a log of each child’s online activities, which can be helpful in enforcing rules and teaching family values. Built-in privacy protection keeps your account information and personal details safe, and also stops predators and scammers from learning your web surfing habits.

Net Nanny is easy to use and configure, and can easily be set up with different levels of security for each person who uses the computer. System requirements are minimal, and it runs well on just about any Windows – based computer.

To learn more, visit: Net Nanny, Panda Platinum Internet Security, f-Secure Internet Security

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