Magazine article Volta Voices

Parental Controls

Magazine article Volta Voices

Parental Controls

Article excerpt

One concern among all parents, including AG Bell members, is monitoring their children's use of the Internet. With parental controls, parents can ensure safe web surfing on the Internet. One of the major problems parents face when their kids surf the Internet is accidental access to pornography. Other issues exist as well, such as access to sites promoting violence or political propaganda.

What are Parental Controls?

Online Parental Controls are typically software packages that restrict access to those parts of the Internet that parents deem unsuitable for their children. Generally, there are three ways to implement parental controls - commercial software products, ISP level controls and freeware or shareware solutions.

Commercial Software

Parental Control software comes in all shapes, sizes and prices. Some well-known software packages are Net Nanny, Cyber Patrol, Cybersitter, IamBigbrother and Guardian Monitor. People who have used these programs report that the software blocked information on sexually transmitted diseases, the politics of prostitution and even a site about Adam and Eve. When choosing a software program, parents should consider the following criteria:

* Ease of Use - Is it easy to find the functions you are looking for? Is it easy to customize?

* Allow, warn and block - Does it function in chat rooms for email and peer-to-peer interactions?

* Individual profiles - Can you create a profile for each family member with different filtering rules?

* Activity reporting - Can you view what each individual family member has been doing on the computer? …

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