Today, Internet filtering and content blocking is a hot topic worldwide. The discussion about its competence is being held on multiple levels – from World Wide Web monitoring to restricting employees access to job search sites. But while freedom of speech activists continue to argue with the national governments around the globe over censorship on the Internet, there is no question about limiting kids’ access to inappropriate online content. Porn, drugs, hateful sites, gambling, dangerous online communities – these are just a few examples of perils that lie in wait for children in the Net.
Nowadays 91% of teens 13 to 17 years old surf the Internet using various mobile devices - smartphones, tablets and other gadgets without proper content control software. As a result, monitoring their actions and ensuring their online safety is extremely difficult.
Hence, when it comes to kids’ online activity, using built-in or standalone content filter software is not an option – it is an imperative. Thankfully, if you do want to keep your kids' eyes away from inappropriate content, there is plenty specialized filtering tools available for all types of devices and OS.
So it is your duty as a parent to choose the best software and its settings to make your children’s Internet surfing a pleasant and safe experience. Just keep in mind that you will have to cover not only your family or kid’s personal computer but also his or her handheld device – a smartphone or tablet.
Internet content filtering is using a program or a mobile application to screen and/or restrain access to websites and pages that are deemed objectionable. It can be used as a separate program or can be integrated with firewall, router or even server. Filtering software mainly uses ‘black’ and ‘white’ lists of websites, while minority utilizes algorithmic techniques to determine whether website falls into a blocked group.
Although it’s a remedy to know there are many tools out there that can do the job, you still will have to do some ‘homework’ when selecting proper filtering software and ensuring secure Internet surfing for your kids and teens. Here are several useful tips for parents about this task:
Even if you choose the most comprehensive and expensive solution out there, remember that it is not 100% foolproof. When it comes to raising children, humanity still didn’t invent anything better than a parent’s example and guiding word. So do whatever it takes to establish a trustworthy relationship with your kid and explain why some materials on the Web are objectionable and mustn’t be watched. Moreover, try to spend time regularly with your children when they’re surfing the Internet and guide them through all online pitfalls.
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