Web Tools to Keep Kids Safe Online

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  • 1 in 5 U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet say they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation on the Internet.
  • 42% of kids have been bullied while online.
  • 75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.

The first line of defense against Internet dangers is open communication and cooperation between parents and their kids. Children should be educated about possible online dangers and should know that their best weapons against inappropriate online interaction is their common sense and their ignore button.

Parents should monitor the sites and programs children are using, and set limits on Internet time.

There are Web safety enhancement products on the market that can be used in addition to parental communication and supervision to help keep your child's online experience secure.

Parental Controls

One way to set some limits on what your kids run into online is to install parental control software. This type of software blocks certain sites or types of sites from being accessed.

Net Nanny is one of the oldest parental control systems available. This flexible, user-friendly product blocks 8 categories of undesirable Web sites, helping keep your kids safe and your mind at ease.

If you have children in a wide range of ages they probably each need different Web protection settings and Net Nanny can be programmed so that each child has a separate account.

This product also records chat room and instant message conversations, which can come in handy when you want to check up on your kids or if you need evidence in a stalking or bullying situation.

Webroot Parental Control is a similar product to Net Nanny. It restricts undesirable websites and also has an auto-logoff feature that limits a child's time online. Webroot has pre-configured Web safety settings for 4 different age ranges. It can also be custom-programmed.