Internet Parental Control

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Internet parental control is indisuptably the best way to ensure a healthy online experience for children. Warnings and disclaimers are merely Maginot defenses designed to protect content providers from damages. If and when these sites' operators are dragged into court, they can always say their users agreed to the terms and conditions of their website, which makes crimes and abuses that much harder to prosecute.

Of course, it doesn't take a crime to get a responsible parent's attention. The mere threat of inappropriate or unlawful material, which may range from certain types of pornography to online gambling and file-sharing, should be enough to establish internet parental controls. In an ideal world, parents would join their kids every time they (the kids) ventured online, but this is simply unrealistic. Hence, internet parental controls are the next best thing.

Types of Internet Parental Controls

The most basic form that an internet control may take is a password. If your children are sharing your computer with you, it's easy to keep them offline in your absence by choosing a password that they'd never guess. Don't settle on a pet's name, a maiden name, or a street address; children are way too smart not to figure these out. Instead, choose something that only you would know.

Passwords, however, pose some logistical problems. Perhaps you want your children to be able to access the Web for things like research or family-friendly entertainment. In that case, a software solution is your best bet, namely one that lets you blacklist specific sites as "forbidden." For an extra measure of control you can even ascribe passwords to specific applications such as instant messaging and ICQ so that they can't be used without your consent but regular internet surfing is still feasible.

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