Internet Safety For Kids
Since the net became mainstream and is currently used by billions of people all over the globe, the main concern expressed by parents is internet safety for kids. Since the web is shared with billions of users of all ages and cultures around the world, minors have acquired what was considered to be impossible two decades ago. When this happened, several companies started offering kids and family internet security packages, looking for ways to appease the preoccupied families and show them that the Internet is not the monster they think it is.
Why are Kids Unsafe over the Internet?
As with almost every product that exists in our economy, the internet can have its dark side, depending on how you use it. A student could use it for homework, research or for searching mature content. Either way, they have complete access to a worldwide database of uncensored information.
Unfortunately, there are several sources. An innocent talk through one of the major four instant messaging services a curious search in determined forums or even worse, a case of cyber stalking. Your child could become victim of some more experienced web user who can exploit the security disabilities of your home PC.
Internet crimes against children are common today, and will never stop, so, if you are a responsible parent, it’s better to take some measures against it.
How To Protect Them?
There are several ways to block web pages and information you don’t wish to be accessed by your children:
1.) Parental Controls
This tool is now available not only in the Internet, but also in computer software and digital televisions. Its objective is to give the parents a series of options which they will determine if they are adequate for their child’s.
Some examples are the level of violence, the amount of gore, the sexual content and even strong language. You may find this child internet safety service via your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or through a 3rd party software company. Although your ISP may have all of the good intentions of the world offering to monitor children internet access, it is recommended that you buy the package from any business corporation that specializes in these kinds of things.
2.) Anti-Virus Software
Although they were originally designed for searching and deleting viruses, antivirus software companies have found that a lot of the virus infections that happen in computers are consequence of the widespread distribution of mature content. Because of this, they have added parental control options in their packages.
Although they do their job, it is not recommended that they be used as the main tool for internet safety for kids. It is advised to use it only as a backup.
3.) Anti Spyware Software
Spyware has become the topmost headache for everyone who is connected to the internet. Different from virus and worms, this malicious software is used for the commercial benefit of its creators, generating revenue from ads and the illegal acquirement of private information (like your credit card number). As in the case of an anti-virus, they are a must nowadays, but these should also not be the main source of child safety on the internet.
4.) Anti Spam Software
The most common kind of spam comes through e-mails and instant messaging. In the case of e-mail, most programs offer options to control it. It does not matter that you use pop or web based email, once you identify an account as a source of spam, you can block it forever. Unfortunately, some web base e-mail companies use their own software to determine if an email is spam or not, possibly erasing important information that you were expecting. You will have to test their spam detection system before assuring yourself that it is safe enough to use it.
With instant messaging spam (commonly known as spim), pop ups will start appearing in your desktop, offering services or methods to eliminate those annoying pop ups. Although you can do it yourself for free (you need to do a little research on the internet about it), spim exploits the vulnerability that beginners feel with the net.
As you can see, it is not necessary to have an anti spam software, only some basic knowledge on the uses of email and instant messaging.
5.) Key Loggers
Key logging software is a practical way to protect a child from accessing unauthorized web pages. This tool starts running from the moment Windows is loaded, looking for specific words in the typing made by the user. If a word like pornography is entered, this program will automatically block the execution of that word.
Remember that every child and adolescent is curious by nature. Do not expect to leave the gates wide open without being trespassed. What they could consider as an innocent inquiry, it could become a serious matter in the natural process of their maturity.
Unfortunately, it is not difficult to find adult content in the internet; you just need to input any word you can think of in a search engine and you will find thousands of links.
So, buy an internet security service that would be and test how well does it perform in the real world. Look for the kind of pages you would have searched for if you had had Internet when young. Internet safety for kids should not be taken lightly by today’s parents. It is their responsibility to have an adequate child internet protection system at home.