A range of software tools exist which help parents to control the Internet material available to their children and family. Most of these parental control software tools perform one or more of the following functions:
- block access to adult internet sites,
- rate websites based on their adult content (porn, violence/ profanity, racial and social intolerance, militant extremism, gambling, drug culture, etc.)
- enforce time controls on a per-user basis (for example, disallowing usage after a specified time at night, or during homework times)
log surfing activities (allowing parents to see which sites a child has visited).
- detect inappropriate material stored on a computer and inappropriate user behavior
Most of these parental controls can be configured by the parents to prevent access to internet sites that contain pornography, sexual material, hateful or violent content, or that advocate drugs, tobacco, or alcohol abuse. Some can also be set to prevent children from exposing information about themselves such as their name, or other personal details. There are also special childsafe filters and software products which can monitor chat.
For kids to surf the web, there are special browsers available with superb security features just for children. These browsers allow parents to choose suitable Web sites and prevent children from accessing inappropriate sites. They are colorful, fun, easy to install and use & are excellent for parental control & filtering.
In addition to the various blocking and filtering products, there are other ways to monitor children's online activities. Review the following sites for further information about the large range of products available.
Open Directory - Parental Controls Section
Media Detective and Snitch Parental Controls
PinPoint Auditor - Enterprise software for detection of pornography on networks
Center for Democracy and Technology
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility