Google is NOT for kids!

As your child starts showing an interest in computers and typing there is a massive world out there that they may become exposed to.

This exposure really needs to be carefully monitored.

For example, I contend that Google is completely unsuitable for children. A totally innocent search like “games for boys” could lead them down a completely different alley. What can parents do about this?

First off, change the home page and search engine on your browser to something you trust. A parent recommended me http://kids.yahoo.com/ which looks like a great portal for children with properly filtered searches.

It is also very important to introduce parental controls to the computer. I realise these can be a pain, but surely it is worth it rather than expose your children to all sorts of nastiness hidden on the Internet.

For a shares computer, the easiest way to implement child controls is to make new users for each person – this is done from Control Panel.

Parental controls – these can prevent certain types of website from appearing without an override code (different levels can be set by the administrator). They can also be used to set a daily and weekly limit of time allowed for browsing.

Windows Vista parental controls are free -simply click start and type “parental control” and follow on from there.

Windows XP parental controls do not exist and I recommend http://www.cyberpatrol.com/

Any Internet filter will need some adaptive training for what is and is not allowed to be viewed.

Here are some claims from the cyberpatrol website:
•    72% of kids don’t tell their parents what they do online
•    61% admit using the Internet unsafely or inappropriately
•    55% have given out personal information to a stranger
•    12% met in person with someone they first met online
•    Nearly 50% have been bullied online

Good luck keeping your children safe from the Internet! With the right tools, this should be simple.

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