As parents, we feel your pain. And your letter stirred WorkingMom to action, especially since this situation has become commonplace. You are not the only parent who feels “out of control” and “in over your head” with regard to internet safety. Therefore, WorkingMom spent the last several months formulating safety strategies you can use to keep your kids safer online. Short of throwing the computer in the trash, there are other things you can do.
As you’ve already discovered, keeping the PC in a public place and relying on the built-in safety features of your internet service provider aren’t enough. It’s because you’re missing an essential piece of the online safety puzzle. You should also have an internet filter or parental control software on your home computer and your kids phones. But which internet filter is the best? There are dozens to choose from and sometimes kids know more about downloading and hacking software than their parents!
Fortunately, WorkingMom.com found a parental control software that solves this conundrum, and it’s also reviewed and recommended by PC Magazine.
Net Nanny is an internet filter that keeps kids off unscrupulous sites, controls the time spent online, and can warn parents of trouble with an email, phone or text message. Furthermore, Net Nanny software can be managed by parents remotely –with website filtering occurs on the server level and taking effect quickly. (This feature makes it nearly impossible for even the most computer savvy individual to circumvent the program)
WorkingMom.com evaluated Net Nanny ourselves, and found it to be effective, easy to use and easy to install. Furthermore, we contacted ContentWatch, (the manufacturer) and were able to obtain a coupon code which will save you $10 off the cost of the software when purchased on their official website: Net Nanny
The following features stood out as the ones most relevant to parents:
- This internet filter can be set to block a websites according to categories, (For example, violence, pornography, gambling etc.)
- This particular parental control software contains a timer you can set to restrict when your children can access the internet.
- Net Nanny keeps a log that can show you all web activity, — including “IM” conversations.
- Unlike other parental control software, you can set Net Nanny to send you a text message on your cell phone or work computer if one of your kids even attempts to visit a restricted or blocked website.
There are action items you can take right now:
- Purchase and install Net Nanny Internet Filter — A one year subscription is just $29.95 – $10 off the regular retail price!
- Set the time control feature to automatically prohibit internet access while you’re not at home. (This should alleviate your concerns about their use of the computer during the summer.)
- Set Net Nanny to block access to objectionable websites. There’s a list of categories you can check that range from online gambling, to pornography or violent websites and more.
- Take the computers out of your children’s rooms. Even though they don’t have internet access, there’s still potential for serious problems. Your child could use a portable USB memory stick and view anything on it. The key chain or pen style portable USB memory disks are very popular. He could easily download something to the memory stick; then look at it on the computer in his room without your knowledge. If your child already has a portable USB memory drive, confiscate it and see what’s on it. -We don’t advise letting your kids have one.
- Talk to them about safety. Teenagers are old enough to handle a strong dose of reality about the implications of visual addictions, and the threats posed by predators to their safety and future.
- Pray for them, and pray with them! There are unimaginable benefits to fighting spiritual, moral and ethical battles with prayer. It’s the most powerful weapon in your arsenal to protect and defend your family.
Take Home Points from Big Dan
Daniel & daughter Angelica
I seldom offer quotes for WorkingMom.com article’s but this subject is important for all parents.
“If you have children and don’t have Net Nanny (or an internet filter like it) on your computer, then you might as well take the locks off your doors.
I majored in computer science, and I’m also the father of six. I can confidently say that today’s internet is not the internet it was even a few years ago. The online dangers to your family are as real as the ones you would encounter in a house with no locks. It’s my hope and prayer that the readers of this article will take the online safety of their children seriously, responding pro actively, (in other words before problems start.) And by all means, if you already have safety concerns, takes the steps to rectify them right now! — (Dan, father of 6)
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