Internet Parental Control – 3 Ways To Childproof Your Internet Connection
These days there is an ever increasing use of computers by kids. Internet is as commonplace, if not more common, than TV among youngsters. Used wisely, the internet can be seen as the biggest boon of the decade. It is instantaneous access to knowledge and information is available at your fingertips. But this same knowledge and access can also be used for undesired consequences.
Unfortunately, the same internet space used by your kids is also shared by people who have the very worst intentions. The stranger from whom you try to keep away your kids, now has direct access to your house and home via the computer. No amount of government laws and regulations on the internet can completely control the bad elements of our society. It starts and stops with YOU.
Short of locking down your kids computer, there are several things you can do to take control of your child’s surfing habits! How to control the internet use by your kids? There are several methods and software tools which will help you keep your kids safe on the internet.
Physical location of your child’s computer
This may take more effort on your part. You can physically keep the computer in a place in the house where the child is not left alone with the computer. Keeping the computer in a “public” place is a good deterrent – and give a feeling that “Daddy or Mommy is watching”.
A good place would be a hallway, or other living space – definitely do not put the computer in the child’s room! If you have only one computer in the house, you can you can put a password on the computer itself, so your child cannot use the computer when you are not around.
Finding a good location for the computer, and in addition using one of the other methods below is the best. Enable the parental controls from your internet service provider Just like your cable TV which provides a parental control feature, there are tools available from your internet service provider that will allow you to control your child’s internet usage.
The internet service provider is the company that you got the internet connection from eg. your phone company. Most of the service providers give the parental control software for Free. AOL, AT&T, Earthlink, Yahoo, Comcast and most of the major internet providers offer some very good parental control software that will allow you to control which web pages your child sees, whom they can send and receive emails etc. This software is usually setup from the ”parent or main” account. Remember this software is above and beyond the regular software like spam blockers and popup blockers that most service providers give anyway.
Restricting access to the internet when you have more than one computer. If you are like the increasing number of people who have more than one computer in the house with a shared network connection, you have more options. Most people don’t realize that most of the wireless equipment used for sharing the internet connection eg. the wireless access point or router comes included with built-in software for controlling internet access. It is relatively easy to set this up for parental controls. And most of all, its FREE.
If have more than one computer in your home and you have a router that share the internet connection, using the routers built-in software you can:
– restrict the web sites your childs’ computers can have access too.
– restrict which programs can access the internet.
– restrict specific websites
– restrict the times the network can be used by specific computers
eg. You can setup the software such that: Charlie’s computer would not have access to the internet between 9pm and 5am, but Mom and Dad’s computer is allowed internet access at all times!
Buying 3rd party software
Several vendors now have software for parental controls. You may have to spend a little money, but you do get very good flexibility. There are people who actually monitor websites and constantly update the software, so you have relatively less work to do.