In any home today there’s probably a few computers – usually a desktop and one or two laptops. They’re part of the furniture now and most members of a family are going to own at least one computer – sometimes more. This is true for kids too and well specced netbooks are being bought as presents for kids as young as 7 and 8.
Unfortunately the Internet can’t be policed properly so it means that if you have kids who are going online you’re going to need some kind of software to implement parental controls for when your kids are surfing or messaging. Why? Well one of the main risks is adult sexual content online – it’s too easy to get to and these guys don’t care what videos are shown on their sites. This stuff can be really damaging to kids on an emotional and psychological level so best to try and prevent it.
Then we have the issue of cyber bullying. Believe it or not kids are being bullied online by kids they know from school and even complete strangers who just find them on Bebo or Facebook. Controlling how much access your kids have to the Internet is one quick way of making sure they’re not getting hassled by other kids online.
Last but not least you have the sexual predators. There are sickos out there waiting in chatrooms and on social networking sites looking for kids to “make friends with”. A buddy of mine who works as a policeman was responsbile for raiding the houses of several pedophiles and got an eye opening view of the flowcharts and tactics these sickos use to lure kids into meeting them in real life.
Parental Control Software for the Internet is a must-have if you’re a responsible parent – the safety of your children is at stake here so it’s not something I’d skimp on. The ability to monitor and control what your kids are seeing and doing is getting more important every single day.
So what areas of your kids Internet access do you need to keep an eye on?
- Adult Sexual Material
- Messaging Programs
- Social Networking Sites (Bebo, MySpace and Facebook)
- E-mail usage
- Website activity (blocking specific sites or content)
All of the above activities are dangerous because content or files can be downloaded to your PC – usually viruses or key loggers. Social networking and messaging programs are the new favourite way for cyber criminals to steal passwords and other personal and financial information – this can lead to huge financial problems for families.
The other massive risk is that your child could be exposed to a sexual predator. This is the last thing any parent wants so you need to monitor and control what your kids get up to online. There’s no way you want to take the risk of having your computer hacked and exploited for the sake of taking some simple and cheap precautions to stop the damage before it even happens.