Free Parental Control Software
Parental control software gives you a way to monitor your child's internet activities. More importantly, it's designed to keep them safe from the many dangers that exist online. These programs will not only protect them from online sexual predators, but it will prevent them from accessing inappropriate content as well. Even better, some of these programs are freely available for you to use.
Free and Affordable Parental Control Options
Many families surf the web with Microsoft Internet Explorer. This browser comes with numerous parental controls that can be easily enabled. To access the Content Advisor section in Internet Explorer, open the tools menu and select "Internet Options." From there, click the "content" label and check the "enable" option.
Aside from the features in Internet Explorer, you can download free parental control software online. ICRAPlus and Safe Surf are two reliable programs that are both free and easy to use. If you feel your children need more protection when surfing online, there are many other free monitoring and parental control solutions to choose from.
Most of the options all depend on the age of the child and the type of content they access the most. For example, Kid Rocket or Toddler's Browser make good options for a young child just learning the internet. These two programs integrate free parental controls and are dedicated to keeping your children safe. A child a bit older attending grade school would naturally require a different solution. In this case you may want to use free parental control software such as WeBlocker. This program uses filters along with blacklisting technology. Though effective, WeBlocker may not provide enough protection for a teenager. A more powerful solution would be commercial products such as Net Nanny, Spector Pro and WebWatcher as they contain advanced filtering and monitoring features. These programs range widely in price from $20 to $100 depending on the features included. I think you'll agree that you can't simply put a price on your child's safety.
You can also protect your children online with other forms of software aside from parental control and monitoring programs. Some have the ability to search your computer for questionable content, and others provide protection by blocking file sharing applications. This will prevent your children from sending or receiving files online. Call it cruel but this is actually a useful feature as some kids will trade inappropriate content with their peers over the internet.
Although free parental control software and paid options are efficient, the best advice involves talking to your children about the dangers of web surfing and appropriate online behavior. After all, no software can teach them right from wrong, that job is up to you. At the same time, physically monitoring their every move is almost impossible, making parental control software a very beneficial tool.
If monitoring your child's online activity with software is something you don't want to do, consider placing the computer in the family area of your house instead of their bedroom. This will allow them a bit of freedom while giving you the chance to peak over their shoulder every now and then to make sure things are in order.