The BBC website recently ran an article which featured statistics from a study on children's internet usage. In total, 7 percent of parents admitted that they did not know what their children were looking at online. Shockingly, 16 percent of children said that they did not think their parents knew what they were looking at either. This implies that there are many parents out there with children wandering unguided into possibly dangerous circumstances online.
It's easy to be paranoid and see paedophiles lurking behind every corner. However, there is a healthy balance of concern that parents should exercise and protective measures that can be implemented. You wouldn't let a young child wander the streets alone, so neither should we be allowing children to wander around the internet unguided. There is software available that helps to protect our children online.
You might think that monitoring software such as this is expensive and that it is difficult to install and use. This is not necessarily true. Microsoft offers a Windows Live Family Safety program that is free to install and ensures your children only visit websites that you have deemed appropriate and that they only talk to people online that you have approved.
This package consists of three elements: the Family Safety Filter, which is the software that puts your settings into effect; the Family Safety Website that you use to set your website choices and view reports about activities online; finally, the Windows Parental Control features other additional monitoring settings that you can install. This is just one way you can start to monitor your children while still allowing them a little independence on the internet.
You can pay for monitoring software packages that go even further in protecting and observing your children while they navigate the internet. The Parental Spy Software 2012 package allows parents to view iMessages, chat, emails, general websites, Facebook and more. It can even take regularly timed screen shots so you can see exactly what your children are looking at.
What should you look for if you want to install software that helps to protect your children while online? Ideally, you should look for 'Online Monitoring', which records when your child visits any social-networking site such as Twitter and Facebook.
Secondly, there's 'Monitoring and Admin', which is often very useful when used from a remote computer. As a parent you, can block pages that you think are unsuitable and you can freeze the mouse, enable or disable applications. You have primary control over their computer.
'Blocking and Filtering' is an essential aspect of monitoring software as well. It can ensure that illegal software or music isn't downloaded on to the computer. Social-networking sites are restricted and access to porn is blocked, as are online chat functions if you choose to set it that way.
Finally, you need to be able to understand the information your monitoring software reports back to you. It is helpful to have custom searches instantly available to you so you can check on certain aspects of internet use.
A brief Google search unearths a million programs that claim to help you keep tabs on your child's internet explorations. Make sure that the package you decide to use is up to date and relevant. Most importantly, you need to keep an eye on your kids the old-fashioned way. There's no substitute for vigilance.
Guest Post by:Britney Danila is a Freelance and Staff writer who writes informative & creative articles on Technology for various technology company. Her expertise are in writing articles related to internet providers, dsl providers , Social media etc.