As most people know the
internet can be an amazing resource and provide hours of fun
for kids, but there is a side to the internet that can be worrying
for any parent.
Web sites with explicit images are another problem that
children may be exposed to, a few of these web sites have a
warning on their homepage alerting the user to the fact that
the site contains this sort of material, but unfortunately not
all of them.
Another major worry for a parent is spam email containing
explicit images, most of this type of spam gets sent from countries
where any type of law is not easily enforced and therefore the
culprits can go on sending, hopefully one day we will see the
end of this type of marketing but unfortunately at the moment
it is here to stay.
There are things that can be done to protect your children
from this type of exposure on the internet, and below we will
cover a few of these things.
Child Internet Security and Safety in Chat Rooms
Chat rooms have long been a favorite pass-time on the internet
for kids, they can be great fun and they can make some great
new friends online, the problem with chat rooms is they are
generally anonymous so the person they are chatting to may not
be who they say they are.
Chat rooms have been a main cause of concern for years,
with adults posing as young children and chatting to unsuspecting
kids, and in extreme cases trying to organize secret meetings
with the child. Things are changing slowly and a lot of chat
rooms are starting to monitor their sites more closely, but
unfortunately not everyone is following suit.
Unless you supervise your children whenever they are in
a chat room then controlling who they chat too can be a problem,
although, there are some general guidelines that your children
can follow to make their online chatting safer:
1. Stay anonymous, they should use a nickname while online,
and never reveal their real name.
2. Never tell anyone where they live, not even if they have
been chatting to the person for years.
3. Never tell anyone what school they go to.
4. Never give out phone numbers.
5. Never agree to meet someone without a parent present, and
ensure the person they are going to meet knows a parent will
be accompanying them.
6. Tell an adult if anything strange happens or anything is
said to them that makes them feel uncomfortable.
7. Introduce yourself in the chat room to their online friends,
especially if your child wants to meet them.
Although these guidelines may seem fairly obvious, by ensuring
that your children follow them they can help remove some of
Web sites with unsuitable images
This can be fairly simple to guard against, there is software
available which can prevent your children from going to web
sites with this sort of content (see Net Nanny below). Also
when they are searching the internet another measure is for
them to use the safe search facility available on most good
Spam email with explicit images
Spam email is one of the most annoying problems on the internet
and with no real solution in sight it will remain a problem
for some time to come.
A lot of email providers offer spam protection, but unfortunately
most are not 100% reliable, one of the best defenses against
this type of email is by using specialized software (see Spam
Shield below) that restricts access to certain types of email,
and by restricting any images that may be unsuitable for your
Child Internet safety, security and email filter software
There are a few programs out there that can help keep the internet
a safe, usable resource for your children, as with most types
of filters some work and some don't.
Below are specialized parental software products that
we recommend (they actually do what they say they do) from well
established internet security companies.