Parental Control Software and

Internet Child Safety

Ask yourself: "Is my child safe while online?"

The need for parental control software and Internet child safety has grown because the Internet has become a critical part of our lives, both personally as well as professionally. With this technology revolution, the world has become smaller and, people who historically would never have met are doing so daily on a worldwide basis. Our review of the PC Tattletale parental control software is provided later on this page or click on the link for additional information and additional customer testimonials.

For children, the Internet can open many doors and provide useful information to help them with their homework and to learn new things.


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While the Internet is a very positive occurrence, there is the darker side that can bring harm to your children. Thus the need for Internet child safety. Recent statistics show that:

  • Over the past year, one in five children were aggressively pursued on-line for sex – This is an estimated 725,000 children

  • One in 33 children were aggressively solicited sexually, meaning that the child was threatened, asked to meet, was called on the phone, or received mail or gifts

  • Even though about one third of households reported using "Parental Control Software," One in four children were exposed to photos of people having sex

  • About 1 in 17 children were threatened or harassed on the Internet, including threats of harm to the child, friends or other family members

  • Fifty percent of people have had phone calls with someone they chatted with online

Some additional facts:

  • An estimated One MILLION pedophiles are online, making the Internet a haven for child molesters and sexual predators

  • There are sex offenders actively searching the net looking for a child just like yours right now

  • Using chat rooms, email or instant messaging to talk with someone they don't really know can be putting themselves and your family in danger right now without your knowledge!

So what can you do about Internet child safety — especially if your child knows more about computers than you do?

As an aware and informed parent, you can help to keep your child safe by proactively doing the following:
  • Use technology called to help screen out undesirable information
  • Spend time surfing the web with your children
  • Education – Teach your child how to remain safe on the Internet


Using Technology - Parental Control Software

You can use technology to help you with Internet child safety. Monitoring software gives you the ability to automatically filter out web sites and e-mail that you deem inappropriate and you can also review your child's Internet usage. Even if you do not look at each and every email or instant message they send, you'll have a good idea about what they are viewing online.

This is a major way to incorporate Internet child safety.
Internet parental control software can include using a filtered ISP, Internet parental control software, and monitoring software. Let's look at each individually so you can make an informed choice about Internet child safety.

Filtered Internet Service Provider (ISP)

A filtered Internet service provider (ISP) will automatically screen out and prevent your child from accessing sites that you deem off limits.

Most ISPs now offer this parental control site blocker software filtering. Usually, you can individually customize the filtering on their website to meet your needs. Check with your current ISP by visiting their website to see if they offer Internet child safety filtering as part of their service.

However, Internet Blocking Software is not enough. You also need parental control and monitoring software. Why?

Do you know if your young child, teenage son or daughter is talking to someone or seeing something they should not? Without parental control software you have no way of knowing what your kids do or where they go when they're online. And even if they are not supposed to, we all know that your child WILL go online unsupervised if they think that no one will find out.

Internet Parental Control Software

Internet parental control software provides parents with a set of Internet safety tools that provides control over what comes into and goes out of your home, while respecting your personal values and beliefs. This Internet child safety solution is easy to install and use.

Essentially, it provides web site content filtering, Internet access control, privacy control and an activity log. If you are satisfied with your current ISP and do not mind downloading and installing software, this is a good filtering solution for Internet child safety.

Monitoring Software

Monitoring software allows you to privately record your child’s computer activity so you can monitor BOTH sides of chat messages, keystrokes and screenshots. This type of Internet child safety is referred to in the industry as secret spy software. If does not provide filtering. If you wish to record and review your child’s computer activity and have Internet filtering then you will need to either use an ISP that provides filtering, as described above, or in conjunction with an Internet parental control software product.

Which is the Best Solution for You

We researched the features, benefits and costs for various solutions on the market today. Some required that you purchase separate programs for parental control and monitoring. We felt that an integrated program that combined both for a more reasonable cost was a better solution.

The various integrated solutions, offered similar functionality including a free trial period. However, their pricing varied, from a monthly on-going charge per computer to the purchase of a software license. The monthly price started at $5.00 or $60.00 per computer per year; and the per-license solutions were priced up to $49.99.

The best solution that we found offered the parental control and monitoring software was PC Tattletale. PC Tattletale parental control software is a robust program that you download and install on your computer.

PC Tattletale offers a complete Internet Monitoring and Parental Control Software solution, that's unmatched in the industry.This All-In-One Suite of Parental Controls & Internet Monitoring Tools offers the following competitive functionality:

  • MySpace Monitoring
  • Password Capture and Keylogging Password Capture and Keystroke Recording
  • Chat Recorder
  • Screen Shot Recording
  • Screen Shots Captures
  • Email Monitoring & Reporting
  • Web Site History Monitor
  • PC Software Monitoring
  • URL Specific Web Filtering
  • Total Stealth Operation

PC Tattletale Parental control software contains all the PC monitoring tools to keep your child safe online - in a single easy to use parental control software suite! Click here for additional information and additional testimonials.


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  • Spend time surfing the web with your children

    The first thing to understand is the type of Internet child safety information that is necessary by age group. The following provides suggestions for a child’s appropriate age group:

    Internet Child Safety for ages 2 to about 4:
    This is the age of "lapware," when children start interacting with the computer in the presence of a parent or sibling. There are numerous activities and sites that are likely to be appropriate for this age group but, in most cases, it makes sense for the parent and child to be exploring together. This is not just a safety issue, but also a way to assure that the child has a pleasant experience, and to help build bonds between the child and the older person who is surfing the Internet with them.

    Starting at about age 3, some children can benefit by having a bit more independence so that they can explore, experience discoveries, and make mistakes on their own. That doesn't mean that they should be given free access. It's probably best for parents to choose the Web sites they visit and not let them leave those sites on their own. You don't necessarily need to stand over them or sit with them the entire time that they're in a known safe site.

    Internet Child Safety for ages 4 to about 7:
    Children begin to explore on their own, but it's still important for parents to be in very close touch with their children as they explore the Internet. When your child's at this age you should consider restricting her access only to sites that you have visited and feel are appropriate. For help with this matter, you will be provided Internet child safety and family-oriented links from our web site.

    At this age it's important that kids experience positive results from sites that can enhance their discovery. The issue here isn't so much avoiding dangerous sites, but making sure they are visiting sites that don't frustrate them or lead them down blind alleys.


    Internet Child Safety for ages 7 to about 10:
    During this period, children begin looking outside the family for social validation and information. This is when peer pressure begins to become an issue for many kids. It's also a time when kids are looking for more independence from parents, according to psychologist Richard Toft.

    During these years, children should be encouraged to do a bit more exploring on their own, but that doesn't mean that the parents shouldn't be close at hand. Just as you wouldn't send children at this age to a movie by themselves, it's important to be with them -- or at least nearby -- when they explore the Net. For this age group, consider putting the computer in a kitchen area, family room, den, or other areas where the child has access to Mom or Dad while using the computer. That way, they can be "independent" but not alone.

    Also, consider using a filtering program or restricting them to sites that you locate via a child-safe search engine. Another option for this age group is a child-friendly browser.

    When your child is at this stage, you need to be concerned not so much about what he's doing online and with the PC as how long he's spending on the PC. Be sure that his time on the computer and the Internet doesn't take away from all his other activities. Kids need variety, and it's not a good idea for them to be spending all of their time on any single activity, even reading books. One way to deal with this might be through the use of a software time-limiting tool. It's even important to be sure that they are varying what they do online. Encourage them to explore a variety of Web sites, not just one or two of their favorites.


    Internet Child Safety for ages 10 to about 12:
    During this pre-teen period, many kids want to experience even more independence. If children aren't already doing so, this is a time when they should start using the Internet to help with schoolwork and, perhaps, discover resources for their hobbies, sports activities, and other interests. This is also an age when you have to be concerned not just about what kids see and do on the Internet, but how long they are online. Your job is to help them manage their independence. Set limits on how often and how long kids can be online, and be sure that they are engaged in other activities such as sports, music, and book-reading.

    At about age 12 children begin to hone their abstract reasoning skills. With these enhanced skills, they begin to form more of their own values and begin to take on the values of their peers. Before that they're more likely to reflect the values of their parents. It's important at this age to begin to emphasize the concept of credibility. Kids need to understand that not everything they see on the Internet is true or valuable, just as not all advice they get from their peers is valuable. A good way to illustrate this is for them to do a search for sites on subjects they know a lot about -- favorite athletes or musicians, subjects they love in school, etc.

    Internet Child Safety for ages 14 to about 17:
    This can be one of the most exciting and challenging periods of a child's (and parent's) life. Your teen is beginning to mature physically, emotionally, and intellectually and is anxious to experience increasing independence from parents. To some extent that means loosening up on the reins, but by no means does it mean abandoning your parenting role. Teens are complicated in that they demand both independence and guidance at the same time.

    Teens are also more likely to engage in risky behavior both online and offline. While the likelihood of a teen being abducted by someone he meets in a chat room is extremely low, there is always the possibility that he will meet someone online who makes him feel good and makes him want to strike up an in-person relationship. It is extremely important that teens understand that people they meet online are not necessarily who they seem to be.

    Although it's sometimes difficult to indoctrinate teens with safety information, they can often understand the need to be on guard against those who might exploit them. Teens need to understand that to be in control of themselves means being vigilant, on the alert for people who might hurt them.

    The greatest danger is that a teen will get together offline with someone she meets online. If she does meet someone she wants to get together with, it's important that she not go alone and that she meet that person in a public place. It's important for parents to remember what it was like when they were teenagers. Set reasonable expectations and don't overreact if and when you find out that your teen has done something online that you don't approve of.

    That doesn't mean that you shouldn't take it seriously and exercise appropriate control and discipline, but pick your battles and try to look at the bigger picture. If your teen confides in you about something scary or inappropriate that he encountered online, your first response shouldn't be to take away his Internet privileges. Try to be supportive and work with your teen to help prevent this from happening in the future. And remember that your teen will soon be an adult and needs to know not just how to behave but how to exercise judgment, reaching her own conclusions on how to explore the Net and life in general in a safe and productive manner.



    Activities to help your child

    You can use this as an opportunity to have your child teach you something about the Internet. Approach your child about how impressed you are with their Internet ability and that you would appreciate and enjoy it if they could show you how to surf the web. Ask him or her to show you the web sites that they like to visit on the Internet. 

    Then, have them show you how to find particular web sites on a topic that interests you. For example, you can say, “This is fun. Can you show me how to find information about golf or clothing or just about anything. You do the surfing and have them guide you.

    The next step is to encourage your child to discuss if they have ever had a “not so good” experience on the Internet. You can begin the conversation by saying, “I read that there are a lot of bad people surfing the Internet that try to talk to kids on-line or through e-mail? Has a stranger ever contacted you on the Internet?” At this point, you can discuss the Internet child safety points emphasized in the Education section below.



  • Education

    Educate your child in the same manner that you have when you warn him or her NOT to talk to strangers or give out personal information. Because they are on-line in the safety of their own home or school, they may not understand the possible on-line dangers that can await them without your input.

    Communicate the following to your child and reinforce these points on a regular basis:

    1. Tell your child to NEVER EVER reveal their name, address, phone number or any other personal information to ANYONE online. Stress that once they give out this information, it is impossible to EVER get it back and that strangers with then know who and where they are.

    2. Communicate regularly with your child about WHAT they do and WHOM they talk to online. Unless you know who they are chatting with or have actually met their ‘new” friends in person that they are talking to, reinforce point one and warn them not to talk to strangers on-line.

    3. Take computers out of kids' rooms and put them into public areas such as the family room. Many parents think they are helping with homework by giving the kids a computer, but it also opens certain dangers that you may be unaware of.

    4. Choose your child's screen name, email address or instant message name wisely - don't' reveal ages, sex, hobbies, and CERTAINLY NOT suggestive or sexy names. Predators are more likely to pursue a child with the screen name "sexyteen5" than "happygirl5"


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    Before we provide you with the Kids' Rules for Internet Safety, we want to remind you of our introductory offer. Purchase our KIDCATCHER driveway child protector barrier at a special wholesale price.
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  • Suggested Internet Child Safety Rules
    • To help you to communicate the suggested Rules for Internet Child Safety to your children, the following a summarized list:


    Kids' Rules for Internet Child Safety
    1. I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parents permission. This especially includes on-line public places like chat rooms and bulletin boards. I realize that is is an important part of Internet child safety.

    2. I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable. I will not respond if I receive an offensive or dangerous email, chat, or other communications. I will do this because I understand the importance of Internet child safety.

    3. I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along. I also understand that this is critical for Internet child safety.

    4. I will never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.

    5. I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the service provider. I know that service providers take Internet child safety very seriously.

    6. I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and the appropriate web sites for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission because I understand the Internet child safety rules.

    7. I will not give out my Internet password to anyone (even my best friends) other than my parents.

    8. I will be a good online citizen and not do anything that hurts other people or is against the law. I will tell my friends about the Internet child safety rules.

     

    Click here for more information on Internet Child Safety

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