It's Safer Internet Day. Do you know where your children are surfing?
We're all about Internet safety for our kids, although I know that's a little like saying we're all for world peace. It's a given when you're a parent. Well today happens to be Safer Internet Day
and while my kids are still too young to be bookmarking NPR and uploading MP3s by themselves, I've decided to prepare them now. I think I'll just start telling them now that the Internet doesn't work anymore. The Internet is broken, guys. Sorry! Let's go read a book.
For the rest of you, today gives you a great opportunity to take a look at the existing measures you have on your family PC to make sure safety is priority one. Here are some good products to consider for locking down that computer and keeping the tots digitally safe.
is software you install on your PC to block questionable sites, chat rooms, online
sites and anything else you deem inappropriate. If your kid easily gets
that glazed look in the computer black hole, you can also use time
controls. ($39.99, with a free trial to test some features.)
is a program that literally captures the minute details of your kid's
computer activity-- everything from pages visited to email tracking. It
even takes screenshots so you can double-check that what your kid is
doing or who she is talking to is kosher. This seems very hard core, but
could be a good option if you have a tween or teen heavily into social
networking and email. (PC Tattletale is $49.99.)
For younger tots who are starting to explore the vast reaches of the Internet, you want to
set them up with a safe and threat-free browser. KidZui
a free Internet browser for kids with standard browser features, but it
offers completely safe and monitored content to ensure they aren't
seeing something they shouldn't see. It also incorporates games and has a
tot-friendly YouTube equivalent called ZuiTube.
Finally, take a read through our interview with Ryan Moreau of Kiwi Commons
from last fall; this super Internet safety guy offers some super Internet safety tips for parents.
course the most important thing you can do for your kids is to keep an
open line of communication and continue to educate them on the possible
dangers of the online world--just as you do with the offline world. If
you're using a service like PC Tattletale, you might want to let your
kids know first; safety is a priority of course, but hopefully without
compromising trust in the process.
Signing a contract
like this one offered by Internet expert Kim Komando is also a good starting point for having "The Talk" about the computer.
Yes, there's a new "The Talk" on the block now. Sorry parents.- Jeana
Find More: Helpful Services, Internet Safety, Parents' Lifesavers, Preschoolers and Little Kids, Tweens + Big Kids