Tech Talk

Permanent link to Protecting Children on the Web Protecting Children on the Web

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Now that our kids are getting good at reading and writing, computers and the internet access are just around the corner. We've heard of other families in church using Mayberry, Characterlink, and NetNanny, and David's company uses Websense filtering. All these work to varying extents, and all put the responsibility in the hands of a third party. Not to mention something has to work through our DSL connection, not a separate ISP. Also, free is always desirable.

We believe that we as the parents are the ones responsible for protecting our children. Therefore, the first and most essential level of protection is parental supervision.

The second level would be a way for the computer to require the first level. The best way we've found is to use Internet Explorer's Content Advisor. This system defaults to no access, allowing browsing only to approved sites. Approval is granted by the website owners themselves, which works surprisingly well.

The key is that an overrides or exceptions have to be manually approved by the parent on a case-by-case basis. For regular access, the child has access to a limited set of information. For situations where more general web browsing is necessary, the parent can help - why not? Just as in any other potentially dangerous situations, a parent is usually deeply concerned for the child's safety and will go to great lengths to secure it.

Just getting into this area of interest, so I'm sure more articles will be coming along . . .

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LaRocque Family