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The most successful controls at my house are physical.
1) The kids' computer is positioned in the family room with the monitor pointing at the kitchen so we can easily oversee their activity.
2) We control the amount of time they can be online, sending them outside to play when they've been on too long.

We also had "the talk" before they were allowed online. The cyber equivalent of 'don't take candy from strangers'.

We do have some limited software controls running, though. What do you think of the parental controls built into Windows Vista and Windows 7?

Jacob Harris

Great Question!

I spent some time with the Parental Controls available in Windows 7 last night.

I like the ability to control when a specific person can log into the computer by day and time. The control you have to limit usage of applications based on ratings (even picking different types of ratings like the "ESRB") is really cool. Picking a specific application looked like it was going to be great, but I was a bit disappointed by the complexity of the list provided to you.

I started looking into the "Add-On’s" section, thinking this is how I'd be able to protect web filtering and social media, but there really isn't a great deal of information readily available. I checked into the K9WebProtection mentioned earlier, and they appear to integrate as an add on for Windows 7, perhaps I'll give that a try this weekend.

Thanks again for the comment!


Jacob: What is the cost for the K9WebProtection?

Jacob Harris

From what I can see on their website, K9WebProtection is offered free for home use from Blue Coat, a company that sells security and network technology to other companies.

Their website even states "K9 Web Protection is our free Internet filtering and control solution for the home. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids."

While I recommend looking into applications like this for home user, you still need to review all of the information provided by them, and make sure it fits your needs!

Thanks for the question!

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