8S22SRE498JMHave you ever noticed how your child's favorite TV shows are directing them to the Internet to watch extra episodes and access special content like games and other shows? My daughter is just now starting to show interest in our family laptop, finding it wherever we might be hiding it. We keep putting off establishing parental controls, but it's only a matter of time before she figures out how to make the laptop work. As a family we will be nervous with not only the content she will be introduced to, but the wide variety of identity theftand other serious dangers that lurk within. Struggling with allowing her to learn while keeping her safe is a big challenge, one every parent is going to encounter.
This led me on a path of research, searching the web for keywords like "family safe internet software" and "parental controls for the internet." I saw quite a few sites selling software solutions like NetNanny, BSecure, and free tools like K9webprotection. There were others which carried with them some recommendations like FocusontheFamily and ConsumerSearch, which suggest pre-reviewed products to use.
Looking at all of the options, I can understand how it would be difficult to choose the best product for your family. Here are a few questions to help identify your family’s need for a tool like this:
1) Who in your family needs protecting? Yourself? Children? Adults who are wary of the Internet? Guests?
2) What devices do you need to protect? Smart phones? Laptops/Desktops? Wii?
3) What applications does your family use? Internet browsers? Instant messaging? Social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace?
4) What operating systems and versions do you have? Mac? Windows? Linux?
5) What are you willing to spend to keep your family safe from these dangers?
6) What kind of monitoring do you want to have access to? Web surfing logs? Online game play? Instant messaging usage?
Let me know your thoughts on this topic! Please chime in and let us know what you do to keep your family safe.
Jacob Harris is a Vulnerability and Forensics analyst at Westfield Insurance. Sharing Knowledge. Building Trust.