In Cyber Safety, The Digital World

When Should You Install Internet Filters?

You use anti virus software to keep your computer safe. However, do you have safeguards in place that protect your children from accessing inappropriate online content? When you have children of multiple ages in the family, this task can be even more difficult. An internet filter can keep your children from accessing sites that you feel are not suitable for them. If you have children who use the Internet, you need to install one or more internet filters, no matter what their age is.

What Internet Filters Do

Internet filters work by a system of categories, websites, individual web pages, or in some instances, they are categorized by filter companies. Profiles can be set up for either adult viewing or it can be set to filter adult material from children. Depending on which filter you use, you will have a high level of flexibility on how you set the internet filters on your computer, and those of your children. This will keep them safe from accessing sites that they don’t need to be on, giving you complete control of what they view and when they view it. Learn more about the technical aspects of internet filters here.

Free Internet filtering

A free internet filter can be turned on in Windows 8.1. When using Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, extensions are offered for internet filtering. These can be easily added and are basic internet filters that can be set up and used today. However, the ability to restrict access for your eight year old that is different from that of your fifteen year old will require something with more functionality.

Internet Filtering Software

There are many different internet filtering software packages to choose from. Some of internet filtering software is free, while others require a fee. These are examples of popular Internet filters:

K9 Web Protection

This product is free for home users. It has many features if you want to use an internet content filter to keep your children protected. It will block web sites that include gambling, drugs, violence, pornography, violence/hate/racism, phishing, and malware and spyware. These features not only protect your children, but they also protect your computer from those with malicious intent. Time restrictions can be added to prevent your children from using the computer during certain periods of the day. This will help them with studying and you won’t have to worry about whether or not they are on the internet all night, when they should be sleeping. This feature can also be use by you curb the temptation to wander into sites and areas of the internet where you don’t want your children to go.

Net Nanny

Net Nanny is the best of all internet filters according to the top ten reviews. With the power to configure a computer remotely, you can change computer settings on a computer loaded with NetNanny, from anywhere in the world. Different from other intern filters with static database, Net Nanny analyzes web content continually for objectionable material, blocking and unblocking sites in real time, so that material that you don’t want you kids to see is blocked, but they can still get relative unblocked information from the site once it allows them entrance. Net Nanny blocks and unblocks a site based on current scans of the sites. You will also have the option of blocking certain games and can exclude games with ratings higher than you want your child to access, as well as be able to restrict games in certain content categories.

These are both good options if you want to install an internet filter on your home computer. They are comprehensive and have many features that will allow your children to browse safely, and will allow you to manage the time they use the internet, as well as where you allow them to go.

How to bypass internet filters

If it can be blocked, it can be unblocked. Extensions such as Chrome’s Web blocker are easy to bypass, as are other off the shelf, free internet filters. Google Chrome’s StayFocused that you can add to your computer from the Google app store is password protected, so bypassing the internet filter is more difficult. Knowing that your kids can bypass internet filters, even if they don’t know how yet, should lead you to using the most powerful internet filter possible.

Knowing how to bypass internet filters can come in handy if you want more access on your work computer than is being allowed. However, when it comes to your children’s safety, a stronger internet filter is suggested. Kids are smart, and just as you may try to get around your internet filters at work, they are going to try, and at some point succeed.

You should install internet filters if you have children who have access to the internet. Trusting that your child will not access sites that they shouldn’t is not enough to keep your child protected. An inadvertent keystroke can take them to sites that you would never let them access if you have your way about it, so install internet filters to your computers so that your children can surf safely when accessing the internet.

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