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Monday, March 26, 2012

Are Your Children Surfing the Internet Without a Condom?

Last week a second grader at my daughter’s school saw his first video porn online. He found out about the site from a 3rd grader, who heard about it on the playground. What did the parents of these boys all have in common? None of them had thought they needed to worry about setting up protection for their computers; their kids were too young.
If you have a child using the computer, you need internet protection. Period.
OpenDns.com: OpenDNS is a cloud-based internet security system used by enterprise and offered free to the public. Not only is it a good porn blocker, it will also help block phishing and malware attacks. It has granular controls that allows you to block porn, violence, gambling, and more. I like OpenDNS because they are being paid to do this for the big guys, so you know they are on top of it.
Kapersky PURE: Kapersky is a virus checker that comes with parental controls. It has more stringent blocking ability that you can tailor to each member of the family. I want social media sites available to me and my middle school son, but don’t want my elementary school daughter to be cruising sites like IMVU. Kapersky also lets me set hours for computer usage for each child, ending the “it’s my turn” arguments for good.
Common Sense Media: If you have a tween, you probably are making a lot of decisions about which movies and books are appropriate for your child. At this age kids are at all stages of development. Common Sense media is great because it includes reviews from kids, as well as parents, it is not conservatively biased, and provides clear details regarding rating recommendations that help you decide. I love their mission: we believe in sanity, not censorship.
The world is changing rapidly. The rise of smart phones and tablets has put access to all the benefits and drawbacks into the hands of the smallest child. Don’t let your child surf without protection.
Thoughts?