Do you know what your child is doing on the Internet? How can you insure your Child’s Safety while surfing the net? How do I get my child off the computer at bedtime? If these aren’t questions you are asking yourself then maybe you should be.
You may be asking yourself right now, “Where do I Start”? First your computer should be in a central area of the home viewable by all. This means No Laptop in their Bedroom.
Each person should have their own Log-On screen but a password is only required for the Parent Account. To set-up Accounts go to the Control Panel on your computer. Now you want to set-up Parental Controls. Here you can set Time Limits, Ratings, Block Websites, and Block Keywords. If you want to just block Instant Message or Chat you just select Customize.
If you have an older computer it may not have all of these features and if so you still have options. Windows Live Family Safety, you can find this online and download. This has all of the same Parental Controls. OpenDNS is another online choice for Internet Safety.
I suggest using the Reports area of the Parental Controls to monitor the websites your child visits. You can have emails set-up weekly or you can just randomly go to your Parental Controls and check. This is important because you may find things that have slipped through.
A good rule is to always have your Child’s Passwords. There is no harm in occasionally checking your Child’s Emails, Chat, or Text Messages. You should check every month or so unless you find something that may require a little more investigation.
If your child has an IPod Touch they can connect to your Wireless Router. This can allow them access to internet Sites, Chat, YouTube, etc.
You can log-in to your Wireless Router and change settings for users. You need to look on your router for the way to log-on for that router, example: www.routerlogin.net. Usually log-in is “admin” and “password” then you want to change the default password to your own.
One thing I like about this is you can set up an access list to the Wireless Router which works well when you want to block your grounded child and they hide their IPod Touch from you. This also allows you to Block certain Websites and Keywords like “SouthPark”.
IPod Touch itself does also has Restriction Settings that a parent can set with a password. You can set Music, Video, and Podcast ratings as well as block Safari and YouTube.
Just remember that your child’s safety is first and it doesn’t matter who bought the Computer or IPod Touch you are still the parent and you still have the responsibility and right to restrict certain things.
KayK blogs about motherhood at Open Channel Time.