Are Internet Message Boards Safe for My Child?

Message boards can be fun sites used to discuss popular topics such as music or movies as well as, say, talk about homework assignments.  And, yes, they can also be misused by predators, cyberbullies, and the like.Are Internet Message Boards and Forums Safe?

However, there’s no reason that Internet message boards can’t be safe for your child if you have taken the time to explain the do’s and don’t of Internet safety and established rules with your child. 

Ground rules for allowing your child to use a message board should include

  • Your child must use an alias, not your child’s real name.  That way other people don’t know who your child really is
  • Your child must use what is called an avatar, rather than your child’s own photo.  Avatars can be comic characters, photos of movie stars…anything but your child.  That way other people don’t know what your child actually looks like
  • Should someone on the message board seem to be a problem, you child needs to tell you so that you take appropriate action, including blocking that user from contacting your child and reporting the user to the message board owners.
  • Your child can post only to message boards that you have approved.  There are plenty of message boards your child will enjoy without having to use one that might not be safe.

Should you feel you need to go further to protect your child from the potential problems they might face on Internet message boards, you can always use parental controls or Internet filtering software.  However, you should always start with trusting your child first, rather than assuming they’re going to do something wrong.  Taking the time to discuss potential problems and setting ground rules together will often be the most effective way to protect your child online, whether it be on message boards or simply surfing the Internet.

How to Discreetly Monitor Your Kid’s Email

Sometimes a parent feels they need to check up on their kids, even though they know their kids want to be trusted.  Nothing can break the bond of trust more quickly between a parent and a child than the child finding out their parent spied on them by, say, reading their diary.  How to Monitor and Record Email

Prying into a child’s privacy tells that child that you don’t trust them…particularly if the child has done nothing wrong.

But, just because a parent shouldn’t spy on their kids as a matter of course, that doesn’t mean that sometimes a parent doesn’t have to. 

If you have reason to believe your kids might be doing something inappropriate or are concerned about them, you may feel you have to monitor their online behavior.  If this is the case, knowing how to discreetly monitor your kid’s email may protect them both from what you’re worried about as well as their finding out what you’re doing.

While there are ways to discreetly monitor email without using 3rd party software, most parents won’t know how to do it. As a result, using parental control software that includes the ability to monitor email is the way to go.

Read more…

Understanding the Dangers of

MySpace is a social networking site…meaning it’s an Internet site where people meet to chat, socialize and share information online.  Other popular social networking sites are Facebook, YouTube, and Xanga.myspace-dangers.gif

Someone new to would start by creating their screen name and personal page where they get to describe their various likes and dislikes, such as favorite TV shows or music.  Members can upload photos, music and the like as well as give information about themselves, such as their age and sex.

They can tell their friends about their MySpace page, plus allow strangers to sign up as new “friends.”  They can chat with each other.  They can post and respond to surveys.  And they can become victims.

It’s the sharing of information with strangers that can lead to trouble, particularly since it’s hard for teens to understand that someone they chat with all the time online is still a stranger, not a someone they know, unless they knew the person previously in the real world.

Read more…

How to Block Websites from Your Children’s View

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to block a website from your children’s view.  Some categories of sites – such as adult sites –  should be blocked as a matter of course.  You obviously don’t want your children going to porn sites.

how to block websitesHowever, you may find that you want to block other sites as well.  For example, you may decide you don’t want your child accessing social networking sites…or you might just wish to block them from one site due to problems on that particular site.   Or you may want to block sites temporarily as, say, a punishment.

If you have a newer operating system, such as Windows Vista, you can use Parental Controls (in Vista this is located under Start/Control Panel/User Accounts and Family Safety) to block websites by site or by content.  These controls also allow you to restrict how many hours your children can be on the computer, what games they can play and what programs they can run.   Should you desire, you can even generate reports on their online activities.

Commercial Internet filtering software can also be used to block websites, keywords, and types of access (e.g. blocking chat rooms or P2P networks) from your children’s computer.  In fact, if your family shares a computer, you can create varying levels of access, allowing the adults one level of access, teens another, and younger children yet another level of access. A few of the better filtering programs are WebWatcher and Spector Pro among others.

Read more…

Chat Rooms: Are they Dangerous for Your Children?

Yes, chat rooms can be dangerous for your children.  But so can walking across the street.  The best thing you, as a parent, can do is to teach your child the do’s and don’ts of Internet safety, then do your best to enforce the rules.Record Chat Conversations

The first and foremost thing your children need to understand is to not, under any circumstances, reveal personal information.  Never mind telling them not to provide their real name, address or phone number. 

Make it clear that predators can find them even if all they did was reveal their school or their friends’ names.  Predators have many tricks to make children feel comfortable with them and to get personally identifiable information from them.

Preferably your children should only use chat rooms that have moderators…in other words, people whose job it is to pay attention to chat and step in if things start getting out of hand or inappropriate.  Make sure, however, that the person in contact with your child is actually a moderator.  You can do this by going to the chat website itself and checking out the list of moderators. You can also use chat room monitoring software to watch what your kids are doing and who they are communicating with.

Read more…

How Do Kids Find Pornography Websites and How Can You Stop Them?

Generally speaking, kids find pornography websites on the Internet the same way adults do…they look for them.  Porn websites are actually hard to accidentally trip over nowadays thanks to search engine filtering that no longer allows them to pass themselves off as something else in the search results.  How Kids Find Porn Online and How to prevent it

Sure, a non-porn site could have given up its old domain name for a newer, better one, and had the old one bought up by a porn site.  That definitely does happen.  But the simplest answer is generally the right one…the kid didn’t accidentally go to the porn site.

Granted, should a kid go to a somewhat shady site, such as a warez site…where people go to try to download software illegally to avoid paying for it…he will very likely come across porn sites, links and banner ads because that’s how many of those site owners make their money.  Being curious, he may very well click on that link or ad.

And, having done so, even if he closes the window, he may be faced with another porn site after another after another.  Yes, even with a pop-up blocker.

Read more…

How to Filter the Content Your Child Accesses on the Web

Should you wish to keep your child from accessing certain websites – and are not confident they won’t try to sneak around behind your back – then you can use Internet filtering software or even the parental controls built into your operating system to protect them online.Filter Internet for Children

Depending on the controls or software you use, you can filter out specific websites, IP addresses, websites by keywords, (such as adult keywords) or even websites by categories, such as blocking adult sites, crackz and warez sites, and chat sites.

Not only that but you can filter out types of access, such as blocking instant messaging, playing online games or even simply surfing the web. Alternately, you could block all website access except to those sites you’ve whitelisted (in other words, approved) as well as restrict or only allow contact from specific people.

Read more…

eBlaster Monitoring Software Review: Providing You an Easy Way to Know What They Do Online

As a parent, you have the right to know if your child is being contacted by sex predators online. As a boss of a company, you also have the right to know if your employees are stealing from you or if they don’t do any real work by goofing off all day with the internet.eBlaster

If you saw that they were frantic in clicking the mouse whenever you get near them and the computer, it is highly susceptible that your children or your employees are doing something in the internet that they shouldn’t be doing.

This is why you need the eBlaster Monitoring software. With this software, you will be able to know what they are doing online when you are not looking.

It is able to copy emails that they receive and send, records both sides of instant messengers, and it can also record the websites they visit. Every keystroke is also recorded by this software.

The great thing about this software is that you will be able to receive the data in your email. What this means is that you will constantly be updated on what is going on. For example, if your kids are at home and using the internet, you will be able to know about their activities even when you are at work.

So, if you always want to monitor what your employees or your children are doing whenever they are online, the best way to do this is by getting eBlaster Monitoring Software. It is discreet yet an effective way to know everything even when you are not looking.

For More, Read Our Full eBlaster Review Here!

Spector Pro: A Parent’s Complete Monitoring Solution

Spector Pro Parental Monitoring softwareEvery parent knows that they only want the best for their children. This is why they get computers and hook it up with internet in order for them to use for studying.

However, you need to remember that the internet is also a place that can be dangerous for your kids. With online sex predators entering online chat rooms and instant messengers to hunt for their next victim, you will surely think twice before you even consider leaving your kids alone in the internet.

However, you need to face the fact that you can never really monitor your child 24 hours a day and 7 days a week when they go online. This is why you need to get the Specter Pro Complete Monitoring software.

Read more…

How to Know if Your Child is at Risk from Online Activities

All children can be at risk from online activities if they aren’t taught the do’s and don’ts of appropriate Internet usage and if you, their parent, don’t take the time to talk with them about the dangers.  The trick is to make sure that you minimize the risks for your child while allowing them access to the opportunities the Internet has to offer.teen-girl-on-computer.jpg

Children can be fascinated by a variety of things available on the Internet.  Online games.  Chat rooms.  Social networking sites.  Special interest sites.  Where it starts to go wrong is if the Internet starts becoming the most important thing to your child.

If your child starts spending all their spare moments online or, worse, is online when they should be doing other things like homework or going to bed, you will have to put your foot down.  The Internet is an adjunct to, not a replacement for, real life.  Should they become irritable or angry, you need to limit their Internet access, whether or not they like it.  After all, you’re the parent.

Read more…