It’s a recognized fact that parents will go out of their way to protect their children in whatever way possible. When choosing pediatricians, parents talk with friends and read doctor reviews to gain insight into the professional’s reputation. Before signing kids up for a daycare program, the facility is checked out to ensure it is totally safe and up to the standards expected. These safety practices are pretty straightforward, but what can parents do about protecting their kids from online dangers?
After all, in today’s world, kids are introduced to computers and the Internet at a very early age. This is a good thing, of course, but there are some dangers involved. Although many children of today are more computer-savvy than their parents ever will be, they lack the maturity and the life experiences to make wise decisions about where to visit online. In addition, even some ‘safe’ sites can ask for information that parents would prefer their kids not share online.
The risk of identity theft is very real. Other online dangers include cyberbullying and sexual predators. Obviously, parents do have reasons to be concerned about the online activities of their kids.
With all these things in mind, the government and some new businesses are now offering ways to help keep kids safe online. For instance, in October of 2012, the FBI unveiled a new program designed with that purpose in mind. It actually teaches kids about Internet safety related to such things as chat rooms and social network sites.
Although the FBI’s program is not a startup business, it is a new program designed specifically for the purpose of keeping kids safe online. It uses games and videos to accomplish the task of appealing to kids. The program is called “Safe Online Surfing” and is specifically geared for kids in the third through the eighth grade.
Teachers are encouraged to sign their classes up for the program. Schools have an opportunity to win trophies and even a visit from a local FBI agent.
CocoonKids from Virtual World Computing
CocoonKids is a free software application that can be used to do multiple things. Not only can it block harmful websites, but it also tracks the sites kids visit. In addition, the application is able to prevent outside sites from tracking kids on iPhones, iPads, and on computers.
The ‘white list’ of KidsNet has been carefully constructed – only sites that rank according to the Internet Content Rating Association and KidsNet standards are listed. Parents can decide what is included and what is excluded.
This application option allows parents to literally lock up all or part of the Internet. Parents can set the limits as strict as they want. Kids can be limited to only opening their own documents and doing research for school projects. Setup can be complicated, but once setup is complete, the application is easy to use.
This application provides a way for parents to easily monitor what kids do online. The program takes onscreen snapshots at prescribed intervals, which can be played back in video format. Parents can control whether the recording is completed in stealth mode or the record light is visible. Plus, there are options to decide what is recorded and how often images are captured.
These programs are not designed for the purpose of creating parents that are overbearing or controlling. They are intended to be used to help keep kids safe when they are online. Internet safety for kids is a growing industry that will likely increase for years to come.
Debbie Allen is a professional writer and blogger who specializes in topics of interest to women and online marketing strategies.
Pic 1 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Pic 2 – Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net