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Kid Safe Internet Guide

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Windows Computer Setup -- You can create a password protected "limited" user account for each child. If adults are not sharing the computer with their kids, permanently remove any software that the children will not or should not use. If you are using Windows Vista, see How-To Set-Up Parental Controls for web restrictions, time limits, games and to allow or block specific programs. Microsoft Windows Steady State is a free of charge download for Windows XP and Vista that can help protect your family from inappropriate Web content and contact on the Web; protects your computer settings from unwelcome changes by your children; and can return your family computer and hard disk to the condition it was before your children changed it... just restart your computer.

ISP Features -- Does your Internet service provider (ISP) offer features like filters for web content, email viruses and spam? You should compare their content filter (if any) with free online services and content filtering software (see below). You can use their email spam/virus filtering in addition to filters installed on your computer. For better protection, use software from a different vendor on your computer than the one being used by your ISP.

Search Engines -- You can set up a kid's computer to use child safe search engines like Kids Click! Ask for Kids, and Google (use safe search filtering & save preferences).

Free Online Content Filtering Services -- Take a look at Open DNS and Blue Cost's K9 Web Protection for free online content filters.

Install a Content Filter

  • Bsecure Online v6.16, Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine, Dec 9, 2010 -- editor's choice
  • Windows Live Family Safety 2011, Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine, Dec 7, 2010
  • Parental Control Software, Consumer Search, April 2010 -- NetNanny best, CyberPatrol most versatile, OnlineFamily.Norton best web based, Safe Eyes best for Macs.
  • Keep Your Child Safe Online, Neil Rubenking, PC Magazine, March 1, 2010 -- 4.5 Net Nanny 6.5 (Editor's Choice), 4 OnlineFamily.Norton (free), 4 Spector Pro 2009, 4 CyberPatrol Parental Controls 7.7, 4 PC Pandora 6.0, 4 Safe Eyes 6.0, 3.5 KidZui 5.0, 3 K9 Web Protection 4.0, 3 Webroot Parental Controls, 2.5 Peanut Butter PC 3.0, 2.5 Hoopah Kidview Computer Explorer 6, 2.5 Netgear Live Parental Controls (free), 2 NETBLOX.
  • Internet Filter Software 2010 -- 9 products, TopTenReviews
  • Macintosh, see Intego -- NetBarrier (firewall+), Virus Barrier, Personal AntiSpam, Chat Barrier, Content Barrier, DiskGuard, FileGuard, Personal Backup and Internet Security Barrier (several suites).

Internet Security Suites -- Many of these products include content filters. See our Internet Security & Utility Suites page for links to vendors and reviews of more than 20 products. Using a Broadband Gateway (hardware & software combo) with security features is another option.

Internet Gateway

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