Family Internet Safety
 
 
The internet is a great tool for discovery and research. However there are dark sides to the internet that we do not want our children to go.
 
It's your home.  It's your family.  It's time you take control.
 
What We Do
 
1)  Create an Administrator account on your computer(s), complete with a password for you to use.  This places you in full control of your computer systems.
 
2)  Create standard user accounts for children (or guests) to use.  This prevents them from changing your settings, accessing your files and installing software.
 
3)  Set up Parental Controls to filter, monitor and set a time schedule on your family's internet activity.


 
The Tools We Use
 
There are many methods to filter and monitor your family's internet traffic.  They are usually free for home use, and are relatively easy to use.
 
 
Microsoft offers Windows Live Family Safety which works very well with Windows (as you could probably imagine).  It works on Windows XP and Vista, but its true power is utilized in Windows 7.  There, you can manage the time of day, program access, even downloading from the internet.
 
 
K9 Web Protection, designed by Blue Coat, is another web filtering program that you can download for free and can be installed on Windows, MacOS, iPad, iPod, and iPhones.  This product also offers excellent protections.
 
 
Lastly, newer home routers typically come with Parental Controls embedded in their basic programming (or firmware).  Although they are not as robust as the software you would install on your computers, they still offer some basic protections.
General Tips in Protecting Your Family
 
 
1)  Keep the family computer in the family room or another open area of your home.  If you feel it is necessary for your children to have a computer or laptop in their room, then consider the three-step plan that we outline under 'What We Do' (on the left side of this page).
 
2) Communicate with your family your clear and simple rules of the computer.  Explain why they are important.  Post them on the monitor as a reminder if you need to.
 
3) Be involved with your children.  Have them show you what they know and where they go online.
 
4) Explain to them to NEVER give out personal information such as their...
 
   - Full name
   - Home address
   - Phone number
   - Where they go to school
   - Social Security number
   - Passwords
   - Names of family members
   - or Credit card numbers (just in case)
 
5)  Always remember that education is a key part of prevention.  Constantly educate yourself and your children.
 
6) Speaking of education... learn the lingo!  Texting lingo is a language all on its own.  Look up many of the acronyms at netlingo.com.
 
7) Enable "Safety Mode" for YouTube.  You can watch the video below to find out how.