Parents Internet Guide - Parental Controls

A Parent's Guide to the Internet and it's Dangers to Children, and Parental Controls software information.

Monday, May 23, 2005

What's Right with the Fight

Instant Messaging is a powerful tool. It allows us to contact and chat with others and relay information quickly not only from our computers, but from our cellular phones as well. One of the biggest downfalls, however is that anybody can contact whomever they like. You can't, necessarily, see or hear whom you're speaking with. It's easy enough to be taken advantage of face to face, but the Internet increases those odds ten fold. How do you keep from being duped?

The better question is how to keep kids from being duped. Let's face it, kids are more technology savvy than adults and one of the most popular pastimes for them on the Internet is Instant Messaging (IM) with AIM being the top messenger choice. With it's emoticons and simple user interface it's no wonder so many people use it. The problem is that anybody can use it.

It's easy for predators to get in and talk with kids. We see it every day in news broadcasts. The Internet has become the new stomping ground for many sexual predators and other creeps. Beyond that though, many kids use it and so do many of their friends. The wrong crowd is online and it's difficult to tell who is who because it's difficult to know what screen names to look for. This relatively new technology makes it hard to tell who kids are and aren't talking with.

Yet behold, monitoring tools to the rescue. There is a software program to monitor these online interactions. Parent Tools for AIM logs IM conversations, disables chat rooms, blocks users, limits time spent online, etc. It's password protected and is able to run in stealth mode so nobody has to know they're being monitored. It's a shareware program so it can be tried with no obligation for up to 10 days.

It may be helpful to know that the program was created by a young computer savvy guy. Being in his early 20s he understands the draws and temptations of IMing. He knows what young people do online. Yet, while young adults are playing Doom3, he chooses to aid in Internet safety.

To see more about the parental control software, check out his site.


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