Protect Your Children From Inappropriate Websites
Kids are more and more Internet-savvy these days, and spending a lot of time on kid-friendly websites, playing games, doing math exercises, and working on their vocabulary. However, according to ABC News, some kid-friendly websites also provide access to violent games and racy adult content. Why? Because most kid websites post links to all the other websites owned by the same company. Some of them are not rated E for everyone, like any kid who logs onto the Nickelodeon games website Nick.com. By clicking on “more games,” they can end up on another website, with adult-oriented games like “Sniper Assassin 4” and “Speed Dating.” Any kid with a smart phone can access websites and download all kinds of small programs called “apps,” a lot of which contain strong language, violence, and highly-suggestive adult content. So, how can you protect your children from inappropriate websites?
- First, ask questions! Before you buy your child a techno-toy, ask whether it can be used to access the Internet, and if it has parental control settings. You can find parental control info for Macs, iPods and iPhones at Apple.com.
- There’s also a parental-control app for smart phones called Safe Eyes Mobile.
- Then examine the websites your kids visit, and evaluate them using the “three Cs”: Content, Contact and Conduct: In other words, what Content can your kid see on the site? Is it age-appropriate? Also, who can your child Contact through the website? For example, can they only contact other children? How do you know they’re actually children? The final “C” for website evaluations is Conduct. In other words, are there filters and human monitors that keep people from using inappropriate language?
The bottom line is: The only way to make sure a website is okay for your kids is for you to surf through it, and try out all the games. Block out those that aren’t, using parental controls.