Protecting your children on the computer and internet

The Third National Juvenile Online Victimization Study (2013) by the Crimes Against Children Research Center informs us that many children report that they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web. That is a shocking, to say the least.

See the report and others about teens and their experiences on the internet at the Crimes Against Children Research Center based at the University of New Hampshire.

With the ever increasing abilities that computers and the Internet provide us, they also bring potential dangers, especially to our children. All too often we don’t stop to think of what our children are capable of doing, accessing, or being exposed to on the computer. We live in an age where we can video chat instantly with anyone, our lives are posted on social networking sites, and over 500 new websites are created every minute. Do you really know what your children are doing on the computer and Internet?

Why parents should be concerned:

  • Online predators
    Perhaps the most dreadful of reasons, predators are now ‘online’ and using forums, blogs, social networking, and more to gain personal information about your children and even going as far as attempting to meet in person.
  • Cyberbullying
    More and more cases of cyberbullying are being exposed each year. This has become a serious problem for children – sometimes with deadly consequences – that often goes unnoticed and hidden behind a computer screen until it’s too late and unwanted actions have already occurred.
  • Social networking
    Our children are essentially documenting their lives on social media these days without thinking of the potential dangers. Sharing of personal information, photos, videos, and more can be used in manners not intended, potentially harming your children, family, and others.
  • Pornography
    Pornography has become one of the largest businesses in the world, mostly due to the advancement of the Internet, and is easily accessible all over the web.
  • Drugs, racism, identity theft, illegal activities … and much more

What can parents do?

Take an active approach by monitoring, filtering, and controlling their computer and Internet use. Really, it is that simple. There are numerous parental control software solutions available, such as SentryPC, which will allow you to do just that. Some of the features you should look for in a solution include :

  • Activity monitoring
    See what websites they visit, who they talk to, what are they posting on Facebook, and much more. By actively monitoring their usage you can eliminate questionable activities in the future and, of course, put your mind at ease because you will know exactly what they are doing while they are on the computer and Internet.
  • Content filtering
    Filtering allows you to prevent access to websites, applications, games, and even sharing of sensitive information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses. Filtering is an integral part of the overall solution as you can stop activities before they happen as well as be alerted when a filtering rule has been triggered.
  • Access control / scheduling
    Another important aspect is the ability to schedule your child’s computer usage. This may be allowing games to be accessed only during certain hours/days, or even limiting usage of the computer as a whole. Scheduling allows you to fine tune your protection and restrict access only during those times you specify.
  • Remote/ cloud access
    Can you view their activity from work? How about from your phone? Remote access is a necessity as you want to be able to manage and control your children’s activities no matter where you might be.

About the author

SentryPC offers cloud-based computer monitoring, filtering, and restriction of all computer activity in one software solution.  SentryPC software has been used and recommended by parents for parental control, as well as employers for employee monitoring, worldwide since 2005. Follow Sentry PC on Facebook and Twitter.