I’m not quite ready to have all those internet safety for kids discussions. I’m already preparing myself for the moment when my oldest asks if he can set up a Facebook account. Granted, he doesn’t even know what Facebook is, and he’s in kindergarten, but I like to plan ahead. And part of the planning process, means being protected with the right software.
There are a lot of software suites designed for parents like me who want to keep their computers as safe as possible for their kids. CYBERsitter is one of them and basically logs everything, blocks anything and can serve as a virtual policeman for your system.The main control panel gives you access to all the settings of the program and lets you customize based on whatever your protection plan is. It’s easy to use, but the aesthetic of the control panel is woefully outdated, as you can clearly see here. (And so is their website, by the way.) This may be a consequence of it being a 15-year veteran in the industry, and I hope they get on the 2.0 bandwagon. Because design aesthetic aside, the software does what it’s supposed to do, which is help keep kids safer.
You can designate which sites you’d like to block, either by category (like gambling, social networking, and uh, mature theme sites) or enter websites in manually. If you’re really hardcore, you can record all Facebook activity and emails, see when users logged in and out and even shut down Internet access during any specific time frame.
As long as I have an open line of communication with my kids about Internet usage and have confidence that they are protected online, I think I’ll eventually get used to the idea. But ask me again in a couple years. – Jeana