Net Monitoring Software

For many parents, the Internet is seen as good for benefiting the education of their children, a way for them to get use of a computer and a helpful tool used to look up information needed for homework assignments.

However, many also stop to consider the quality and suitability of the material that their children can potentially have access to.You may remember in the news last month that an American attorney was arrested for using chat rooms on the Internet to solicit sex from minors or the small percentage of children that claim to know how to make bombs and other weapons based on information found on the Internet.Too make things worse, it isn’t just all pornography and violent viewpoints, there is also a large amount of racial and ethnic abuse, all of which I find unlikely that you would want them having easy access to.

Don’t worry too much about the ease of access to this information as this week I am going to introduce an item of software called ‘Net Nanny’ that claims to restrict access to these types of sites.

Installation was simple; a must for most parents as often their children have a higher degree of computer knowledge than themselves, once set up the program automatically blocked all Internet access until a user ‘profile’ was set up.This involves defining exactly what you don’t want your children to have access to, setting up the degree of censorship you are going to use for accessing the web.Because it is possible to create more than one profile, it is easy to set up different levels of Internet access for different members of the family, for example, applying a lesser extent of censorship for yourself or your older children than you would do for the younger members of your household.

The program comes with a large list of sites that can’t be accessed and a list of obscenities that will be blocked when on the Internet, this can be added to or trimmed down depending on how strict you think their online experience should be.You are also able to block certain newsgroup content and letters from particular e-mail addresses from being received.When a restricted site is attempted to load, Net Nanny blocks you cold and when an obscenity of any kind is included in a page, it is censored out completely leaving blank space in the place of the word.

The program also includes the ability to record all online chat sessions for selected users and makes a log of all attempted access to sites on Net Nannys’ blocked list.

Net Nanny isn’t all just about preventing access to problematic material; there is also the facility to prevent Internet access at certain times of the day, or for prolonged periods.You might find it useful to limit the time spent on the Internet to 2 hours in off peak times only for example.

At around £40 for a copy of Net Nanny 4.0 from companies such as Jungle.com (0800 0355 355), I personally believe that this price is slightly excessive and that Net Nannys is perhaps £10-£15 too much, however it is one of the most comprehensive Internet filters available and you can be assured that it will not go out of date quickly as it is easily updated via a visit to the Net Nanny website.When you consider that thousands of new Internet sites are set up weekly, this is one of the most important features of such a piece of software; the website will add the details of any sites recently discovered or created that are found to include questionable material in to the list of blocked sites in Net Nannys’ database.

To conclude, the Internet is the one of the most vast and comprehensive sources of information that we have access to in the modern day world, however a program like Net Nanny is essential to pick out the bad apples of the bunch that attempt to teach our children the things we don’t want them learning about at such a young age.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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