dark side of the Internet is an evil place for your kids. But then, you dont want to
deny them access to the wealth of knowledge on the Net either. You cannot possibly be
around all the time looking over your childrens shoulders while they are surfing.
Filtering software can monitor their surfing activities, blocking their offensive material
or preventing personal information from going out to strangers on the Internet. Other
features like the Time Management restrict surfing hours.
software like SurfWatch, Net Nancy, Cyber Patrol, Cybersitter, etc, employ various
filtering techniques. As you read on you will discover that some techniques are not
foolproof, or easily bypassed by the Internet-savvy kids. Occasionally, monitor your child
surfing the Net and keep an eye for uncovered tracks in the browser (check the cache
folder and the address and the location bar).
filtering software maintain a list of common bad words, phrases and addresses of popular
sex sites. When an address is typed in the browsers location or address bar, it is
compared against the list and the site is blocked. Filters work like the spell check
program in a word processor, comparing text with a list of predefined bad
words. Besides bad words, you can also maintain a list of personal information: telephone
numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses. The filter monitors the keyboard buffer (memory
which stores what you type), and when it identifies personal information (or anything else
you might predefined) it prevents that material from going out to the Internet. So when
your child chats with a paedophile impersonating a friendly neighbourhood kid and gives
out your home address or phone number, the filters blocks it out.
filters incorporate third-party rating systems form the Recreational Software Advisory
Council (RSAC) and safe surf (See Rating the web). Just as movies has ratings
with labels like "A," PG, and U, Web sites are assigned
rating labels after careful scrutiny. Filers that supports ratings let the user control
the level independently for categories like Sex, Violence, and
Nudity, among others.
time management feature present in some filters lets you specify when and for how long you
can surf. It monitors the dial-up program on your computer and hangs up the modem when the
limits are exceeded.
exemplify, we have briefly discussed the salient features of popular filters. These can be
downloaded form the web and users for a limited period after which you need to register
and pay for the software.
Available filter softwares are :