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Keeping  out smut with filters

       sex free  surfing

The dark side of the Internet is an evil place for your kids. But then, you don’t 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 children’s 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.

Filtering 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).

Most filtering software maintain a list of common bad words, phrases and addresses of popular sex sites. When an address is typed in the browser’s 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.

Some 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.

The 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.

To 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 :

Cyber Patrol 4.0 :
Cyber Sentinel 1.4 : Security Software System -
Cyber Sitter 97 : Solid Oak Software -
Cyber Snoop 3.0 : Pearl Software -
Net nanny 3.1 :
SurfWatch   3.0 :
Times Up! 1.10 : The Fresh Software Company -
WatchDog 1.2 : Nic Jansma -
WebChaperone 1.1.1 : Webco International -
X-stop 3.0 : Log on Data -

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