Internet screening software is not the whole answer to managing internet use in your family. It is no substitute for parental attention and oversight, communication, clear rules, limits and expectations, and knowing your child well. However, internet filtering or monitoring software can be a useful component of your family’s internet use plan, and by some reports, over a third of all families use it.
- Do you understand how to install and use the software?
- Does the company provide easily available and accessible support?
- Does the software allow you to examine “screen shots” of web sites visited and chat dialogue? This is often saved randomly.
- Does the software allow you to filter web site addresses and does it provide any easy interface for updating this function? Do you understand the limitations of web site filtering?
- Does the software or your ISP alow you to restrict email and IM queries to a list of addresses/screen names that you choose and manage?
- Does the software allow you to block or restrict file exchange and any other sofware downloading?
- Does the software have good security/password protection so it cannot be hacked by a creative 12 year old?
- Does the software allow you to do “keystroke analysis,” which keeps a record of all keyed input to the computer?