Computers are a fact of life today. For many parents who didn’t grow up with the World Wide Web at their fingertips, the notion that their child needs to use the internet for everything from homework and research projects to gaming and socializing is a daunting one. After all, no one wants their little one stumbling on something they shouldn’t see while online.
Even so, many parents are hesitant to set up parental controls – worrying that it might slow down their computer’s performance or be complicated to create. The truth is, there are easy steps you can take to bolster control over what your children see on the internet that won’t interfere with your online speed or performance. Just remember, nothing takes the place of parental supervision.
If you’re using Internet Explorer as your household browser, you’re in luck. IE allows parents to customize the level of control a parent has, which means you can adjust according to your needs and your little one’s age.
You can set restrictions on certain content, including nudity, language, violence and sex. You can also block website with offensive or suggestive language, as well as create a specified list of websites that your children won’t have access to.
Setting up parental controls on Internet Explorer is easy, and can be done in minutes:
Start by opening Internet Explorer, and selecting Tools from the toolbar. From there, click on the Internet Options button. Next, choose the Content tab and click Enable.
A slider menu will appear, allowing you to customize the level of control you feel is appropriate for your child. Finally, click Save and you’re done.
Unlike Internet Explorer, Firefox has no built-in parental controls. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create an appropriate web experience for your child. One of the best parts about using Firefox is that there are dozens of add-ons to enhance your internet experience. One of the most useful is called FoxFilter (available from the add-ons section of the Firefox website). Fox Filter is free and allows you to block pornography websites and inappropriate content. If you’d like more services or premium features from Fox Filter, you can purchase them for a small support fee.
Of all the popular web browsers, Google Chrome falls the shortest when it comes to parental controls. There are no built-in parental controls on Google Chrome, and parents who want to block content or websites using the browser need to look to alternate, third party services.
If you’re concerned that your web savvy young one may use Google Chrome to bypass your parental controls, your best bet may be to use an alternate browser, and add the Chrome download page to the list of prohibited websites.