Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Internet Safety Blog

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present an internet safety course to the PTA of a local school system. There were perhaps 15 parents that were present, but all had some great things to ask and add to the presentation. All in all it was a good experience.

Something that I couldn't give them right away that I wanted to was a link to my Internet Safety blog, which I set up for the course. So, here is the link:

I'm going to open the blog to pretty much anyone that would like to add questions or comments on internet safety. The idea is to go beyond the computer and come up with real solutions that will protect children from questionable material. And what constitutes questionable material? Whatever the parents feel is questionable. After all, it's their family, and therefore their responsibility, and ultimately their call. That's one thing about teaching this course: it's not up to anyone to dictate what is and is not appropriate for families, but simply to give them the tools and techniques to accomplish what they want to do.


Luke Gilkerson said...

I work for Covenant Eyes.

I recommend an accountability software resource like ours. It isn't like a filter; it simply monitors where a user goes on the Internet. We create detailed Internet-usage reports of every single URL visited. These reports cannot be edited or erased (like a computer's Internet history) because all the information is housed by our servers. We also have an up-to-date scoring system that rates sites based on content and includes those numbers on the report. We have many families who use our service that are able to tell where exactly their children are going and when.

Our filter works like other Internet filters, and it is very robust. You can set filtering to different settings including sites you want to specifically allow or deny, and times of day you want the Internet to be accessed or not accessed. We also have a rigorous scoring system that is constantly updated. It is true that no filter is perfect, but there are some filters better than others.

KenS said...

What a great idea. My biggest gripe is that there are so many so-called and self-proclaimed “experts” telling parents what to do – but none of them are giving parents tools to do so. Technology runs the world. It makes-up 90% of child socializing these days. If parents aren’t using or taking advantage of that technology – they are lost.

Covenant Eyes has some great stuff and I like the scoring system – but it’s a monthly subscription. For about the cost of 6 months for one of the services (accountability or filter), you can get PC Pandora monitoring software and own it for good.

Our monitoring software takes sequential snapshots of the computer screen. Think of it as a TiVo for your PC. It also creates detailed logs of emails, IM chats, websites visited, P2P files swapped, and programs run. It also has website filers and program blocks. Parents can also set up email alerts to get notified (e.g. at work) of child activity.

We just released PC Pandora version 5.0 with a completely revamped user interface (we went ‘cool’ on the style and look) and the ability to capture webcam output. We’re offering a sale now – you can get it for $40 with the code ‘ver5’ at checkout. Go check us out… we’re just yet another option.

There is NO REASON parents should ignore their child’s PC life… that’s just irresponsibility. Knowledge is power.

Jeremy Robb said...

Thanks for your posts Luke and Ken! I'll have to check each one out.