As your children get older, they will inevitably become more and more curious about computers and the internet. This adds another decision to the long list of decisions we make as parents; when and how shall I introduce my children to technology. As with most parenting questions, there is no right or wrong answer, and parents will all have their own opinions on how best to approach the subject. Luckily for all of us though, there are tools to make the process easier including Kid Templating engine, and introduce our children to the internet in a safe and secure manner.
Most parents Failure to will agree that its best to introduce your children to general computing, before letting them loose on the internet (there are a ton of games and programs aimed at children of different ages) but there will come a time when the internet beckons. The answer to the question What age should I allow my child online? is one that cannot be answered, it is ultimately up to you but the question of How do I introduce my child to the online world? is a little easier.
In Wisconsin there are 3 stages to after introducing teen drivers to failure to yield course. The first stage is the Filter & Block stage, where the child is only allowed access to a few safe, appropriate websites. The second stage is the Monitor stage, where children are let loose on the internet as a whole but what they visit and when is monitored and logged. And the third and final stage is the Independent stage, where the child is trusted to surf the net on his or her own.
While the final stage requires no special tools, the first two stages do. Filtering & Blocking can be achieved using certain software that blocks all unwanted websites (those with inappropriate material and content) or by blocking ALL content and only allowing through a few websites that you choose. This is a great way to introduce children to the internet as it gives you full control over what they can see/read/watch and they can do it. Net Nanny is the industry leader for parental filtering and blocking.
The second stage; Monitoring, is more suitable for older children and teenagers while driving should give right of way, or those who really want the freedom to search the entire internet but may still need protecting. Monitoring software will monitor every aspect of computer use, from all keystrokes pressed to all applications used and documents saved, created, opened etc. Monitoring software will also take screenshots of whats happening on the screen and monitor every website visited. This will all happen stealthily, without the user knowing they are being monitored, and the logs/reports can be accessed at any time with a secret key combination and password, or emailed to the parent.
Geo is the software to look at for monitoring , it has a free trial and will monitor every aspect of computer use, including all websites visited.
Like mentioned before, these are only suggestions, its ultimately up to you how and when to introduce your children to the internet, but these tools will make it easier and less stressful on you and your decision making.