• ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology
  • ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology


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The Parent's Guide to Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace Parry Aftab

Internationally respected attorney and cyber-expert Parry Aftab offers a sensible, clear-cut guide to protecting children from the dark side of the Web.

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn To Use the Internet Safely and Responsibly
by Nancy E. Willard

Review: "Willard blends the perspectives of a wise parent and a serious scholar about issues related to Internet behavior and safety. . . Pick up the book, open it to any random page, and you will find on that page or nearby a wealth of helpful advice and useful commentary on the cyberreality facing our children and on how to deal with any of the issues she's identified." —Dick Thornburgh, J.D., former U.S. Attorney General; chair, National Academy of Sciences Committee on Youth Pornography and the Internet

How to Protect Children on the Internet by Gregory S. Smith

“Smith outlines methods for protecting children against online threats. He describes recent tragedies and shows how to protect against specific dangers, for parents or educators of children from age eight to 17. He specifically discusses how to monitor children online, with recommendations for surfing, blogs, and social networking; email; instant messaging and voice-over-IP, cell phones, and PDAs; and talking to children about risks. Information has been drawn from research reports, case studies, child advocacy organizations and web sites, interviews with experts and parents, and the author's own experiences as a parent, technology professional, and educator.”–Reference & Research Book News

Youth, Pornography, and the Internet - by the Committee to Study Tools and Strategies for Protecting Kids from Pornography and Their Applicability to Other Inappropriate Internet Content, National Research Council, Dick Thornburgh, Herbert S. Lin

The book discusses social and educational strategies, technological tools, and policy options for how to teach children to make safe and appropriate decisions about what they see and experience on the Internet. It includes lessons learned from case studies of community efforts to intervene in kids’ exposure to Internet porn.

Saber Hacer's Guide to Protecting Your Children on the Internet
by Michele Ruiz

The Internet is undoubtedly one of today s most important tools and resources. But experts also want you to know that every child using a computer faces risks. Guide to Protecting Your Children on the Internet takes the mystery out of online safety.

Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Page updated November 30, 2012

Free Parental Internet Filtering Software - How Good is it?

Children benefit from instruction from their parents on safe use of the Internet and its dangers, as well as education about pornography and how it can harm individuals.
Responsible parents educate and supervise their children's Internet use. At least one-half of all children who have the Internet in their homes will be exposed to pornography.

Parental internet filtering software is beneficial for families, but parental instruction and education are also of much importance for children and teens.

K9 Web Protection - Free Internet Filtering Software

K9 is free parental internet filtering and monitoring software.
Parents should consider K9

At least one-half of all children and teens who have the Internet in their home will be exposed to some form of pornography right in their own home. Internet filtering software can help parents a measure of peace with the computer in the house. There is no parent that can monitor their child or teen's use of the Internet 24/7. Many teenagers and some children have their own laptops. Internet filtering, monitoring and control software (all-in-one), allows parents to protect and monitor use of the Internet remotely. The usual cost for such software ranges from around $30. to $50. per year, on a subscription basis.

There is another option, however, for parents, that is, free internet filtering and monitoring software. If it is free, then it surely must be of inferior quality, there must be a catch. Actually, there isn't a catch, and K9 is of excellent quality. Why make it, then, if it is free? Recognizing the need for parental internet filtering software, and the fact that some parents just don't have the money, or won't pay for it annually, a consortium of non-profit organizations supports the deployment of this high-quality internet filtering software.

K9 works well and is customizable. The Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology tested out the various features of the software, along with two other paid internet filtering, control software. K9 performed comparably and had many of the same features.

Background for Considering Parental Internet Filtering Software

Parents should realize that there is no software that is guaranteed to block all undesirable sites or all pornography. One reviewer of internet filtering software rated the most effective products as blocking 97% of the pornography on the Internet. That still leaves 3% of the sites accessible, some of those sites come up first on a Google Search for specific sexual keywords. With a little effort, most savvy computer teens can come up with some porn if they want to.

K9 was actually rated higher in terms of both blocking pornography, and in allowing health and other websites which dealt with sexual matters. While the paid programs rated at 97%, this impartial reviewer rated K9 at 100%. When we tested K9, though, it rated lower than 100% in blocking pornography, and seemed to be comparable to the paid subscriptions. This review also rated K9 higher than the paid programs in its accuracy rate, measured in its ability to discern between non-porn sexual web pages, which we didn't test.

In any case, we get the idea that K9 does work and is comparable with the subscription based programs.

Most teens are not so determined to pursue internet pornography, and most children and teens are introduced to Internet pornography by "accident," clicking on the wrong link or email invitation. For this type of barrier, K9 and many other internet filtering software products are very effective. Even for teens who may have got caught in a trap of Internet pornography addiction, Internet filtering software may be just what is needed as a gentle deterrent when no one is around to monitor.

Additionally, while it is relatively easily to wipe out the browser History with common browsers, parents can monitor Internet use, even remotely with K9 and other programs. This also serves as a deterrent toward dabbling on offensive or harmful sites.

Features of K9 - Parental Internet Control and Monitoring Software

K9 is easy to set up and use, but it is not as glossy as some of the other programs. It allows you to customize your settings in different ways. You can block categories, choose a strong degree of filtering or moderate. The moderate setting actually fully blocks both YouTube, one of the leading sources of Internet pornographic videos for teens and others, and Google Images, which many children, especially, dabble in for a full eyes view of sexy images. In public schools, some pre-teens store their own cache of sexy images on school computers, downloaded from Google Images.

K9 Web Protection - Free Internet Filtering Software

Parents should educate themselves about the YouTube website.
Parents should educated themselves about the YouTube website and how their teens might be using it.

By choosing the "safe" browser option and for YouTube, which K9 and other internet filter software does automatically, the most egregious Internet pornography and web-searches is circumvented or blocked. But again, plenty of soft-porn or sexual imagery comes through, and parents may want Google Images or YouTube blocked altogether, which is really the only way to prevent pornography from YouTube especially. Perhaps, if teens really "need" to access YouTube, they might do so while parents supervise, or in the parent's presence.

Differences Between K9 and Pay-for Parental Filtering Software

K9 lacks some of the additional features of pay-for subscription programs. Programs such as Safe Eyes provide notification by text message to the parent if the Internet is accessed in off-limit zones. Many filtering programs automatically email a report of Internet use to the parent. Multiple users on one computer are supported by pay-for internet filtering software programs, with individually customized settings, whereas K9 allows only one setting per computer. (Both the K9 and pay-for software allows you to override blocks if you have the administrative password (supplied by the parent).

Should You Try the Free K9 Internet Filtering Software and Pornography Blocker?

If you don;t have parental internet filtering software, then try out K9, it is free and there is no obligation to keep it. Choose the categories you feel you need to block, and add any specific sites of concern. You can customize the settings, as with all filtering software, as you go.

If you have several children or teens in the household, along with adults who use the Internet, then you might find it better for each individual to have their own Internet entrance, in which case a paid subscription-based program might better facilitate your family's needs.

If there is an adult in the household who is addicted to Internet pornography, you might have an agreement by which internet control software such as K9 or some other program, blocks any pornographic sites, with the non-porn-oriented adult controlling the password. If all adults in the household, assuming it is the husband, agrees to this, it might solve future family battles and make it easier to break free from pornography addiction. It certainly isn't the complete answer because Internet cafes are always just around the corner, but it does make it less accessible, which might be enough for some to withstand the immediate temptation to indulge in Internet pornography at home.

Most agree that pornography addiction is not beneficial, and because it is not uncommon among teens, parental filtering software may be the course of wisdom. Instructing and educating children, taking other practical measures such as placing the computer in an open area of the home, is also important.

Cautious parents educate and protect their children and teens concerning the Internet.

Free Parental Internet Filtering Software Has Value

Parents who don't have Internet filtering software should consider K9. Be prepared to work with the software, along with your teen, to fine-tune the settings on any filtering software program.

Above all, teach your children to respect positive values, to respect women and other people, so that they have the proper view of sex and don't get ensnared in Internet pornography or other pornography addiction. Pornography addiction can be as strong as heroin addiction for some, and as difficult to break the habit.

Be aware of how YouTube is being used by teenagers, and how pornographic videos of all sorts are easily accessible on this website. There are many videos of value on YouTube, but there also is a stock full of pornography for the unwary user. A large percentage of music videos are sexual, some close to being pornographic, as in the case of Lady Gaga, where journalists ask the question, Has Lady Gaga Gone Too Far, concerning one of her music video, knowing the influence Lady Gaga has on young people.

So parents should realize that there is hard core porn, soft porn, and music videos, which, in many cases are borderline pornography. A cautious and responsible parent doesn't leave the Internet to the wind, but educates himself about the Internet and also educates his or her children and teens. This will contribute to the formation of a responsible adult with strong moral fiber.

Pages Related to Internet Safety:

Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D.

Effects of Pornography - Summary, Solutions

How Pornography Effects Children

How to Teach Your Child to Use the Internet Wisely

Reviews of the Best Parental Internet Filtering Software

Youtube and Teens Parental Internet Software

Child Online Safety U.S. Government information page, from Carnegie Mellon University.

Internet Safety - Notes from Newark Public School Conference

Cyber Bullying - Parents: What parents can do