The internet is among the most pervasive inventions of all time. As our businesses and families become increasingly intertwined with it, the more essential it becomes for us to take a proactive role to protect our loved ones from internet pornography and other dangers. Although nothing can take the place of well-informed parents who take an active part in their children's online activities, internet filter software adds a strong, additional layer of defense, giving parents an added measure of control and peace of mind. The best of these internet filter software packages take social networking sites into account. The sites can be blocked entirely or they can monitor the sites for inappropriate contacts. Some send email or text message alerts to cell phones in real time in the event of potentially dangerous interactions. Some prevent the display of inappropriate video content. In our reviews, we detail the relative benefits of each of the best products. Each has its own merits so we urge you to read our reviews of Net Nanny, McAfee SafeEyes and McAfee Family Protection. We also suggest reading articles about internet filter software to help you understand the threats that exist and how to protect your family from them. At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™
Parental control software will never replace the close interaction and dedicated involvement of a concerned parent. If you’re reading this article, however, it’s likely that you’re looking for some help in creating a safe online environment for your loved ones. Below is a brief synopsis of the criteria we used when selecting the best parental control software.
Internet filter software gives you the ability to control content displayed, block objectionable websites and set up passwords to allow access to sites on an ad hoc basis. Powerful features like email filtering, popup blocking and chat room monitoring are among the tools available with today's web filter programs, each designed to protect against and counteract the tactics of aggressive, online porn peddlers and other predators.
The best parental control software is highly customizable. While they offer a host of default settings that are often adequate, parents should also be able to add or remove restrictions as they deem appropriate. We are particularly fond of programs that offer multiple options for giving real-time alerts to dangerous situations and of those programs that are keeping up with the rapidly changing roles of social media sites.
Ease of Use
We have to face the fact that despite all of our best efforts to keep track of what our children are doing online, we all have numerous, often conflicting, demands placed on our time. An additional reality is that many kids are far more comfortable with computer usage than their parents. That means that in order to be useful, internet filter software has to be easy to use, intuitive and not require much maintenance time.
Ease of Installation
Related to ease of use, ease of installation addresses the initial set up of the parental control software. Some can be installed on more than one computer, a plus in today’s world in which kids frequently have access to multiple machines in the household. Most programs in these reviews can be monitored and controlled from any computer that has internet access and that remote functionality should be every bit as user friendly as the main program.
No matter what else is said of parental control software, it must be effective in blocking content that is unacceptable for users while allowing them to access content which is appropriate. The most useful internet filter software provides reports on what each family member has been doing on the computer, which includes websites visited, chat room activities, IM conversations and more.
Top internet filter software can prevent the use of proxy servers which could be used to circumvent the monitoring process. Excellent parental control software can also block objectionable sites regardless of the language in which they’re written.
With internet filter software and proper supervision, parents can keep their families safe from ever more resourceful and persistent pornography vendors and other online predators. These efforts can help the internet reach its potential as the greatest communications medium ever while avoiding some of its greatest dangers.