Content Still Leaks Through Filter Programs


The LA Times has a rather interesting look at filtering programs. It\'s a look at programs for use at home, by parents, as a way to control what their children see.The author, Lawrence J. Magid , compares the pros and cons of several popular filters.

\"Whether you use a filtering program, be sure to talk with your kids about safety on the Internet. Remind them to never give out any personal information or arrange a face-to-face visit with anyone they encounter online. Filtering technology has its place, but it\'s no substitute for old-fashioned parenting.\"

I\'ve had a love-hate relationship with Internet safety filters since I tried the first such program--SurfWatch--back in 1995. They certainly empower parents to take control over what their kids can see and do on the Net as an antidote to government censorship, but I also hate the idea of parents having to rely on technology to control their kids\' behavior.

Basically, there are two ways to filter your kids\' Internet access. You can purchase a software filtering product for your PC, or you can subscribe to an Internet service provider that filters the material before it gets to you. The advantage to having your own filtering software is that you have more control over what is and isn\'t filtered, and you can turn them off when it\'s time for an adult to access the Net. The so-called family friendly ISPs make it simple--they handle all the configurations and updates, but also take away much of your control.

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