Internet Filter Software: How to Choose the Best Download
While the Internet has afforded us numerous advantages, it can also be a scary place. For parents, protecting children from dangers like pornography and online predators has become a significant responsibility. Internet filter softwarehelps parents determine what is and isn't safe for their children, and helps them keep the kids away from the bad things.
What is Internet Filter Software?
For parents, Internet filter software provides a line of defense in their battle to shield their children from the graphic and mature nature of some online content. The software gives parents the ability to block access to certain websites, including social networks, from their personal computers. Using the software gives users the option of blocking sites entirely or monitoring them for inappropriate content. It goes beyond pornography protection. With online predators increasingly looking to prey on young children, Internet filter software helps parents ensure their kids are interacting with appropriate people online.
In an online chat with the Washington Post, Donna Rice Hughes, author of "Kids Online: Protecting Your Children In Cyberspace," said Internet filter software should be used in combination with teaching children about online safety.
"First recommendation is to parent your children online. But no parent can keep up with intrusive pornography and sexual predators," Hughes said in the chat. "Therefore, the use of your choice of filtering tool is very important."
Choosing the Best Internet Filter Software
The most important aspect of any Internet filter software is its effectiveness. The top software gives users the ability to block inappropriate content while also allowing access to acceptable sites.
There are a number of features parents should look for when choosing Internet filter software, including email filtering, popup blocking and chat room monitoring.
Other features offered include the ability for parents customize the software to be as stringent or lenient as they deem, as well as the option to receive regular reports on the websites visited, chat room activities and IM conversations of their children.
"Most filters and parental controls allow the parent to configure the filter at an age-appropriate level," Hughes said, noting that in addition to pornography, that may include sex education and gambling websites. "I also encourage parents to use filters that allow flexibility and also allow the parent to override an inappropriate blocked site if necessary."
Other things to consider when looking for Internet filter software include the ease of installation and use, the ability to stop the use of proxy servers which could be used to circumvent the monitoring process and the power to block offensive sites that are written in languages other than English.
Download or Disk?
Most of the top Internet filter software options offer choices for either installing software or downloading it online. Both choices offer the same protection and benefits.
Top Internet Filter Software Products
The best Internet filter software gives children access to all the Internet's benefits but helps them avoid its dangers.
One of the most popular and highly rated internet filter software packages is Net Nanny Parents Control 6.5, which has the ability to regulate social media, proxy sites and games. In addition, its remote functionality lets parents access activity logs and make configuration changes anywhere they have online access.
McAfee offers two highly rated Internet filter software options. Its Safe Eyes 6 alerts parents by text message, phone or email when their children are attempting to access inappropriate content. It also offers the option of blocking instant messaging services for children without restricting it for the whole family.
McAfee also offers Family Protection 2.0, which provides 35 ready-made categories for blocking, such as hate sites, pornography, school cheating, social networking, violence and weapons. It also has the capability to block any iTunes song that has explicit, vulgar or illegal lyrics.
PureSight PC is well-regarded for its protection against cyberbullies, while CYBERsitter earns high marks for its ability to prevent unauthorized attempts to change the filter's settings.
Best Internet Filter Software: Our sister site, TopTenREVIEWS, conducted extensive in-depth reviews of numerous Internet filter software options. Their full reviews are available at http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/?cmpid=ttr-snd.