Safe and sound: Ways to keep your kids safe on the ’net
The world of the Internet has more dark corners and pitfalls than the worst South Carolina road.
As a parent, it becomes a time consuming and frustrating battle to protect our children from the things that can so easily be found through pressing a few keys on the keyboard. I’m sure many parents have been shocked by what happens if you simply misspell many of the most popular children or family sites. When you add in how much access our children have through tablets, smartphones and gaming consoles, trying to keep up with it all could be a full time job.
According to a study that is widely used by the media, 42 percent of Internet users ages 10 – 17 said they viewed porn online in the past 12 months. According to a 2007 study done by the University of New Hampshire, 66 percent of children who admitted to seeing porn online claimed they saw it accidentally. These numbers have gone up in recent years. Pornography isn’t the only issue. Age-inappropriate content online is everywhere and parents need help to protect their children from all of it.
Clean Router is a new product that may help you, as a parent, have better control over your children’s Internet usage.
Developed by co-founders Spencer Thomason and Eric Vance, Clean Router is an easy to use plug-in device — a router — that helps you block content from being seen by your children. It works with any device that can access the internet through a Wi-Fi connection. It has nine specific categories that it can block, including ads, art nudes, drugs, gambling, guns/violence/weapons, naturism (sites that promote a nude lifestyle), malicious software, pornography and image sites. You can also set the Clean Router to block specific websites, as well as targeted keywords.
This device can also be used to limit Internet time so that your children don’t spend all night watching shows on Netflix (the way my 12-year-old keeps doing). It will block all Internet access at the times you specify. The basic model (provided free with a subscription) can be used on up to seven devices, or you can purchase a pro version ($200) that can handle even more. Monthly fees are $13 – $20 depending on features.
“In our opinion, not using a router with content filtering software built in like Clean Router is like letting your child play with matches,” says co-founder Vance. “Eventually there will be consequences.”
Nobody wants that to happen, so take a moment and at least review what you are doing to protect your children.
For more information, visit www.cleanrouter.com.
Talk to Victor
Victor Alfieri is an avid music fan who has three children with his wife, Stephanie. Connect at Facebook.com/VJAlfieri and @VictorWordkrpht.
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