Choosing the best internet parental controls for your family can be a somewhat daunting task, especially if you are not completely sure what kind or level of internet filtering you need. However, by asking yourself a few very simple questions about your family’s internet habits, you’ll be better equipped to compare filtering or blocking programs, and choose the one that is right for you.
1. What do you use the internet for – work, school, or entertainment?
Be aware that if your family primarily uses the internet for entertainment, you are more likely to be exposed to sexual content and content promoting violence, gambling, or illegal activities. Thus, a higher level of filtering is probably needed.
2. Who is using the computer?
Do you need a program that will allow you to set different levels of filtering for different users, or would you prefer internet parental controls that block the same inappropriate content for all users?
If you are not an experienced computer user, the latter may be the right option because most programs that allow varying levels of protection according to user can be more easily bypassed.
3. What kinds of content do you want to filter or block?
Many parental controls merely block certain keywords, and pages that mask keywords can still be accessed – a trick that many illicit websites now utilize. An internet filter, on the other hand, uses different methods to screen content, and is much more effective at consistently blocking undesired web pages.
It is important to note that there are two primary types of internet parental controls – blocks and filters. For the highest level of protection, a good internet filter, such as Clean Internet, is the best option. Blocks usually are not as consistent or effective at screening objectionable content as filters, and are a lot easier to disable, bypass, or uninstall completely.
If you choose to use a filter (recommended), there are a few things to look for. First, ensure that the filter won’t slow down your connection and that it is compatible with your operating system. Also, make sure that it cannot be uninstalled too easily, but is easy to use and will give you easily understood reports about what pages were blocked.
Additionally, be sure to choose a filter that will block all kinds of internet protocol, including file sharing networks, instant messengers, and pop ups. Many websites are finding ways to get around basic internet blocks, but a good filter will recognize these attempts and disable such content.
Keep in mind that different programs will give you varying levels of protection, and all of them have different features that you may or may not need. Choose the program that has the features and protection you need, and don’t be swayed by a lot of flashy extras that you’ll never use, and that actually may contribute to the overall inefficiency of the program.
A solid choice for internet parental controls is Clean Internet. Their service includes all of the important features for any internet filter, is very reasonably priced, and they also offer foreign language filtering. In addition, because your connection is routed through their filtering servers, Clean Internet is very reliable. In short, they will do just what they promise to – allow the good and block the bad.