Tag Archives: Internet Filter

Announcement: Internet Safety is Not About Technology

Internet safety and security is an extremely important issue that should be addressed by every parent, and is rapidly becoming one of the toughest issues facing parents today. It is an important worldwide concern for children, teenagers, and adults. Governments are getting involved. (in my opinion that is not a good thing, but that is a different topic)

Internet safety is not about technology, it is about the safe and legal use of the internet. It’s about the people you meet, the places you go, and the things you see on the internet. It is important for kids to know who is out there on the internet, where they like to hide, and what they want from you. Many young people have experienced grooming by predator pedophiles, solicitation of personal information, cyber bullying by peers, or have been shocked by filthy online content that just a few years ago couldn’t be found in the sleaziest adult magazines.

Internet Filtering is like a Shark Cage

Internet safety is not a luxury! You wouldn’t let a child surf in shark infested waters and you shouldn’t let them surf the internet without a “Shark Cage”.

What kind of Shark Cages are available online? Some look to accountability software for the solution, also called Internet monitoring, and there certainly is a place and time for that, but that kind of solution is more like watching your child get eaten by a shark on the 10 o’clock news before trying to do something about it.

Internet filtering is a good solution, definitely more like a shark cage; but what is to stop your child from finding a way out of the cage?

The combination of both Internet filtering and Internet monitoring is the best solution. By preventing accidental viewing of filth, often caused by simple misspelling, and the intentional attempts to bypass the filter through monitoring, you can effectively illuminate most of the dangers of the internet. Any further dangers can and should be eliminated through open discussion and communication about what information is permissible to give out and what isn’t. The fact that the computer is being monitored should be fully disclosed to all users.  The benefit of monitoring is to improve behavior not catch something after the fact. Knowing that someone is looking over your shoulder is a great help when it comes to temptation to do something that is not within the guide lines established for your safety. This will improve both Internet Safety and Security.

Check out a product that can provide both monitoring and filtering at Clean Internet.

Technorati Tags: Bypass, Children, computer, danger, Filtering, help, Internet, Internet Filter, news, Online, parents, pedophiles, Safety

How to Bypass a School Internet Filter

You may not want to believe it, especially if you are a school computer administrator, but most kids know how to bypass a school internet filter. (Hey parents, if they can do it at school, they can probably do it at home too!) There are varieties of methods they use, ranging from simplistic bypasses to highly intensive scripting work-arounds, including:

• Using a proxy server or proxy website. The proxy acts as a portal for blocked content, and will often mask the blocked website’s IP so the internet filter program does not know it is supposed to be blocked.
• Searching for keywords in foreign languages. Many internet filters do not recognize multiple languages, and thus, cannot block these keywords.
• Typing https:// before the website address, instead of just http://, which is very simple, but something that will baffle internet filters that do not block certain types of internet protocol.
• Using a remote desktop. If the home computer is usually on and connected to the internet, and does not have a filter, kids will use a remote desktop program to access the internet through that computer, similar to a proxy.
• Running command prompt to PING certain websites, a method that will usually circumvent internet filters.
• Downloading programs from the internet that will automatically bypass internet filters.
• Hacking the internet filter program itself, to change settings or set up bypass shortcut keys.

Of course, most administrators of school computer systems have caught on to these tricks, and set up blocks against them. However, installing an internet filter that cannot be bypassed in the first place will save your organization a lot of time and money, not to mention headaches.

Unfortunately, many of the internet filters available to schools do not have features like that, but there is one, called Clean Internet, that offers service to businesses, schools, and churches, and that cannot be uninstalled or bypassed by the end user – something that most networking internet filters are not designed to do.

In addition, Clean Internet offers complete protection, by using a combination of filtering techniques, including keyword filtering, URL filtering, foreign language filtering, and dynamic filtering. Their program also filters all kinds of internet protocol, like instant messengers, chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, and email. Moreover, because the Clean Internet system works as a proxy server itself, it blocks access to proxy servers and proxy websites.

If you are a parent, teacher, or school administrator, of course, you are concerned about student safety, and one of the easiest ways to ensure that your students are safe on the internet, is to install and utilize a good internet filter. Stay informed about the way students use the internet – or try to use the internet – and set up a system that will offer the best protection.

Technorati Tags: Bypass, Internet Filter, protection, proxy

How Can Parents Keep Their Children Safe on the Internet?

The prevailing question for the 79% of American homes with internet access is – how can parents keep their children safe on the internet? And it’s no wonder why. More and more kids use the internet these days, for homework help, to chat with friends, and play games. Unfortunately, all kinds of predators have caught on to this trend, and are using the internet to prey on children and teens – sexually, emotionally, and financially.

Children, and most teenagers, simply don’t realize the very real danger that can often be associated with their online activities, especially in chat rooms or message boards. However, there are several ways to protect your kids online, and it all starts with education. Find out what is out there, and then follow these simple guidelines to help keep them safe.

1. Install a really good internet filter, one like Clean Internet, that has a high level of consistency in blocking bad content and allowing good content, and cannot by bypassed or uninstalled by the end user, and make sure you use it to its fullest capacity. Get activity reports, and keep tabs on what sites your kids are visiting – or trying to visit.
2. Place the computer in a family area of your home, where you can easily monitor internet activity. Know what your kids are doing while they are online, and who they may be interacting with.
3. Set rules, especially with teenagers, about what your kids can and cannot do online. Chat rooms, message boards, and instant messengers are the most common means that predators use to lure children or teens into sharing personal information, or into meeting them in person.
4. Educate your children about internet safety. Talk with them about not sharing their full name, phone number, address, or other personal family information, unless they have explicit permission from you. Represent to them, in age appropriate ways, the danger of trusting people online. Younger children especially, do not understand that sometimes people online are not really who they say they are.
5. Make sure that other places where your children might be able to access the internet are safe. Most libraries and schools have internet filters in place, but always ask before allowing your children to use these computers. If internet content blockers aren’t already being used, talk with the school administrators or library directors about getting them.

Using all of these methods is how parents can keep their children safe online, but it is important to remember that nothing is foolproof, and sometimes your kids may access content or have an experience online that is inappropriate or uncomfortable for them. Maintaining an open atmosphere so your kids know they can come to you and talk about these things without being shamed or punished, can often be the most effective internet safety method you employ.

Technorati Tags: Children, Internet Filter, Safety

Christian Internet Filters

Many Christian families are reluctant to recognize the very real danger that the internet poses to their lives and their relationships. They do not believe that Christian internet filters are necessary for them, and that if you do not go looking for objectionable content then you will never be exposed to it. After all, they rationalize, we are Christians.

This, however, is faulty thinking. As Christians, we should be even more vigilant about resisting temptation and preventing our exposure to immoral, violent, and worldly videos, websites, and internet content. And trust me, exposure will happen. Although it may be entirely inadvertent and unsolicited, there are a thousand ways unwanted content can be accessed. You may click on a misleading link in an email or on a search engine page that takes you to a pornographic website, a formerly trusted website is now displaying ads for adult dating sites, or while visiting an online store a popup window appears offering “adult” products.

Additionally, Christians have a very real enemy that is trying to lead them into sin and destruction all the time. Demons do not sleep, they do not take a break, and they are singularly focused on ruining Christian lives and making us ineffective for God. While temptation is not a sin itself, it is the first step on the road to sin, and must be resisted and removed from our lives if we are to fulfill the purposes for which God created us.

Fortunately, internet temptation can now be very effectively removed with the help of family internet filters. These filters will block access to bad content while allowing good content, and using a Christian service like Clean Internet will ensure that you are working with a company that shares your moral values. Clean Internet’s filter, in particular, is a solid choice for Christian families, Christian schools, and Christian businesses because they offer the highest level of compatibility with operating systems (Windows and Macs) and with practically any internet connection.

The best thing about Clean Internet, though, may be that this filter cannot be bypassed by the end user or uninstalled without contacting their technical support center. As a Christian company, they are truly interested in the welfare of their clients and have developed a filter that will help remove internet temptations, and that can even help you resist temptation and, in a way, protect you even from yourself.

In conclusion, protecting your family online is very important, and the easiest, most effective way to do this is to install a good Christian internet filter. In our modern society, the world intrudes and enters our homes in a variety of ways – including the internet. The Bible tells us to flee temptation, and as Christians, we must be prepared to resist, even in our own homes.

Technorati Tags: christian families, christian internet, family internet, Internet Filter

Looking for a Christian Internet Filter?

Some people may wonder what the difference is between any regular internet filter and a Christian internet filter, but for most Christians it is important that the company that provides their internet filtering service shares their values and beliefs.

When you think about it, this really makes a lot of sense. After all, how do you know your ideas of what kind of content is inappropriate or objectionable and what the filter blocks are compatible? Moreover, what good is an internet filter that doesn’t block the content you want blocked?

Christian families need effective internet filtering to protect their children, and their marriages. It is sad, but true, that as many as 47% of Christians say pornography is a problem in the home (Internet Filter Review, 2006). A good internet filter can be the first line of defense in safeguarding your home against sexual brokenness and sexual predators.

It isn’t only families that need such internet protection, though. Many churches and Christian schools have internet access, and utilize the internet for research, communication, and even outreach. Christian small business owners often use the internet for business. However, most internet filtering companies do not offer services to businesses or churches, and the few programs that service schools can be easily bypassed and usually are not suitable for use in a Christian learning environment.

Nevertheless, there is at least one solid, reliable, Christian internet filtering company – Clean Internet. Simply put, their internet filter allows the good and blocks the bad. Using a sophisticated filtering algorithm, Clean Internet can block objectionable content on all the major internet protocols, including chat rooms, instant messenger programs, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, and popup windows. In addition, they utilize foreign language filtering so that keyword filtering cannot be bypassed by entering keywords in foreign languages.

Because of Clean Internet’s dynamic filtering system, the filter cannot be bypassed, and with its secure installation, it cannot be uninstalled without calling tech support. This is a very important feature that most other internet filters simply do not have. Clean Internet also uses a flexible platform, so you can choose a filtering solution that is client-based, server-based, or a combination of both, and ensure that you receive the protection you want. Additionally, Clean Internet will not slow down your computer or download connection, which is an important consideration for small businesses, churches, and schools.

Another great feature of Clean Internet is its compatibility with Windows – it works with 95, 98, 2000, XP, and Vista (most others still don’t support Vista yet), and with Macs (through proxy servers). Their service is also compatible with pretty much any internet connection, including dial-up, DSL, cable, and wireless, which means your laptop computer will receive the same level of protection at a wireless hotspot as it does through your home network router.

Conclusively, Clean Internet is a great choice if you’re looking for a Christian internet filter. Their filtering service offers a higher, more dependable level of protection for your family, church, school, or business than other programs, and you will be working with and supporting a Christian company that shares your values and beliefs.

Technorati Tags: christian internet filtering, Internet Filter

The Benefits of a Child Internet Filter

More children than ever before are “plugged in” to the internet, and with all the benefits that this offers, there are dangers as well. After all, nearly half of all kindergarteners and first-graders use the internet for homework projects, to play games, and to communicate with relatives or friends that live far away. And while you may monitor your child’s internet use, without an effective child internet filter, they can still be exposed to violent, pornographic, or other objectionable content.

For older children, there are even greater risks to using the internet. Older children, particularly middle schoolers and high-schoolers, are more likely to use the internet to chat with friends (or strangers), have online profiles that include photos or personally identifying information, or to engage in imprudent, questionable, or illegal activities. In addition, older children are more likely to downplay or underestimate the risks to their safety, their emotional or mental well-being, and even to their futures, from their online activities.

An effective child internet filter should block access to unwanted content while allowing access to appropriate content, and it does this in a variety of ways. The most common method is keyword filtering. Search engines and other internet entities use keywords to identify and classify websites, but this is not foolproof. Thus, your filter should use a filtering algorithm that will utilize several filtering methods. Clean Internet, a reputable Christian internet filtering company, offers keyword filtering, URL filtering, dynamic filtering, and foreign language filtering.

Clean Internet also works on all internet protocols, an important factor in any internet filter. This means that you can monitor or block your child’s access to email, instant messengers, chat rooms, popup windows, and peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Popups and file sharing programs are the two primary ways in which children are exposed to unwanted content. Additionally, email, instant messengers, and chat rooms are the usual mediums that predators use when trying to communicate with children. If this communication is unmonitored, it only increases the risk of children being sexually, emotionally, or otherwise victimized – both by strangers and people they know in real life.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and internet filters are no exception. However, they are a very helpful tool for parents trying to monitor and protect their children online. One of the best child internet filters is Clean Internet, which was mentioned above, mostly because of the filtering features they offer, but also because it is one of the few systems that will not slow down your computer, and that is compatible with practically any system or internet connection. Clean Internet is also the only filter this author has come across that cannot be uninstalled or bypassed by the end user – a really great feature for parents who may not be as tech savvy as their kids. In short, Clean Internet is a solid choice, but particularly for those who are looking for a filter to protect their families.

Technorati Tags: child internet, Children, christian internet filtering, Internet Filter, Internet Filters, Safety

Protecting Your Kids is Not Just About Technology

Ask the majority of children from the age of 4 what the internet is and they will not only tell you, but they will demonstrate to you on how to use it. Because of this, the issue of Internet safety and security is on the forefront of parents minds.

The internet is a wonderful place, yet it can also be a dangerous place. Internet safety is a concern that every parent should be aware of and be thinking of some form of internet protection implemented. This will be one of the most important decisions made in their own house holds.

Internet safety is for all ages. Whether you are a child just learning to move a mouse and type on a keyboard, a teenager who knows there way around the internet, or the adult that is responsible for all the minds in their homes.

Safety on the internet is extremely important. It is all about the things you can see, the people you can meet, yet not know who they really might be. The internet can take you places of wonder, yet it is of utmost importance that children are informed and guided in the dangers that they may face while surfing the web.

There has been many a young person who has been violated while they were innocently roaming the internet. There are an increasing number of predators that will gain access to your computer to steal personal information, bully you and introduce you to filth that ought not to be seen.

Would you allow your child to surf in waters that are known to be shark filled? I dare to say you would not. Then why allow a child to surf the internet without protection from the sharks online that seek to destroy their young minds?

What do you do? You invest in a “shark cage”. Having your own shark cage is not a luxury, but a necessity in today’s world. There are different types of “shark cages” available online. Some are a type of monitoring system. Is this right for you? This type of software is considered to be the “Oops! Too late now.” It is comparable to turning on the 6:00 news and hearing about your child getting mauled by a shark and you would be too late to do anything about it.

A good internet filter is a better solution. This would be more like a shark cage that can withstand the likes of a great white shark. In this computer day and age, children are smart. The shark cannot get in, but what will stop the child from getting out?

The use of an internet filter coupled with a monitoring system is the most effective way to control your internet usage. This type of system will stop accidental misspellings that will take you to a dangerous site and the intentional attempts to get around the filter. You can avoid most of the dangers of the internet with a product like this.

There should also be communication with all who use the internet, the fact that the computer is being filtered and monitored should be known to all who use it. It is a great help knowing you are being watched. This will guide and direct you in not trying to get by with something accidentally or intentionally. This is a way to instill good behavior and not catch someone after the fact. The use of a good filter will aid in the turning away from temptation, and increase the safety guidelines set out by you. Internet safety and security is a growing concern for all that use the internet.

Technorati Tags: Children, danger, Internet Filter, parents, predators, protection, Safety

Protect kids online with these tips

Protect kids online with these tips

These ideas can help parents deal with cyber-bullying, predators and porn.

By Melissa Healy

January 26, 2009

Last week, the Supreme Court quietly let die a federal law dubbed the Child Online Protection Act, which made it a crime in the United States to post sexually explicit material on the Web for commercial gain without making provisions to block kids from gaining access.

A lower court in Philadelphia had struck down the law, arguing that parents could already shield their children from such material by installing Internet filters. Bush administration lawyers had appealed, countering that less than half of parents use such filters, leaving children in need of the laws protection. It was an argument the justices declined to take up, dismissing the case.

The legal wrangling underscored a long-standing truth about kids and the Internet: No matter how ill-equipped they may be, parents are their childrens last line of defense against smut, cruelty, adult predators and the poor judgment of youth online.

Installing Internet filters can be an effective block against pornographic images. But for many parents, they are daunting technology that can limit adults — and kids — legitimate searches as well, including those for information on sexual health.

They also are a poor defense against cyber-bullying and sexual solicitation on social networking sites.

Smart moves

Following are tips from the National Assn. of School Psychologists on protecting your kids online, even if your own online skills lag behind theirs.

Keep computers in easily viewable places, such as the family room or kitchen.

Talk regularly with your children about the online activities in which they are involved and Internet etiquette in general. Children should know the rule that many adults have learned from painful experience: Do not say online what you would not say in person.

Encourage children to be self-protective. Remind them that anything they say on the Internet or in phone text messages can be shared with others and misused. Ask them to consider if they want what they are saying and doing broadly disseminated. If not, they probably should not say or post it.

Be specific about the risks of cyber-bullying and their need to tell you if something that bothers them occurs.

Respect for adolescents privacy is important. But tell children that you may review their online communications if you have reason for concern.

Set clear expectations for responsible online behavior and phone use and consequences for violating those expectations.

Consider establishing a parent-child Internet use contract.

Consider installing parental-control filtering software or tracking programs but do not rely solely on these tools.

Be aware of warning signs that might indicate your son or daughter is being bullied, such as reluctance to use the computer, a change in the childs behavior and mood, or reluctance to go to school.

Document the bullying.

Be equally alert to the possibility that your child could be bullying others online, even if unintentionally.

Understand current local laws and your school policies. Work with your school to develop policies if they dont exist.

If you have concerns, contact your childs school to enlist the help of the school psychologist, school counselor, principal or resource officer.

File a complaint with the website, Internet service provider or cellphone company if you learn of problematic behavior.

Contact police if the cyber-bullying includes threats.

via Protect kids online with these tips – Los Angeles Times.

Technorati Tags: Children, computer, Filtering, health, help, Internet, Internet Filter, Internet Filters, network, Online, parents, predators, privacy, protection, service, web

Parents Test Your Internet Filter

Parents, test your Internet Filter. An easy way kids get around the filtering of blocked websites is Google Cache.

I know allot of you parents take the time to implement the parental filters on the internet and with good reason. There is all manner of harmful material on the internet that could be disturbing to a young mind.

There is a simple way to get around internet filters that kids use more than you would imagine. That way is Google’s cache of the website that is being blocked. If the kids access the website through Google’s cache of the website then they will still get to view the objectionable content.

How do they do this?

It’s really quite simple. All you have to do is search on Google for the website using ththe cache tag in front of the website address. For example: cache:sexynude.com, thats all you need. with most monitoring software you can go through the logs and find out but by that time its too late to protect your child from the pornography as they already have seen it. The good news is that if they are old enough to understand the procedure to get around blocked internet websites they are old enough to talk to productively about it.

Test your internet filter, and get one that doesn’t allow this.

Technorati Tags: Internet, Internet Filter, news, Online, parents, Pornography, Safety, web, Websites

Parental Controls | Choosing the Right Internet Parental Controls

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.

Technorati Tags: inappropriate content, Internet Filter, objectionable content, parental controls