Control child's computer use

(Tips for parents about controlling child's computer use)

By Jonathan Stromberg

Nowadays children spend a great deal of their childhood playing on the computer and surfing the web. This can be a great source of frustration for many parents. Initially, parents welcomed the Internet into their homes, believing it would provide their children with access to a bottomless pit of beneficial and educational information. However, many parents soon realized that, instead of using the Internet for homework or research; for the purpose that it was originally meant for, that their kids were spending hours surfing inappropriate and undesirable websites, instant messaging with friends, playing online games, or talking to strangers in chat rooms.

For many years it has been a challenge for parents to maintain a healthy balance between the amount of time their children spend being entertained by media outlets, and the more traditional, often outdoor activities that have kept children happy for generations. The Internet has made this challenge even more difficult. The engaging nature of Internet communications and interactive games means many children and teens have trouble keeping track of time when they're online.
Henceforth, when trying to establish the right balance, it is necessary to take some kind of control over your child's computer and Internet use. This level of control can involve guidance and verbal agreements, as well as the use of modern day software such that is available at

Tips for controlling your child's computer use:

  • A good tool a child has for screening material found on the Internet is his or her brain. Teach children about exploitation, pornography, hate literature, excessive violence, and other issues that concern you so they know how to respond when they see this material.

  • Examine your own online habits. Do you have trouble controlling your Internet use? Remember, you are your child's most important role model.

  • Don't ban the Internet. It's an important part of most kids' social lives. Instead, establish family Internet rules about where your kids can go online and what they can do there — and stick to them. These rules might include: a limited amount of time online each day; no surfing or instant messaging until kids complete their homework; no chat rooms or online adult content. Children, being children, may struggle to keep to such verbal agreements, in which is it is essential to use software to keep control of how your child uses the computer (see below).

  • Keep the computer out in the open. Set up your computer in a public area of your house, not in a child's bedroom.

  • Suggest alternatives. If your children seem interested only in playing online video games, try an offline tie-in to one of their favorite games. For example, if your child enjoys fantasy role-playing games, encourage her or him to read fantasy books.

  • Make use of the commercially available Internet filtering and parental control software programs. These programs are vital in the vast majority of cases in which children are unlikely to regularly stick to verbal agreements about computer and Internet use. Such software packages can, for example, block sites by name, search for unacceptable words and block access to sites containing those words, block entire categories of material, and prevent children from giving out personal information.

  • Use these same packages to monitor your children when they're online and monitor the time they spend online.

  • Monitoring your child's Internet use. Parental control program iProtectYou and CyberSieve, the Internet filtering and monitoring software programs offered by enable you to take comprehensive control of your child’s Internet use, and in doing so prevent your child from being exposed to the inappropriate, harmful and at times even dangerous aspects of the Internet. They have a constantly updated database of undesirable sites that the programs can automatically filter out. In addition you may filter out any individual site that you consider unsuitable, or groups of sites based on undesirable words. You may also restrict access to programs such as instant messenger and E-mails. These programs enable you not only to restrict how the Internet is used, but when it can be accessed, and all of these factors can be set individually for each member of the family depending on parental control needs.
    iProtectYou and CyberSieve contain monitoring systems that give parents yet more control of their child's Internet use; as you can get detailed Internet activity logs, and keep track of what sites and programs have been accessed and when. CyberSieve is particularly ingenious, as it allows you to carry out this monitoring function from the computer of your choice. This means that you can keep tabs on your kids online activity when you are in another room, at work, or on vacation. This special feature gives you extra power to protect your child from the dangers of the Internet.

    Complete control over your child’s use of the computer SoftForYou offers an exciting new program Chronager, which gives you control not only of your child's use of the Internet, but of the computer as a whole. You can restrict and set the times when all of the individual elements associated with computer use can be accessed. Thus, you will have control over when your child can use the CD/DVD ROM and removable disks, when he or she can use particular programs (for gaming, instant messaging and watching movies,) when he or she can access the Internet, and when he or she will be allowed access to the computer as a whole.

    These programs give parents a new, elevated level of control over their home computer. After the initial optimism of parents, which turned into concern when it became clear quite how and how often their children were using their home computers, parents can now look to a brighter future; as they are finally are able to let their child use their home computer, fully in the knowledge that it has become a beneficial force in his or her life.

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