Internet filtering softwareBy Jonathan Stromberg
The Internet is a powerful research and communication tool; however, it contains an enormous amount of information that can be offensive to adults, and unsuitable and sometimes downright dangerous to children. There is a large amount of explicit, but legal, material on the Internet. There are bomb recipes, hate speeches and obscene language, all mixed in with political, legal, educational and sports-related resources. The Internet is not owned or regulated by one particular place or person; therefore, anything can be put up on the Internet despite the objections of others. By simply connecting to the web anyone can have instant access to countless pornographic and explicit websites and other websites dealing with hate, violence, and terrorism. There is no universal definition of what is objectionable and what is decent, and children are exposed to 'objectionable' material on the Internet everyday.
Fortunately there are measures that parents can take to prevent this from happening.
Internet filtering software has become a growing industry during the past few years. Internet filtering software identifies and blocks unsuitable content on the Internet, and prevents it from being shown on the screen. None of such filtering software can be absolutely 100% effective, but in the main the best Internet filtering software successfully blocks out undesirable sites, whilst letting though the more begin sites.
Internet filtering software provides protection to children and teenagers who are vulnerable to the possible negative effects that objectionable material available on the Internet can cause.
The effectiveness of filtering software differs from one to other. While some of them are simple plug-ins for Microsoft Internet Explorer and offer basic filtering of a manually maintained list of URLs, others offer a rich set of features and come with large built in database of white and black websites.
Internet filtering software criteria 1:
Ease of Use: The most important attribute an Internet filtering program can offer is an easy-to-use design, making it possible for people with all levels of computer experience to easily install and use the filter to its fullest capacity.
SoftForYou's Internet filtering software programs such as iProtectYou or CyberSieve are all clearly laid out and easy to use. People who don't normally use computers have no difficulties using the filters.
Internet filtering software criteria 2:
Effective at filtering: Top Internet filtering software offers a good balance between filtering objectionable material and not filtering too much content. Another important aspect is the ability to customize the filterís sensitivity for each family member.
The iProtectYou keeps a good balance between filtering and not blocking too much content and offers many customization features; it also can be customized to each member of the family depending of age, interests e.t.c.
Internet filtering software criteria 3:
Filtering algorithms: The best filtering programs use a combination of filtering techniques, including URL filtering, keyword filtering and dynamic filtering.
The iProtectYou uses URL filtering keyword/phrases filtering, and has built in databases of unsuitable and suitable web sites, news groups and bad words. It can allow or block access to certain programs and TCP/IP ports (for advanced users.) With iProtectYou you can schedule the times when the Internet is allowed, and limit the amount of information that can be downloaded/uploaded (say up to 15M daily).
Internet filtering software criteria 4:
Activity reporting: The most useful Internet filtering software offers reports on what each family member has been doing on the computer, which includes websites visited, chat room activities, Internet programs used and so on.
iProtectYou provides detailed log files of users computer activity. These log files can be sent daily to a specified email address. In this way parents can monitor their child's even when they are away from home.
Internet filtering software criteria 5:
Client or server based: Good filtering programs offer a flexible platform which allows users to decide whether their optimal filtering solution is client (home computer) based, server (Proxy or ISP) based or a combination of both.
The iProtectYou is client based but it has an option that enables network administrators to manage all installed copies of iProtectYou remotely from one single administrator's computer.
Internet filtering software criteria 6:
TCP/IP port filtering: Filtering programs should block or filter all major Internet protocols, including web access, chat rooms, email, peer-to-peer networks, bulletin boards etc.
Advanced users can get the full power of iProtectYou by managing the list of allowed and blocked ports.
Internet filtering software criteria 7:
It should be impossible to disable the Internet filter without an administrator password:
iProtectYou enables you to set an administrator password which then blocks access to its Control Panel to anybody else but you.
Internet filtering software criteria 8:
It should be impossible to bypass the filter:
While some of other Internet filtering programs are as easy to bypass as to remove the ĎStartupí registry key or to kill the filtering module in memory the iProtectYou has strong built-in self-protection algorithms. The filtering module works on system level, checks each program that requires Internet access regardless of proxy and program settings and cannot be bypassed even by experienced users.
In addition to its main program iProtectYou, SoftForYou also offers a new Internet filtering program, called CyberSieve. The CyberSieve includes all the features offered in iProtectYou, but also enables you to monitor your childís use of the Internet irrespective of where you are; in the neighbouring room, at work, or even on vacation. All you need is a web browser, connection to the Internet and administratorís password.
SoftForYou offers a wide range of products for parents who want to have control over how their children use the home computer, and what aspects of the Internet they can access. When considering which Internet filtering software to buy, take a look at www.softforyou.com. Here you will find more information about Internet filtering and parental control programs, parental control articles and contact details if you have further questions.
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