Internet filtersBy Jonathan Stromberg
Internet filters first appeared in the 1990's largely as a response to the explosion in the amount of pornography freely available on the Internet.
While pornography had been traded over the Internet since the 1980s, it was the invention of the World Wide Web in 1993 as well as the opening of the Internet to the general public around the same time that led to its explosion over the Internet,and accordingly, the creation and installation of the first Internet filters.
Some of the most successful Internet entrepreneurs are those who operate pornographic Internet sites.
At first Internet filters sold slowly, as their effectiveness was under question, and a large proportion of the population had yet to be educated about how their benefits.
Internet filters were originally installed on home computer users only, then in the late 1990s, Internet filter companies began marketing the software to schools and libraries.
Libraries began using Internet filters in the late 1990's due to community pressure and the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). This act required libraries to install Internet filters on all publically used computers. Libraries who did not comply ran the risk of losing federal funds for their computers.
The libraries who installed the Internet filters soon found that they alleviated a wide range of incessant problems. It turned out that Internet filters did prevent children from, intentionally or unintentionally, coming across undesirable websites and advertisements. Internet filters served as a deterrent for public porn browsers. Libraries found that with some effort, they could implement and enforce their Internet Use policy. For the first time since computers appeared, libraries had a way to control how their public computers were being used. Many libraries found that the amount of Internet-related complaints from patrons decreased after the Internet were installed.
Schools also began to install Internet filters at about the same time. The Congress required them to do so as part of the 2000 'Children's Internet Protection Act.' but before that act even came into force, 75% of public schools had adopted some form of Internet filtering.
The best of the modern day Internet filters have become very powerful and have a wide range of features. They are a big improvement from the simplistic filters that blocked an entire site because of an 'offensive' word.
The better designed modern day Internet filters are much better at evaluating content at blocking offensive websites without preventing access to wholesome sites. The best Internet filters have a password-protected on-off switch a parent can control, and they enable parents to exempt or add websites of there choice to filter.
The widening popularity of programs such as chat sites and blogs further increased the need for Internet filters as we moved into the 2000's. At this time technology advanced further and made it very easy for anybody to take images and put them onto a personal website that anybody could then access. The Internet became a forum not just for companies to advertise undesirable products and services, but for individuals, on a community based level, to share personal experiences and images not suitable for children, but easily accessible by them. Some people used this unprecedented ease of access to personal information and ease of communication in very dark ways. As the century turned there were countless instances of predators caught grooming children through chat sites, and, at best, getting them to share sexual images of themselves, and at worst, arranging meetings with them.
Unfortunately, moving fast towards the end of the first decade of the 2000's, The need for quality Internet filters is only increasing. Such instances of elicition of personal information and predatory grooming are still regular occurrences. Technology is getting yet more powerful and more accessible to everybody. Nowadays it is possible within minutes to goto a special site, make your own site within it (a blog), and within hours have dozens of unknown people knocking on your Internet door; any of whom could be a predator, disguised by the anonymity that the Internet provides.
The best Internet filters have kept up with the pace of technology, and can protect your children from the potential hazards arising from Internet use. SoftForYou is a software company whose Internet filter was highly acclaimed by PC Magazine review. According to many of the criteria to which Internet filters are judged, SoftForYou's flagship program iProtectYou was voted as one of the top two. The effectiveness as an Internet filter was put to the test and iProtectYou passed with flying colors. SoftForYou Internet filters can be of great benefit to you and your family.
To find out more please goto SoftForYou.com.
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