The Stuff of Life

Internet Filtering Software: Protecting our Kids Online

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Below you will find brief summaries, pricing and links to some of the more popular internet control options I’ve found online. There are tons of others out there, but this is a start.

Net Nanny

Family Protection Pass – $59.99/year For use on up to 5 devices. Features: Internet Filter, Pornography Block, Time Management, Social Media Monitoring, Child Protection Software, Profanity Masking, Alerts and Reporting, Personal Accountability, Remote Management Right now they are offering a free license to Net Nanny Social for a year with a family protection pass. According to their website, this allows parents to  “monitor their child’s friends, pictures, and posts on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+ and LinkedIn.” *I think this one may be the most popular. **Available for most devices.

K9 Web Protection

FREE Internet Filter Features : Blocks websites in 70+ categories, safe search on search engines, set time restrictions/block internet at certain times, override specific webpages with passwords, reporting *Available for most devices.

Open DNS Family Shield

FREE Internet filter or $19.95/year You set this up on your router and every device accessing internet through that router gets a filter from inappropriate websites, (including the devices your kids’ friends bring into your home.) You can customize the filter to your needs. Websites are divided into 56 categories. If you don’t want to spend the time customizing, you can choose low-level, medim-level or high-level filter. Low-level just blocks out adult-content, where high-level blocks social networking sites, video sites and more. *I haven’t figured out the differences between the free service and the $19.95 service.

Covenant Eyes

Family Account – $13.99/month (I believe this is for up to 5 people.) Features: This one is unique in that it has accountability options that can be used in addition to parental controls or on their own. Parents can receive accountability reports on their children, and filtering with age-based content ratings can be added (for free) to specific users or all users. *A friend of mine has used this and said the one downside they have found is that is slows down the devices it is on. **Available for most devices.

WebWatcher

Single User Account – $99.95/year (I think this is the price for single user. The website wasn’t very clear.) Features: internet filtering, social network blocking, instant message/chat blocking, gaming content filter, profanity masking Not a lot of details on this website, but Web Watcher was editor’s choice in PC Mag for parental monitoring software. Here’s their review: PC Mag WebWatcher. *Available for most devices. Website is not super-user-friendly

McAfee Safe Eyes

Three-User License – $49.95/year Features: Internet filtering (35 website categories), social network blocking, instant message/chat blocking, gaming content filter, profanity masking, time control, log of usage, usage alerts when inappropriate sites are visited *It looks to me like it works on Mac, Windows and iphones, but I don’t see an android option.

Family Protector

Single User Account – $39.99/year, Three-user account – $79.99/year Features: block objectionable content, tailor restrictions to user, history of websites visited, time of day restrictions, anti-predator chat monitoring, takes screenshots, records keystrokes, activity reports *Only for Macs   The following are links to a few articles with reviews and comparisons of online protection programs.

I’ll happily take advice from those of you out there who have used parental controls.

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Author: Kim Harms

I am the wife of a guitar-playing, worship-leading, adventure-loving husband. I am the mother of three incredible sons: two of whom recently surpassed me in height, and one of whom I am going to pretend is still my baby. I am saved by grace; a daughter of the King who was and is and is to come. *** I am a regular contributor at Today’s Christian Woman, a monthly blogger at Inspire a Fire and have freelanced for a variety of publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Guideposts. *** The 500 Dresses ministry that I started with my mom in 2010 is our way of answering the call to serve those in poverty.

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