How to Protect Your Child from the Internet

When the Internet first came about, it was realized it could be quite the multi-tasking machine. These days people use it for just about everything, from downloading music to checking e-mail, and virtually making the rest of the globe closer all the time.

As a parent of a young child or a teenager, an issue of security is always on your mind (or at least it should be). While none of us like to speak about it, failure to provide this security has resulted in some children or teenagers being subjected to awkward situations. Not much more has to be said on the subject, but if you want to monitor your child's activities on the PC, read on.

There are many ways an unknown can get their hands on your child's e-mail address. You may or may not know it, but chain letters are one of these methods. They are popular among youth, but you should know the truth about chain mail letters. These days, with everyone being on one instant messenger service or another (MSN messenger is popular among youth) everyone seems to have a hotmail address, and chain mail letters usually circulate through hotmail servers. This is not to say they are at fault - of course they don't regulate these letters. But one chain mail letter has upon it's header portion the e-mail addresses of all those who have partaken in the distribution of the letter. If one wanted to add some of the hotmail addresses to his or her own MSN messenger, all he/she would need to do is take a random e-mail off the letter (or a few) and add them to MSN.

Voila, an unknown is suddenly talking to your child on the computer. It doesn't matter who the person is that the unknown added - he/she will find out after they begin speaking to your child.

Kind of scary, isn't it? I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm just saying how easy it is for anyone to get ahold of a random teenager's or child's MSN address.

There are other ways, too. Chat rooms are another culprit. People meeting all kinds of other people they have never spoken to, but suddenly they're chatting it up about random subjects. Date lines, 1-800 numbers, text messaging...the list goes on.

So what CAN you do to protect your child? Good question. There is adequate measures you can implement to "keep tabs," so to say. You could try a keylogger software; this works by logging just about everything done on the computer by keystroke. You could turn on message archiving on msn; this means that any and all conversations on MSN are logged and you can review each of them.

To make sure your child isn't accessing the wrong sites, you could check the Internet history. These days, some PC users know how to erase this history as it is quite easy. To restrict your child from visiting the wrong websites, you could try a program like Net nanny as well.

If after monitoring your child using either a keylogger or checking their MSN history you realize they are speaking to the wrong people, you can go on their MSN and block and delete this person. Be sure to do both actions. By blocking the unknown, he/she cannot re-add or speak to your child again. And by deleting the person from the list, your child cannot unblock that person. (There are ways to unblock and re-add the contact but it will be more difficult).

Just let your child know what you have done and that it is for their own safety.

Remember, it's up to you to ensure your child has a safe browsing experience.

I am a young, aspiring computer engineer into Internet Marketing, hardware, software, web design, SEO and just about anything related to computers. Please come check out my growing PC forum at http://www.markspcforum.com

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