Top 10 Free Parental Control Software and Browsers

These days, children are far more adept at using computers than their parents. The biggest worry is how to control the information they receive without completely removing their independence and having to look over their shoulders.

With the rise of the internet predator and the proliferation of pornographic sites on the web, children’s online safety is of paramount concern to parents. It is therefore comforting for parents to know that there is a range of free downloadable online safety resources available to them.

Basic Protection

Windows 7 or Windows Vista come with some parental controls built into the operating system. These have to be turned on and the settings adjusted to your particular needs.

Parents can set time limits on PC or laptop use, allow or block access to certain games or programs and get information about a child’s computer use. However, these controls don’t monitor internet use and additional parental controls from another provider will be needed.

These may be available, for example, as part of your broadband and satellite television package and can be added to the Windows Parental Controls already installed. You can visit Broadband Expert for satellite TV provider information.

Google has its own online safety tools which parents can access and set to their own requirements. For example, Google SafeSearch screens sites that contain sexually explicit content and removes them from search results.

Google safe search
Google safe search

Children will not, therefore, accidentally stumble upon pornographic images when searching the internet. Parents can choose the filter level and can even lock it with a password so that children cannot turn it off or bypass it.

Once locked, a very striking image of coloured balls is visible on the search page, even from across the room, so parents can easily see that the SafeSearch lock is still in place.

For later versions of Internet Explorer, Parental Control Bar is a free download that prevents access to adult content. It can be locked with a password but is not suitable for use with multiple Windows user accounts.

If you’re happy to have one account only on the family PC then this software offers adequate, if rather basic, parental controls.

Chat and Email Monitoring

Windows Live Family Safety is a freeware download for Windows. It may already be included in your Windows 7 package but can otherwise be easily downloaded from the Windows website.

You will need a Windows Live ID but once you have set one up, setting the tool to your requirements is easy. It is suitable for use on multiple Windows user accounts and once the settings are arranged, the server will filter the content available to your child’s account.

The beauty of this tool is that instant-messaging and email monitoring are included too.

K9 Web Protection can be downloaded and installed free of charge and provides parents with an activation key which doubles up as the password for each control task.

K9 Web Protection
K9 Web Protection

Parents can choose categories for the websites they want to block, including everything from abortion to violence. Adult pop-ups can also be blocked. However, online chat and email monitoring is not part of this freeware program.

KidsWatch Family Protection Suite is a free control tool which has a paid-for upgrade too. KidsWatch blocks inappropriate site content and pop-ups, but also alerts parents to undesirable chat conversations and email content using a keyword-monitoring system.

Parents can view the entire dialogue of instant-message and chat conversations. Individual settings for each child mean that children of different ages can have their own user accounts with suitable settings for their age group.

Along similar lines, Online Family Norton also blocks inappropriate sites and content and allows parents to monitor chat, instant messaging and emails. Again, settings can be attributed to individual user accounts depending on the age of each child in the family.

Child-Friendly Browsers

If you have concerns about your children using the usual internet browsers, then you might want to consider one or two of the child-friendly browsers available. Kidzui is a web browser that comes preloaded with suitable content for kids and is perfect for younger children.

There is even an associated child-friendly video content site called ZuiTube which children can be encouraged to visit instead of YouTube, ensuring that they are not exposed to any risky media.

Buddy Browser Blocked Page
Buddy Browser Blocked Page

Another similar internet tool is Buddy Browser, which also comes filled with suitable YouTube video content for kids. Buddy Browser also detects undesirable content in real time and blocks it instantly. It also offers safe social networking for children.

Broadband Provider Parental Controls

It is also worth examining your existing broadband package, as many satellite television and broadband providers include free parental control tools with their broadband services. Visit Broadband Expert for satellite TV provider information

There are many resources available to parents to ensure their child’s online safety, but none of them can act as a replacement for parental supervision. Parents should always be fully aware of their child’s online activities to be absolutely sure of their safety.

About The AuthorSarah James is an expert in broadband and satellite television services and writes on technology for a variety of websites and blogs. She recommends that you visit Broadband Expert for satellite TV provider information.

How To Track Children with Mobile Tracking

Being a good parent is the most important job anyone will ever take on, but parenthood can be a challenge when teenage children are concerned.

With technology allowing the free flow of information and communication, how can parents keep their kids safe while giving them freedom?

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that most teenagers are naturally drawn to excitement and risk. This creates a big problem when it comes to finding a happy medium between safety and freedom.

Talking on Phone

With frequent use of the internet and social media sites and their complete reliance on mobile phones for communication, monitoring who your teenager talks to and what information he receives can seem like an insurmountable task.

However, you can’t realistically expect to deprive your children of the gadgets that most adults have. Nor should you limit all independence.

To begin with, doing so could seriously affect their ability to communicate with friends or get in contact with family members if they need urgent help.

Future career prospects might also depend on their ability to use the latest technology and communication tools.

Benefits and Risks

Allowing teenagers to have their own mobile phone can, of course, have many benefits, especially in the case of an emergency. A teenager’s mobile can be something of a thorn for a parent.

Though needed for safety reasons, the phone is also a child’s ticket to freedom. Sometimes freedom must be curtailed.

Parents who are not quite up to speed with new technology will be relieved to learn that there are a few options available to them that could provide help.

It is possible, for instance, to monitor mobile phone usage and even track the phone’s physical location using GPS.

If you are confident about taking matters into your own hands, you could consider seeking out a handset that includes tracking technology as standard. These are available from a few private companies and the phone is supplied without a SIM card.

You can then fit the handset with your own SIM card, install the provided software onto your home PC and track your child’s location.

Parental Control

There has been talk of a SIM card that will soon be available that has a built-in capacity for parental control. Parents will be given the power to switch off the phone’s network at certain times (e.g., during school hours or late at night).

They can also monitor texts and calls and even control contacts, blocking calls and texts from unknown or unwanted callers. Internet use and data downloads can also be controlled and monitored, as well as picture and video messaging.

Purchasing a SIM card without a handset will, of course, give you the freedom to keep up with your teenager’s rapidly changing tastes by enabling relatively low-cost replacement of the handset as often as you please.

In the case of the pre-fitted tracker handsets, this will allow you to purchase updated handsets as they are released.

It’s Easy to Get your Location Leaked

Location-based services for mobile phones have been around for a while, but have come into more regular use with the rise of the smartphones using GPS and Wi-Fi technology.

Many of the social networking sites used by teenagers have integrated applications that use these technologies, which allows users to share their location with friends.

Applications such as FourSquare or Google Latitude, part of Google Maps, also use this technology to locate users and show both their location and that of friends and family on a digital map.

Before you think about this as an easy way to locate your teenager, it is worth remembering that this information is not only visible to you, but to just about anyone who wants to find it.

Quite often, a teenager’s social networking friends will include people they may not have met before and this technology will effectively allow your teenager’s whereabouts to be common knowledge to strangers, possibly putting them at risk.

Subscription Services

Perhaps the safest way to look at tracking your teenager’s phone would be to use a subscription tracking service. A Google search for “mobile tracker” will give you a host of companies that, for a monthly subscription, will track a particular phone and keep you informed of its whereabouts.

You may also use apps like Where’s My Droid for Android, or BlackBerry Protect for BlackBerry to keep a track on your child.

BlackBerry Protect

This information is only made available to you.

Any tracking device or service will only be effective if the phone is switched on and it is only the phone or SIM that can be tracked, not the child, so if your teenager leaves his phone at home or it gets lost, you may still not know your child’s whereabouts.

Also, it is worth knowing that a subscription tracking service can only be used with the child’s consent, so parents looking for a furtive way to track their child may be disappointed.

About The Author: Sarah James writes regularly on technology for a wide range of publications and websites. For more information compare high speed internet providers in your area on this website.

That site could be stealing your information! How to stay safe

With the world having advanced to where it is today, majority of our activities are carried out online. From getting ideas for what makes up our dinner to booking a hotel, we pretty much rely on the internet for much of our daily activities.

While this is much of an advantage to us in the real sense of it, we can’t deny the fact that there are some risks involved in it too. And the risk one will be facing – should our internet security be compromised – might be dangerous to handle.

Don't be a target online

Many online users don’t even see internet security as an important thing. Many may even consider it something only necessary for those doing online business – but that’s not even half the pie…

Sites may steal/sell your details

Not all the websites are reputable and trustworthy companies. Some of them are just set up for the sole purpose of making money and can do anything to make money.

That includes selling your details (your address/email/bank credentials) to third parties.

So how do you detect a website that is trustworthy from a fraud one?

There are a host of factors one can use to determine how trustworthy a website is. Here are some ways:

Viruses/Malwares can send your info to Hackers (Crackers)

Another formidable thing you should be careful of before logging your details online is viruses/malwares. Viruses are so notorious and can spread really fast.

Any website that is not well maintained might carry malwares, and when you share your info with such sites, you risk having them exposed to crackers, loosely called hackers.

Nowadays, crackers use viruses as their means of stealing user’s information. This is why you must also have antivirus software installed on your computer.

Buy a Norton Antivirus with discount coupons or have a look at Top 5 Free Anti Virus Softwares if you can’t afford one even with the discount coupons, but remember, paid premium products offer great support.

Identity Theft Puts Your Photos at Risk

Finally, the major reason you should always be careful while providing your details to websites is to prevent identity theft. Scammers can steal your identity and use it to carry out atrocities on the internet.

On the long run you end up carrying the blame for a crime you did not commit.

How to secure Facebook Photos

Increase Facebook Security to keep hackers away
Increase Facebook Security to keep hackers away

Even if you restrict your Facebook albums to only friends/family, still your profile picture is visible to everyone. To ensure it stays away from wrong hands, keep your pic as small as possible.

With such small dimensions of your profile pic, if someone tries to edit your pic, they will have to zoom in, which will cause the pic to pixelate & blur, leaving your pic safe 😉

You may read How to Protect your Facebook from Hackers

Staying careful on the internet means following the tips I just shared in this blog post. If you are careful with how you share your details on the internet, you will enjoy a safe and secure online transaction always.

You can also purchase a monitoring program on the internet and don’t forget to look of a discount code.

About The Author:
Steve is a blogger who shows people how to use Norton Antivirus Discount Coupon and Norton 360 Premier Coupon to protect themselves online. The Norton discount coupons and Norton antivirus promo he has on his blog can help you save money on internet security.

Surfing made easy with new advances in web browsers

Each day millions of people around the world visit millions of web pages. Each day, too, these numbers continue to increase. That is why engineers are ever at work on improving the efficiency with which web browsers can download pages when they are selected. Let us look at some of the newest advances in web browsers that make surfing easier than ever.

HughesNet from Select Surf

At one time dial-up Internet was the dominant form of web connection. Since 2001 broadband has largely replaced the dial-up method except in remote rural areas where setting up a broadband connection would be too costly. Now thanks to HughesNet—“America’s favorite satellite Internet,” available to everyone in the United States, no matter where they live—even that does not have to be the case any longer. HughesNet provides an “always on” connection that makes it unnecessary to have the phone lines occupied. It is also very easy to install. Best of all, the downloading process is incredibly fast, taking only sixteen seconds to complete the download, say, a song that takes 4 MB of memory.

The buyer has three service options—Basic, Power 150 and Power 200—each of which has different download speeds. HughesNet equipment can be either bought or leased. Technical support is always available when the owner needs it. The service even comes with free email—as many as five accounts for the whole family—plus protection for the privacy of each account holder. HughesNet offers its services in every state except Alaska and Hawaii, plus the District of Columbia.

Online multitasking is easier than ever with HughesNet. The user can pay his utilities bill and then immediately go on to download photographs of his daughter’s graduation party. Or he can update his work portfolio and move on to the movies he wants to watch.

Advances in cell phone surfing

As more and more people use their mobile phones to surf the web, so many website designers are working to make those sites more “mobile friendly.” In so doing they hope to increase the number of mobile surfers even more—the percentage today only amounts to something like 19 percent of all smartphone owners. The Worldwide Web Consortium is working toward establishing a set of sixty guidelines that will make sites easier to view on the smaller screen of a smartphone. Among those guidelines are:

  • the elimination of graphics or ads that could take up too much screen space
  • placing the content at the top of the screen so that the user does not have to scroll through a bunch of navigation links
  • the elimination of cookies, which do not work on smartphones. Navigation is much faster without cookies.

New innovations for night surfing

Many people work—and thus surf—at night and sleep during the day. Google Chrome has come up with a high contrast extension designed with such people in mind. With it colors can easily be modified and the color schemes can even be inverted with keyboard shortcuts. Inverting colors helps to avoid bright computer screens, which can be blinding when viewed at night. When the option is chosen, black and white become inverted and colors are turned into their complements so that, for example, yellow becomes purple. This extension works only with the latest version of Google Chrome. It can be bought at the Chrome store. Once it has been added you will see a “high contrast” symbol—a circle that is half black and half white—just to the right of the address bar. When you click on it, you will be able to choose among five options—normal, increased contrast, grayscale, inverted color and inverted grayscale—any of which can be set as your default scheme. The extension works best with themes that use the “light overlay.” You can also choose various themes with inverted colors. Inverted grayscale does the same except that it coverts every color into a shade of gray.

Innovations that improve the way the web can be surfed are continually being made and will continue to be made. Who knows what future surfing will be like?

Kathleen Martins is a blogger for the best internet browser:Torch browser the online youtube video downloader,offering many benefits you may be missing out on!

3 Reasons For Extremely Slow Internet

When it comes to getting the best from your broadband internet, choosing the right ISP is very critical because it can determine how fast and efficient your internet will be. However, it is also equally important that you consider the possibility of your computer affecting the speed of your broadband internet connection and making it slow. All you need to do is fix them and you will notice a significant improvement in your internet speed.

slow computer makes internet slow

Unnecessary Softwares Installed

If your computer is beginning to misbehave and you’re starting to notice your internet connection being slow when it is supposed to be very fast the first thing you have to check is the number of applications you have on your computer that you don’t use.

Every computer has an allotted memory that it can use and this memory always has a significant impact on what can be used with the computer and how effective it will be. Most applications use the available internet bandwidth for updating themselves in the background, which may slow down your surfing.

Take a look at all of your computer applications and try to uninstall all the applications that are not useful, especially if you have not used them for a very long time. Doing this will make your computer faster, and thus impact your internet speed.

You Don’t Have a Solid, Up-to-Date Antivirus

A computer without a good antivirus is as good as dead because it will soon be completely useless. If you don’t have a solid antivirus installed on your computer then you should try to research online to see which antivirus fits your needs the most and install it. Here is a list of  Top 5 Free Anti-viruses

A lot of changes are being made every day in order to enhance the effectiveness and speed of your computer and you should also know that a lot of hackers are trying their best to break through this new security so it isn’t just enough to have the right antivirus, it is even important to ensure your antivirus is always up to date, so as to avoid malwares that eat up your bandwidth.

You’re Not Always Shutting Down Your Computer

There is a right and wrong way to shut down and restart your computer and if you’re always using your computer switch to shut it down then you may be doing the wrong thing. The right way to shut down your computer is by using the shut down option that comes with it – this option can be accessed through the start menu.

The reason for this is that if you don’t shut down your computer properly it will be corrupting your system files which will in turn slow down your computer, bring about your system instability and sooner than later start causing you to lose your files.

Always shut down your computer properly and you will prevent it from making your broadband internet connection slow.

About The Author:
This guest article is written by Paul who writes about how to choose the right internet dongle.