Keeping kids safe on the Net

If there are any children over the age of four in your life, there’s a good chance they’re already surfing the Net. Cyber-surfing is a favourite activity with kids, especially during summer vacation. But many youngsters are exposed to the huge amount of unsuitable material that is all too available online.</br

Software developers have already come up with programs like Net Nanny and CyberPatrol that do a pretty good job of keeping kids safe online.

But since they use word filtering or site blocking to screen for inappropriate words and materials, they can create more problems than they solve. A new program from a Canadian developer has just raised the standard, with a whole new approach.

Parents create browser
Safexplorer is a separate family Internet browser that provides a secure environment — one in which there is no pornography, hate, child exploitation, violence, pedophiles or privacy invasion. While parents and caregivers can roam beyond the protective boundaries of Safexplorer, kids find everything they need within the browser’s selected sites.

“Safexplorer was created by parents who, as computer professionals, were extremely troubl by the growing risks to children online,” says Patrick Earle, CEO of Safexplorer Software Corp. in Vancouver.

“The Internet is growing at 1.5 million new pages a day and dangers to children are multiplying. Any child who surfs freely will, at some point, be exposed to hard-core images and messages that no child should ever see.”

Online children’s section
The new software eliminates Internet dangers by providing a safe and enclosed virtual world. The custom environment includes thousands of quality sites, in every category, all read and reviewed by child experts, educators and health professionals.

Think of it as the electronic version of the “children’s section” of the public library, and you can easily see how the system works. Adults continue to use their own browser (with a password, of course) and everybody is happy and well-informed.

The system includes desktop security features to allow adults to lock their files, programs and operating systems to avoid mishaps. It also prevents children from sending or receiving e-mail from strangers, or making online purchases without adult consent.