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Internet and children: parental monitoring software

13 November 2014, by — admin ()

We are used to being calm and relaxed when our children are at home. We rightfully assume that they are safe here, away from the dangers of city streets, away from maniacs and crooks… They are in their room, browsing the web, learning new things… educating themselves.
However, this is exactly the type of situation when your child can be in danger. And it’s not about their slouching or bad eyesight. Things can get much worse.

What do we know about the Internet?
And what do we not know about the ways of protecting our children.

Statistics:

Every fourth child has seen porn on the web.
An innocent search query like “red pussy” can bring up results that have nothing to do with pets.

Every third has been psychologically humiliated online, and only 10% of them have told their parents about it.
Social networks are formed by a group of people, and its virtual nature does not make it completely harmless. Teenage media moved from school corridors to the vast spans of social networks long ago, so abusive messages and mocking can result in serious psychological problems and even catastrophic tragedies.

Eight out of ten children are ready to provide private information in exchange for products, services or access to information.
Fraudsters’ sites have learned to work with children. In exchange for products or services, they can fill out questionnaires with very personal questions, up to their parents’ credit card details.

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HOW CAN WE protect our children?

Today, there are special programs that can help control your child’s online behavior.

  • integrated Windows and MAC OS features
  • control programs integrated into anti-virus products like Kaspersky Internet Security
  • specialized CONTROL tools
  • MONITORING programs

Each of them has its own protective functionality. We will now take a look at how well they handle parental control tasks.

Integrated Windows and MAC OS features

Microsoft included PARENTAL CONTROL features into their updates for Windows 7 and 8.

  • You can restrict the time spent by your child in front of the computer. When the time expires, the computer will shut down automatically.
  • You can control the launch of games and applications, prohibit visits to specific websites (like social networks before homework is done).
  • Besides, Microsoft’s tool regularly updates its databases of forbidden websites with adult content and games with age restrictions.

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This, in fact, is the minimal network security level, the basic level of protection from modern online aggression. It does not protect from unwanted content in social networks or unauthorized online transactions.

Control programs built into anti-virus tools (like Kaspersky Internet Security)

Anti-virus tools are mostly focused on taking specific actions against unwanted content. These tools have at least 4 distinct advantages:

  • While Microsoft’s database mostly contained forbidden European and American websites, ignoring the Russian segment of the web, anti-virus tools adapted for the Russian reality feature more advanced algorithms for specific threats.
  • Their settings include those that will be appreciated by parents, such as “Anti-banner” (removes all annoying ads with bad-looking bodies and suggestions to “kill a zombie”).
  • This control program can influence communications in social networks – for instance, by forbidding messages to be sent to specific recipients.
  • Such “anti-virus” parental control programs have a single console, while integrated Windows features are managed by modules scattered across different control panels, which is obviously inconvenient.

The interface of the program is very clean an intuitive:


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KinderGate – an online activities CONTROL tool

KinderGate developers offer even more advanced and flexible settings and extended control. This software has the following distinct advantages:

  • Apart from blocking websites with unwanted content, KinderGate also provides protection from malware attacks.
  • The program also classifies dating sites as dangerous, which is right, considering the type of people who might be looking for contacts with underage users there.
  • KinderGate has an analytical base of a record size – nearly 500 million websites. Compare it with 10-15 million sites in most other programs.
  • This program features morphologic analysis tools. It means that besides using the database of forbidden sites to grant/deny access to a particular resource, the software constantly checks ALLOWED SITES by finding pages with suspicious content. Such pages are instantly blocked, but the rest of the site remains viewable.
  • The developers took care of advanced users and implemented 2 types of management consoles: an advanced console for skilled users and a simplified one for novices.

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THE WEAKEST LINK of ALL METHODS OF INTERNET MONITORING

Prohibition is a good way of protecting your children.
However, this method DOES NOT help us get CLOSER WITH THEM, understand their concerns, get a better idea of what IS HAPPENING to them right now.
That is, blocking of potentially harmful sites works for children under 10 years old.
For teenagers, such methods will only become a source of irritation. Also, these “near-adults” will quickly find a workaround and unblock the sites (the Internet is full of detailed instructions on how to do that).
This is why the development of new products FOR PARENTS continues all the time. As the result, special MONITORING programs were created (programs that facilitate the process of monitoring children’s online activities).

What is the DIFFERENCE between CONTROL and MONITOPRING tools?

The main difference is that a monitoring tool does not block access to content or actions. It simply RECORDS and remembers everything your child is doing on the web.
You will get a full account of what YOUR CHILDREN do online, WHOM they contact, WHAT sites they visit. You have access to their messages in social networks and Skype. You know where they go on the web and how much time they spend there.

Refog Personal Monitor is exactly this kind of program.

Personal Monitor offers a convenient INTERFACE for MONITORING your children’s activities.
One of the key advantages of the program is that it can be installed BOTH on computers running on Microsoft Windows and Apple computers with Mac OS.
The list of the program’s features is impressive:

  • The tool captures keystrokes (records all messages typed by your child)
  • Displays a full list of running programs and file operations
  • Automatically makes screenshots and allows you to see the windows that your child saw
  • Logs Skype chats.

 

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The program works in the STEALTH MODE and intercepts all of your child’s online activities.

This way, your child will not suspect any INTRUSION into his or her private space, and you will be INFORMED about all complex situations that may threaten their well-being.
Personal Monitor can be used in conjunction with any online activity CONTROL tool.
You can configure BLOCKING RULES for the most dangerous sites and set up a MONITORING PROGRAM to track your child’s activities on allowed websites (in social networks and unblocked sites).

Conclusions

We live in the era of FREEDOM OF INFORMATION. Full online freedom and helplessness of children on the web are some of the things that we need to live with.
We have CONTROL AND BLOCKING programs that will ensure your children’s safety online.
However, threats are not always imminent and OBVIOUS – that is why you need MONITORING PROGRAMS to identify potential threats and prevent tragic outcomes for you and your children.

The Internet was created as a source of useful information and communication. Here is your chance to make it TRULY SO for your children.


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