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Kid’s psychological defense from the Internet

29 May 2015

Nowadays, everywhere we look, we can see children with smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices with the Internet access. What exactly are they doing online and what kinds of problems they encounter is something no more than 15 percent of parents are aware of.


Some of them watch carton, others play harmless games, but there are also those who might have serious problems, while their parents remain in the dark.

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Children and social media

29 May 2015

The means of communication between people have changed significantly in recent years. This trend primarily affects the children. A 4-year old kid using a computer with Internet access is not a big surprise these days.


By the age of ten, children already have accounts on various social media web-sites and services, while a personal smartphone is practically their only link to the outside world.

A mere five years ago children, whose education was neglected by their parents, were receiving most of the information from TV, which was quite a problem to begin with. Now, however, things have drastically changed and it is the Internet that shapes the minds of our children, while parents bear full responsibility for controlling this process.

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Network devices with parental control features

7 April 2015

We all want to keep ourselves, our children and our computers safe from Internet threats. And people often pay quite a lot of money for professional antiviruses, firewalls and other intricate information security software. This is of course a proper approach than just ignoring threats or using free or unauthorized software of dubious efficiency.

But neither should you overlook some absolutely free ways to protect your computer from already known dangerous sites, viruses, phishing and adult content.


In this article we will take a look at both modern routers’ features and free DNS-filters.

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Configuring a child’s computer for using Refog with Windows 7

26 March 2015

Part 2. Configuring a computer with Windows 7 installed.

In the first part of this manual we described how to configure a computer running Windows 8.1 OS, so that child’s experience with it was safe (both for a child and a computer).

In this part we are going to configure a computer operating under Windows 7. Although the set of tools for parental control provided in Windows 7 is poorer, the key-principles are the same:

  • Setting a password for a parent account
  • Creating a separate account for a child
  • Activation and configuration of the built-in mechanisms for parental control
  • Installation of third-party software in cases when more advanced child monitoring is needed.


It should be noted that the first three principles are actual recommendations given by Microsoft (the Windows OS developer) and can be found in their help system, which we are going to refer to.

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Internet and children: parental monitoring software

13 November 2014

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.


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.


HOW CAN WE protect our children?

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Internet and children. Online threats.

29 July 2014

childThe young audience of the Internet is currently estimated at 130 millions children under 14. More than 85% of teenagers over 12 years old use the Internet, and the number is growing. Today, children first go online at the age of 4.

  • According to numerous researches and surveys, over a half (52%) of Internet users under 14 have visited sites that are not intended for children.
  • More than 45% of children have seen (both intentionally and inadvertently) porn online.
  • Slightly fewer children (40%) have encountered pedophilic activities on the web.
  • Around 15% of the questioned children reported that strangers tried to arrange a personal meeting with them.
  • One-third of them agreed to meet or somehow disclosed their personal details.

Besides, the list of things that children regularly face online includes violence, gambling, drugs and alcohol, extremist materials, sects and nationalistic propaganda. Many suffer from online fraud and computer viruses.
Many parents are aware of the potential online threats and do their best to protect their children.

In 63% of cases, this is limited to child control and monitoring; 25% use special software like filters and security add-ons; 12% use built-in parental control tools integrated into the operating system.

Over a half of all children have seen porn and violence online

13 September 2013

Over a half of all children have seen porn and violence onlineAccording to the Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner, over a half of Russian Internet users under 14 have visited sites with explicit content, 40% of them featuring pornographic content, 19% containing violent scenes, 16% promoting gambling, 14% promoting drugs and 11% containing materials of a extremist nature.

Mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, are getting increasingly popular for visiting such sites.

The “Russian Safe Internet Center” reports that over 10 million Russian children under 14 are active Internet users, which makes up 18% of all Internet users in Russia.

On November 1, 2012, RosComNadzor launched a “registry of prohibited websites” that contains sites with child pornography, suicide and drug use propaganda. When and if possible, ISP’s block access to websites from this registry, but due to a number of technical and administrative reasons, the registry itself is very inefficient and is laughed at by the entire Internet audience.

Phaedophile vs. Facebook

20 December 2012

facebookA US citizen formerly convicted for phaedophilia filed a lawsuit against Facebook demanding compensation for moral damage caused by the content of a user’s page. The man demands that the social network disable the page titled “keeping our kids safe from predators“.

This page is intended for sharing information about phaedophiles in Northern Ireland, which, its creators believe, helps prevent the impairment of children’s rights. The man’s personal details were published on the page, which resulted in the lawsuit being filed.

According to mass media, back in 1980, this man was found guilty in with 15 phaedophilia-related episodes and sentenced to a prison term, but has been out for some time now.
I am worried about my own safely and am currently under a lot of stress, since an assault on me is just a matter of time now,” he says.

This is not his first lawsuit against Facebook. In the first case, the court ordered the social network to block the page, but several clones appeared just a few days later.
At that time, the judge commented on the situation in the following way: “He has already been punished with his conviction, and his life at the moment is being substantially regulated by officials anyway.

Parental control from Trend Micro

21 March 2011

Trend MicroTrend Micro inc. has just released an online parental control service for monitoring children’s online activity. This software is another in their range of products aimed at home use.

By installing this program on their home PC (a one year license costs $49.95) parents can observe remotely ( from work, for example) what their children are doing on the computer. The following additional functions have been announced:

  • link filtering and prevention of access to potentially dangerous websites,
  • monitoring of messages and activity on social networks,
  • personal data protection,
  • monitoring of video files and images viewed on the computer (including on Youtube and Flickr),
  • gradually improving system for preventing program shutdown,
  • ability to look at reports on a mobile phone.

It seems that Trend Micro is trying to create an average program which contains the most necessary set of protection functions.

As you may have noticed, we have a slightly different philosophy. We try and spread different tasks between different applications.

Therefore activity monitoring is done by our program Refog Personal Monitor and other restrictions (for example, by time) are carried out by Refog Time Sheriff.

By the way, a new version of Time Sheriff will soon be released with improved protection from deliberate program closing and a system for blocking dangerous websites.

Children spend more time each week in front of PC’s than with their textbooks

11 February 2011

ChildWise, a British research agency, has published a report based on surveys completed by two thousand kids aged 5-16 from 92 different schools.

The report clearly states that various Internet-enabled devices are gradually becoming a sort of “virtual nanny” and Internet is becoming the children’s playground.

The Internet is steadily replacing television that has been playing this role for years.

The following figures from the report appear to be quite interesting:

  • School-aged children spend less time every week on doing their homework than on using their computers.
  • Around 97% of schoolchildren aged 11-16 have a personal cell phone (89% for adults and 30% for 8-year-olds).
  • Most of them use their phones for going online.
  • Around 60% of children aged 11-16 have a computer and a TV set and 50% of them have permanent Internet access.
  • These kids spend their free time in social and torrent networks and on video portals.
  • Over 30% of kids aged 7-10 use social networks, although it’s only legal for children aged 13 and above.
  • 30% of the respondents have a personal blog and 62% have a profile in a social network.
  • Children with Internet access spend an average of 1.7 hours online every day, slightly more on watching TV and just as much time on playing computer games.

Doctor Emma Bond, a child development expert, believes that it’s high time for many parents to re-evaluate the situation, restrict access to television and websites and start educating their children on their own. She also added that “school-aged children also use cell phones for sexual development by using them as a means of establishing intimate contacts with each other”, which is an important element of the personality formation process.


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