How to Police Your Kids on the Internet

Two Methods:In the HouseholdOn the computer

The Internet, despite all its possibilities, can still be a scary place. There are a lot of things and people lurking about that you may not want your children to have access to. There are many software applications available that will monitor your kids' activity on the Internet, A lot of applications, software is available that will monitor your kids activity, and, in some cases, prevent them from accessing certain types of websites. It may be a good idea to only allow access when you are home and supervising, but these programs are another option to keep your kids safe.

Method 1
In the Household

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    Set rules. Ensure that your children can't install anything on your home computer without parental permission; children may download harmful programs onto your computer because cybercriminals have disguised them as "games" or fun "software". Remind your children to never send personal information, such as phone numbers or addresses, to strangers. Make sure that your children are aware of which sites they are and aren't allowed to visit. Set a time limit for certain sites, and make sure that your children stick to that time limit.
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    Set your computer up somewhere where you can monitor use. Rather than allowing you children to have computers in their rooms, consider keeping computers in a communal place. This will allow you to cook dinner or read in the living room while keeping an eye on the sites they visit.
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    Be logical. While you want to protect your kids, you don't want to be overzealous. Keep a reasonable balance between protection and freedom, especially with older children and teenagers who might be more mature and cautious. The internet can be a wonderful place with many things to learn. For example, MySpace is a good way to keep in touch with old friends that had moved away and keep up with your schoolmates when you live far away from town. Your kid might have an opportunity to become "known" because of MySpace and it is good for home businesses. However, you must be a certain age to have an account on Facebook, MySpace, and any other social network that contains adult content and dialogue.

Method 2
On the computer

  1. 1
    Revoke admin privileges from your children's accounts. Only you and/or your spouse should have admin privileges on your children's computers; your children should be using standard user accounts. This reduces your children's ability to install potentially harmful programs, and makes it harder for them to circumvent your parental control measures.
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    Block all content that you deem inappropriate. This can be done by investing in programs such as Net Nanny or using DNS servers that allow website blocking, but it is not necessary to spend money to do so.
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    Set time limits. For distracting but not necessarily inappropriate sites, set a time limit allowed per day. Using Firewall software, you enforce the rules you set by only allowing access to certain websites at certain time.
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    Keep passwords a secret. Do not tell your kids the password get in to the computer. This will force them to have to ask you to log them in each time they wish to use it, meaning that you have a little more control over whether or not they do.


  • Disable pop-ups in your web browser. Windows 2000, Windows XP SP2 and Vista all have them built in. You'll have to download a pop-up blocker otherwise.
  • Ask your kids what they want to do before they even go on the computer (in other words, annoy them to death with constant prying).
  • Make sure that your computer is frequently updated with the most current anti-virus and Spyware software.
  • If you have browsing protection software such as F-Secure, enable it. This prevents access to attack sites (sites that try to install programs on your PC that steal private information, view your webcam, prevent access to your desktop, use your computer to attack others and/or damage your system).
  • Install software that will block inappropriate sites that your kids may stumble upon (maybe you shouldn't have installed Stumble Upon on their browser, if you did. It may link to pornographic and adult-only websites.).
  • Install a program to see what they are doing remotely.


  • Remember to warn your children never to give personal information such as their phone number and address over the internet even to someone they may think is their friend.
  • It is not a good idea not to tell your children that you are spying on them. They're smart and will find out soon, and since most kids are hackers-in-training these days anyway, they'll be able to turn the software on or off anyway. Don't think you'll get away with this: if you don't tell them you might end up with limited or no computer access as revenge.
  • Kids are very clever, they learn fast and will try their hardest to get the information they need to do whatever they want on a PC. Do what you can to protect them and the computer, and talk with them about why you are doing it. Maybe because they are curious, or just plain going through early puberty and now going to naughty websites.
  • Installing security programs is no substitute for parenting. Talk to your children about what they do on the Internet first.

Things You'll Need

  • PC
  • Internet connection
  • Anti-Virus and Spyware Software
  • Browsing protection

Article Info

Categories: Parenting and Technology | Internet Filtering