Protect your children on the Internet

Many parents ask how they can protect their children while they surf on the Internet. Recently a mother was worried that her children spend too much time on sites like Orkut, MySpace and Facebook. These concerns were not because of time loss from such activities but mainly because she didn’t know with whom the children were communicating in these social networks and whether the children were giving any personal information to unknown people. After several references on the press about the hazards hidden in the Internet social networks, the mother decided to block some sites on the children computer.

The only problem was that the mother was not aware of parental control software like Net Nanny or Norton Internet Security, which also cost some money. Before you decide to block some addresses (something that the children will be opposed), try a few other things:

First of all, educate your children and tell them about the dangers that exist when they share information with strangers. Family members should discuss the security and confidentiality of data in the web. You can place the computer in an area where you can easily check the screen to get an idea of what your children do and which sites they visit frequently. Furthermore, Orkut is a social network which means that one can easily see what friends your children have and what data is exchanged.

Finally, to block specific sites on your child’s computer with Windows without paying any money, follow the procedure below.

* Start – Run
* Enter notepad c: \ windows \ system32 \ drivers \ etc \ hosts
* Go to last line and add:

* Save the file and quit notepad

You can block any site you want with this technique. If you want later to unblock a certain site, simply remove the appropriate line with the same procedure. You should know however that usually your children are very smart and they will find out about the above technique sooner or later. So maybe a parental control software might be more appropriate.

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