The internet, once the fun harmless world that brought us online auctions, cat memes, and 'World of Warcraft', becomes a scary place once you've got kids living in your home. Because for all its good (see the aforementioned online auctions, etc.) it is a place all too rife with content not appropriate for the youngin's, or really, anyone.
A common defense against pornography, gore, inappropriate humor (that's me! That's me!), and other possibly harmful content, is the application of parental control software. In theory, these programs are designed to safeguard your kids from content you don't want them accessing. But the reality of these programs is very different.
It turns out that 80% of all --ALL-- programs designed to keep your kids from looking and boobs and guns all day long are ultimately ineffective. Joking aside, that's a staggering percentile. Sure, there are some programs that do a better job of redirecting kids away from harmful content, but the trade-off there is that sites they might need to access are more likely to be incorrectly flagged with these programs.
It's trading one headache from another. What are parents supposed to do to keep their kids safe? Because the dangers out there don't just include pornography, but sites that promote eating disorders or undue amounts of violence. Ultimately the best parental control is...the parent. Supervising your child as they use the computer is the best way of knowing what they trying to access. This doesn't have to mean sitting over their shoulder and watching them like hawks, though that can certainly be a part of it! Communication and watchful eye beat a computer every day of the week.
How do you monitor your child's internet usage?
Image via whiteafrican/flickr