Protecting Our Children from the Internet
Children of today are growing up in a technological world. Almost every home has a computer in it. Some homes possibly have more than one computer. The children who live in these homes are learning to use a computer before they can even walk and talk. For example, my seven-month-old son already has a Fisher Price computer. It consists of a bright colorful keyboard, with large keypads, that fits over the keyboard of our home computer. It comes with a CD that shows him images on the screen when he hits the keyboard. He loves "working" on his computer and I love the fact that although he does not know it yet, he is essentially learning how to use a computer.
As my son gets older and begins to use the computer more and more, I would like to let him have access to the Internet but not everything that comes along with it. I know that this will not be for some time, but that gives me the opportunity to learn how to protect him from things that are not appropriate for him. For example, there is a website called Rotten.com that shows pictures of people who have been shot or stabbed. It even has the picture showing Nicole Simpson practically beheaded! I know this because my eighteen year old brother likes to look at this website and has shown me before. It is fine if my brother or any other adult wants to view that kind of garbage, but I do not want my son or any other children for that matter, looking at these types of websites.
Of course the only way for a parent to be one hundred percent sure of what their child is looking at on the Internet is to look at it with them. But that is not something that every parent has time to do. This does not mean that we cannot let our children use the Internet. Parents can do many things to protect their children from the Internet such as using parental controls, downloading a filtering system onto the computer and talking to their children about Internet safety. These precautions will help to prevent children from accessing certain sites.
I know that there are parental controls that restrict access to certain websites and chat rooms, as well as time limits for the Internet. I believe that with these parental controls, you can block children from giving out personal information over the Internet. I do not know anything about the filtering systems available to parents.
I am familiar with America On Line (AOL) because that is what I use at home. I know that when you set up an account on America On Line (AOL), it asks you if the account is for a child. If you respond yes, then a restriction is put onto that account that will not let the user access particular websites. If the user tries to get into these restricted sites, a message will appear telling the user that they are not authorized to view that site. AOL also allows parents to restrict access to chat rooms. This is, in my opinion, something that all parents should utilize. There have been many cases of...