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.
Keep it a secret. Do not tell your kids the password to whatever program you decide to use, no matter how much they beg. You will need to remain strong on this point, or else there is no point in buying and using the program.
Maintain control. Using firewall software, you can set times for how long your children can use the internet, and monitor what sites they are visiting. You may have to have your computer in the kitchen or living room, or you might have to have the door open when using the computer.
Give restricted permissions on Windows machines. Windows 2000, XP Pro and Vista are the only versions of Windows that can do this function.
Set rules. Ensure that your children can't install anything on your home computer without parental permission. Many things that kids will download contain adware and spyware that can harm and potentially disable your computer. They may download music, games, etc. when they are older, preferably 11+
Be logical. While you want to protect your kids, you don't want to be overzealous. Allow your kids to explore the internet a little; it is a wonderful place with many things to learn. 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.
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)
Disable pop-ups in your web browser. Windows 2000, Windows XP SP2 and Vista all have them bulit in. You'll have to download a pop-up blocker otherwise.
Make sure that your computer is frequently updated with the most current anti-virus and spyware software.
Install a software such as Dan's Guardian, K9, or NetNanny that will block inappropriate sites that your kids may stumble upon.
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.
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.
Installing security programs is no substitute for parenting. Talk to your children about what they do on the internet first.
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.