Contracts with Kids discuss and set up rules for computer use.

Time Limiting limits time online.

Filtering & Blocking limits access to some sites, words, and/or images.

Block Outgoing Content prevents kids from revealing personal information online.

Browsers for Kids do not display inappropriate words or images.

Kid-Oriented Search Engines perform limited searches or screen search results.

Monitoring Tools alert adults to online activity without blocking access.

There are both pros and cons to keep in mind when using these types of tools.

Please Note: GetNetWise staff gathered this information from the companies that make these tools. We cannot guarantee the effectiveness of these products, nor do we endorse any products.

Other Information

How ISPs are Helping -- Many Internet and online service providers also offer safety solutions by selling or including these tools with their services and adopting "Acceptable Use Policies", or "Terms of Service Agreements".

Web Ratings Systems -- Many companies that produce Web sites voluntarily rate and label their sites, using a system knows as "PICS" (Platform for Internet Content Selection).

Internet Issues in the Community -- When children use the Internet in school or in a library, their experiences will be different than when they are at home. Libraries and schools may have different rules for Internet use than your family, because they must serve the needs of diverse children and families.

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Tools for Families

Child Safety Options Offered by Leading ISPs

Many Internet and online service providers take online safety seriously. For example, some Internet service providers (ISPs) have adopted Acceptable Use Policies, outlined in their service agreements, to ensure the confidence and safety of their subscribers. These policies are available for review at the provider's Web site and are also included with your membership information. They typically include guidelines concerning libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, threatening, abusive, or illegal behavior online, as well as the use of the service to spread unsolicited e-mail ("spam"). Depending on the ISP, the consequences and penalties associated with this type of behavior vary from minimal reductions in privileges to temporary suspension, or even permanent termination of service.

Internet and online service providers have also responded to the needs of consumers by offering their subscribers online safety services for free or at a discounted price. Subscribers should check with their service provider to determine what options are available to them, and to determine their pricing plans, which may vary from one provider to another. GetNetWise has gathered some examples of the steps ISPs can take to promote a safe online environment for their subscribers. We recommend that you contact your ISP by calling the customer service departmet to inquire about online safety services.

AOL AOL Parental Controls are included at no additional charge. You can select predetermined limits for email, Web, and chat, or you can create set your own custom controls for each child.

AT&T WorldNet Service offers free, downloadable filtering software. Cyber Patrol, along with its companion software, Kids Cyber Highway, is available free of charge for the first year. After that period, customers have the option of continuing with Cyber Patrol at a special discount off the standard list price. CyberSnoop which monitors Internet usage and blocks undesirable content, is available at a special 20% discount.

Comcast Online's ongoing development of tools and resources plus prominently displayed online safety information in the Security Center channel at, ensures that you and your family will remain educated about the Internet as the medium grows and evolves. Downloading a free year-long McAfee firewall subscription will guard your computer against hackers and automatic E-mail filtering protects you against spam. For more information about the Comcast commitment to online privacy, click on the link to read our TRUSTe certified privacy statement on the Comcast High-Speed Internet start page.

MSN Parental Controls allow you control access to Web content, manage your child's email and get a weekly report of his or her online activities.

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MSN Parental Control Video

Visit to view a video detailing the various features provided in Parental Controls for MSN Premium. Click on "View Demo" button on the right-hand side.

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MSN Parental Controls Tutorial

Visit to view a video tutorial on how to set up your Parental Control features. Click on the Parental Controls link under the "Safety and Security" tab.

Verizon MSN 8 Internet Software is included with your Verizon Online DSL service at no additional charge. Take advantage of parental controls as well as other features such as rich e-mail, junk e-mail protection, MSN Instant Messenger with shared browsing, software like MSN Picture It Plus, and so much more. Also, in its Safety & Security section, Verizon offers additional tools for safety.

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