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Definitions

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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Home / Kids' Safety / Tools for Families / Pros & Cons of Filtering / Time-limiting tools

Time-limiting tools

If you're concerned your child may be spending too much time online -- or you don't want her to use the Internet when you're either asleep or away from home -- this type of software offers a solution. It allows you to set limits on how much time your child spends on the computer or online. You can also use time-limiting software to set the time of day children can go online or use the computer.

Precision

By using a time-limiting tool, you can restrict your children's access to the Internet to times when you can be there to supervise -- and a parent's eye is the most precise judge of content available. That can reduce the need your family might have for a tool that limits access to content. But, if you're not able to closely supervise your children's time online even with a time-limiting tool, then your ability to make sure that they don't access inappropriate content is obviously less effective.

Control

One of the strongest attributes of time-limiting tools is that they can give you control of your children's online access by ensuring that they're supervised. And as long as that's the case -- as long as all of their access is supervised -- then control is firmly in your hands.

Scalability

Because these tools help you control the time your kids spend online, changes in the content of the Internet don't affect them. Time-limiting tools are totally scalable.

Physical safety protections

Time-limiting tools by themselves offer no protection for physical safety. However, if time limiting tools are combined with careful parental supervision, parents can address this concern.

Functionality costs

These tools don't restrict the functionality of the Internet at all; they only restrict the times at which kids can be online.

 
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