The Technology You Need to Keep Kids and Teens Safe Online
By Sean Wright and Jason Hardy of 3n1technology
Part 1: Content Filtering, Accountability, and Why You Need Both
As a technology partner for both businesses and families, our job is to pair the right technology with the actual needs of its users. When it comes to internet safety in the home, that means listening to parents and helping them choose the right technology to both protect kids and teens from access to objectionable content and facilitate healthy lines of communication about internet safety.
After doing this for over 14 years, we’ve learned that, in most cases, families need two kinds of technology to accomplish their goals: content filtering and accountability software.
Content Filtering and Accountability Explained
Simply put, content filters block the bad stuff. These software applications catch and prevent access to websites that contain objectionable, inappropriate, or dangerous content as defined by a parent or administrator’s preferences. Most modern content filters give parents fairly granular controls over what kinds of content they wish to block, and many contain pre-set, age-defined filtering levels (such as ‘preteen,’ ‘young teen,’ and ‘mature teen’) that can be helpful for adjusting what you allow as your child matures.
Accountability software, on the other hand, facilitates conversation between parent and child about online behavior. These applications monitor and report online activity to the parent, allowing parents to approach their children about dangerous or unhealthy online habits.
Why Parents Need Both
Content filters are necessary as a first line of defense, protecting against the massive amount of pornographic and otherwise objectionable content on the web. Without a filter, accessing dangerous content is just too easy.
But as advanced as content filters have become, they don’t catch everything. This is where accountability software is helpful. Sometimes, the best filter is another human being – one who has the best interest of the child in mind and can communicate with and educate the child if his or her online activity becomes problematic.
What Content Filtering and Accountability Software Do We Recommend?
While there are a number of good products out there on the market, we do have preferred solutions that we implement in most home environments. Stay tuned next Technology Tuesday for another post where we’ll discuss those solutions and how they can help your family!
Sean Wright, 3n1technology’s President & CEO, has put his passion for technology to use by helping families adapt technology to their needs for 14 years. Jason Hardy, 3n1’s Director of Communications, helps translate Sean’s wealth of technical knowledge for the rest of us. 3n1technology is a one-stop technology partner for businesses and individuals that serves Greater Nashville by doing IT differently. Find out how at 3n1technology.com.