Why Use An Internet Filter?

Jun 18, 2014

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Internet filters are an excellent way to protect your family from the negative things found on when browsing the Internet.  Filtering can allow you to block websites by category such as pornography, gambling, violence, alcohol, or you can block specific websites from being accessed. 

Internet filters can be applied to individual devices, such as a computer or smartphone, or on a larger scale for many devices through a centrally-located hardware appliance.

It’s important to understand the different ways that filters work and some of the benefits and limitations of filtering so you can best adapt web filtering to suit your needs.

Internet filtering solutions work with “white lists” or “black lists.”  A whitelist is a list of websites to be allowed, always. A blacklist is a list of websites to be blocked, always. You could block websites based on the category, or by indicating a specific website.

While these are great tools to block unwanted material, there is no perfect system. Sometimes filters can block websites used for legitimate purposes, such as searching health conditions or violence in historical wars. Some savvy teenagers find ways to get around filters. 

Despite these limitations, it is still a very good idea to use an Internet filter. Younger children may accidentally stumble across an inappropriate website.

In any event, it’s best to choose a filtering tool for your family.  Because websites viewed by teens may not be appropriate for younger children, you can adapt the filtering according to the needs of each person in the family. 

Another recommendation for families is to establish guidelines for Internet use, with consequences if these guidelines are violated. Talk through any issues and be aware of the things that your children are accessing on the Internet.

Net Nanny provides software that will block unwanted websites and monitor your child’s online activities.

Source: http://www.saferinternet.org/online-issues/teachers-and-educators/filtering-and-monitoring