Explaining Your Decision to Your Children

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When you first put Net Nanny on your child's PC, it helps to start off by telling them why. Here are a few thoughts on talking to your child about the need for kids to use a safe-surfing program when they're on the Web.

  • Just like the real world, the Web has both safe places and dangerous places. Net Nanny is designed to help prevent children from inadvertently venturing into dangerous places where they may put themselves at risk. They are protected from encountering online predators and seeing things they aren't ready to see.
  • Net Nanny makes it possible for you to let your children have Internet access. Without software like Net Nanny to block offensive and dangerous parts of the Web, many parents might otherwise choose to restrict their children from ANY Internet access. Net Nanny also helps prevent children from spending too much time surfing the Web at the expense of other activities.
  • Just as theaters don't allow children into R, NC-17 or X-rated movies, Net Nanny keeps children out of questionable parts of the Web. One thing that makes the Web an incredible place is that people can say and do just about anything they want there. In the same way that some movies feature language and situations that are inappropriate for minors, some of the materials and activities on the Web are inappropriate for children. Net Nanny enables parents to give their children access to the "safe" parts of the Web while restricting access to parts that would be inappropriate for them.
  • Freedom of speech sometimes means the freedom to offend. It is important that people be able to speak their minds, even when we don't agree with them. In addition to pornography sites, there are sites on the Web that advocate violence, hate and other viewpoints that many individuals may find offensive. Net Nanny allows parents to support the right to free speech that makes the Web a great place, while blocking material that may be offensive to themselves or their children.

We've found that in addition to explaining these points, encouraging your child to ask you about the sites that Net Nanny blocks helps keep them from becoming frustrated. If you discover that Net Nanny has blocked a site you feel is appropriate, you can add it to the "permitted" list and your child will be able to visit it in the future. If your child points out a site that you feel Net Nanny blocked appropriately, you can take the opportunity to explain why you think the site is inappropriate, educating your child and improving their safe-surfing skills, so they are better prepared in the future.