Just as it is your job to protect your children in every day life, it is your job as a parent to protect your children online. Parents who wouldn’t allow their children to go out with people they don’t know often think nothing of letting their children spend hours online chatting with strangers. Today, online crimes can easily enter your home, so it is your responsibility to make your child aware of the online dangers that exist. In addition to communicating with your child about online safety, pro-active parents can purchase software that may prevent potential problems.

Filtering programs such as NetNanny and CyberPatrol can offer some restriction to inappropriate web sites that might contain pornography. However, these programs aren’t foolproof and do not provide realtime alerts and notification. Your child may still be able to access some pornographic sites and some legitimate sites may accidentally be blocked.

If you are concerned about your child’s online activities, a parental control service by OnlineSafetyPAL and program like OnlineSafetyShield can used to help ensure online child safety when you are not around. These programs and services are set-up to record and monitor all computer activity and provide real-time alert notification. Parents can create a list of certain specific forbidden words, such as pornography or sex. If any of these words are typed during a session, the program automatically records it. The online monitoring feature can give parents peace of mind by being able to view online recordings. Working parents can even set the program to send them alert emails to their computer and text messages on their mobile phones to let them know when there has been any improper use of the computer. If your child attends after school care that has Internet access, be sure to check with them to see if they use a control or filtering program.