Monday, October 12, 2009
What Every Parent Should Know About Web Filters
7. They don't catch everything. Most parental control programs use a combination of filtering techniques to block access to unwanted sites. But each method is vulnerable, and none promises 100% accuracy.
6. They catch too much. Text-based filters can't really determine the context of words or phrases, so they can block access to perfectly acceptable sites. Words like "sucking," for example, might get caught in the filter and prevent your kid from researching, say, mosquitoes.
5. Kids can defeat them. When determined, technically savvy kids meet filters, they find ways to disable them. In fact, there are Internet discussion groups devoted solely to this purpose.
4. Kids resent them -- and you. Your ultimate goal is to teach kids to be responsible digital citizens so they can surf the Web and use technology responsibly. Filtering software makes you the gatekeeper, whereas you want your kids to learn to self regulate. If kids feel like they're being spied on, they'll likely continue their activities on the down-low.
3. They give you a false sense of security. Given their liabilities and loopholes, these programs require you to be the system administrator of the software, with all the attendant (and time-consuming) maintenance responsibilities.
2. They're a form of censorship. As kids mature, they begin to develop their own interests, some of which may lead to areas of the Internet you're not comfortable with. But whether it's porn, politics, or potato farming, you'll have to confront these issues whether or not your kid can access them on the computer.
1. There's always a friend's computer. You have little if any control over what your kid can do on someone else's computer. So talk about responsible Internet use. Tell little kids not to click on something that looks inappropriate. Talk to older kids about the desensitizing effects of seeing too much violence and porn. Guide them toward the better things the Internet has to offer.
Taken from Common Sense Media
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
In July, Paige's Dad left to Iraq for a year. This picture was taken by her mom. Paige said, "I didn't want to let go of him."
We have a deep and profound gratitude for fathers and mothers that serve our country in the military. We are aware of the sacred time away from their families that they give to keep our country free and strong.
We pray for their children.