List Of Safe Websites For Children
Keeping children safe on the Internet can be a difficult task. To some, this means making a list of kid safe websites and making sure that their children visit only these sites when they are online.
This is certainly a solution to many of the problems children might run into on the Internet, but it is very limiting in what it will allow a child to do. The real questions are how can parents identify when a website is child safe, and how can they make sure their children only visit sites with appropriate material.
First, it is important to understand that no solution is going to work 100% of the time and that despite all precautions it is possible children might find themselves on an inappropriate website.
It is because of this that there is simply no substitute for parental supervision. What we will do here is offer up the best protection this side of constant monitoring on the part of the parent.
Begin By Locking Down The Computer
The first thing we need to do is make the computer itself as safe as possible. This can be done with various software suites designed to control or block content.
NetNanny is often referred to as the industry leader in Internet protection solutions. The software currently serves customers such as the US government, many educational facilities, and corporate entities all over the world.
The NetNanny software itself is designed to:
- Tailor protection to specific user profiles
- Monitor social media
- Create reports and send alerts
- Monitor instant messaging
- Set time limits on Internet usage
- Block pornography
- Censor profanity
- Block the usage of inappropriate video games
- And more
With this powerful filter in place the child's computer is certainly a safer place to learn and play, and with the added benefit of instant message and social media monitoring it becomes easier to see who your child is speaking with online.
This makes it easier to identify dangerous situations such as cyberbullying early on.
NetNanny can do a great job protecting a child on the Internet, but there are additional steps that can make it even safer.
Use A Kid-Safe Search Engine
KidRex is a search engine designed specifically for kids. Searches made on this engine tend to favor kid related webpages in their results and KidRex uses Google SafeSearch™ technology. SafeSearch™ filters sites with explicit sexual content and removes them from the search results. This technology checks phrases, keywords, and URLs.
Again this filter will never be 100% accurate, but between it and NetNanny, pornography and other inappropriate material will find it next to impossible to get through.
KidRex keeps its own database of websites that would be inappropriate for children which is updated constantly and tested daily.
So now you have a content filter on the computer, and a search engine that actively filters malicious content. That's two very powerful shields that any content must to go through before it ends up on your child's computer. Is there anything more you can do?
Educate Your Child On Appropriate Internet Behavior
Have a discussion on what the Internet is as children will assume that all of this information is simply on the home computer. They have no idea that their requests for information are actually going all over the world and coming back.
Show them how to use the Internet - Sit down and do searches with them and help them narrow down what they're looking for. This will accelerate the education process, avoid unnecessary frustration, and also learn more about what your child is interested in.
It's difficult for adults to find what they are looking for on the Internet at times so you can imagine how difficult it would be for a young child.
This initial education will also help avoid dangerous mistakes that could lead to not only offensive material but malware or identity theft.
Although it can be a difficult discussion it is important to talk to kids about Internet predators as early as possible. This conversation is as important as teaching your child not to speak with strangers or walk somewhere with someone they don't know.
Make sure they understand that just because someone online says they are another kid doesn't mean that that is so. There are many adults who pose as children online to win the trust of other children and trick information out of them.
Kids should know that anyone online is a stranger unless you know them offline, and even then be very careful in confirming their identity.
Sharing Personal Information Online
Make your child aware that some information should never be shared online. Never reveal:
- Their Name
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- The Name of Their School
- Their Schedule
It is obvious to an adult that the above information should never be shared online, but to a child this information may seem unimportant. Keeping this information secret should be discussed long before the child ever gets online.
As we've mentioned, one of the safest ways to protect children online is to limit their access to only a few preapproved sites. Below you will find a list of kid friendly sites for you to look over and decide if they are what your child would enjoy.
Links To Quality Kid-Friendly Sites
- Yahoo Kids - A kid friendly search engine, this is a great place for children to learn about the web and research information for school. Parents can feel confident their kids won't stumble across inappropriate material.
- PBSKids - Videos, games and more are available featuring the loveable characters seen on the many shows your child watches on PBS.
- Orisinal - Family friendly games that everyone can enjoy can be found here. With over 60 games available your child is sure to fond one they like!
- Captain Underpants - Dave Pilkey brings Captain Underpants to life! This child friendly site is full of learning and fun.
- History Globe - The Jamestown Adventure is available for children to learn more about history in a fun atmosphere.
- Book Adventure - Read a book and win a prize! Students can take tests provided online for a chance to win.
- National Geographic Kids - National Geographic has been a trusted brand for years, and this site is designed for all the children who are interested in learning more about the world.
- NASA For Students - What kid doesn't want to be an astronaut at some point? Here is the place to get more information for children interested in the mysteries of space.
- Kids.gov - For kids interested in government this site is the place to visit. From Washington D.C. to the different branches of government this place has it all.
Social Networking For Kids
Although there are many social networks for kids, these are some of the most popular:
- Everloop - Free social platform for kids with lots of parental privacy controls.
If you know of any quality, safe websites for kids that should be added to this list please contact me and let me know. If you found this list helpful, please share it with other parents.