When it comes to safety on the Internet, there are widely accepted precautions parents can take to protect children from online bullying, predators and objectionable content such as pornography. There are also loopholes kids use to get around parental controls such as web filters. In recognition of Internet Safety Month (June), ContentWatch points out six loopholes parents should know. The company is also giving away 2,000 free licenses of Net Nanny, an effective and flexible parental control solution and web filter, at the Net Nanny Facebook page.
Six technical loopholes kids may use online:
1. Proxy Websites - Many teens use a proxy website, a web page within a web page, to circumvent web filters and surf the web anonymously.
2. Peer-to-Peer - Kids use peer-to-peer file sharing to distribute music, photos, and movies. An innocent movie can end up as pornography or hackers can steal personal information when a computer is open to file sharing.
3. User-Generated Content - Blogs and wikis are examples. Most web filters allow these sites because they do not have the ability to search content on web pages in real-time.
4. Facebook Alias - Kids may create bogus Facebook accounts for their parents to monitor and access while using a different Facebook account with friends.
5. Administration Rights on the Computer - If parents allow kids to access computers with open admin rights, they can uninstall security software and web filters.
6. Using a Website IP Address to Bypass a Web Filter - Many web filters prevent access based on a website name. Kids can easily obtain a web page IP address and use it to gain access to a website.
“Speaking with your children, setting rules and common sense practices go a long way to protect children,” says Russ Warner, CEO of ContentWatch, maker of Net Nanny. “In order to provide online safety, parents should be aware of the loopholes kids can use to get around safety precautions.”