Internet Safety Measures for Your Family

Internet Safety Measures for Your Family

There are many different ways you can protect your family on the internet. These are just a few products that can offer some security for your family. While no divide or filter will be perfect, these may help keep you and your family safe online. Make sure you review each service or product for yourself.

Educational Material

The Center for Parent and Youth Understanding and the Sexual Integrity Initiative are good resources for you and your family.

Device and Operating System Safeguards 

Modern phones and computers have built in content controls that parents can set up, inside the operating software.
To find out how to enable these features, do a search for your device’s name or operating system and “parent control set up”. There should be multiple articles with step by step directions for setting up these safeguards for your family. You can normally set the level of filtering you want, from generic filtering fo known sites to only allowing specific websites to be seen.

Monitoring/ Filtering  Safegaurds

Covenant Eyes
    Covenant Eyes is a subscription service that provides both filtering and accountability. While filtering known sites, it also take screen shots of behavior throughout the device usage and emails them to an “ally” you select. The screen shots are blurred, and have the page title and address included. This allows the ally to hold the user accountable for behavior the alter may not detect. Cost is about $16 per month.
X3 Watch
    X3 Watch is complete accountability software. While it does not filter sites, the software does provide complete list of websites visited during the reporting period to a trusted ally, allowing accountability and transparency of behavior. Cost is about $70 annually for an individual, and $100 annually for a family plan.
    Bark monitors activity for bullying, sexting and other dangers, as well as filters content on devices and limits time on devices. Pricing rages from $5 to $14 per month, $50 to $100 annually.
Net Nanny
    Net Nanny describes itself as Parental Control software. It monitors searches, apps and internet usage. The software can be used to set time limits on devices and will filter any known sites. Net Nanny costs between $40 and $90 annually, depending on the number of devices covered.
    Circle is a device and app combo that can limit time by app and device, filter known sites, and track internet and app usage. The device costs $129 including a one year subscription. A lifetime subscription costs $299. Or you can pay $10 per month.

Router Level Safeguards

Some Wifi Routers offer parental controls. These are generally limited, though often you can block specific websites.
Family Shield
    Family Shield is a product from OpenDNS (owned by Cisco) that provides DNS level filtering of known phishing and scam sites as well as adult websites. The product is completely free, but requires changing your router’s DNS settings. Instructions are included on the OpenDNS website.