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Maintaining Harmony with Young Musicians

Maintaining Harmony with Young Musicians

Helping Children Learn

By Heather Lee Leap Your child…

Teach Tots to Help Others

Teach Tots to Help Others

Giving Back

It’s A,B,C,D…Easy! By Ruth Hanley It’s…

Saving the World, One Lemon at a Time

Saving the World, One Lemon at a Time

#ichooseweird

  Meet Hannah…local artist and children’s…

Adventurous Dessert Destinations

Adventurous Dessert Destinations

Local Tasty Treats

  Edited by Shannon Smith Whether…

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Fresh Stories & Good Stuff

Musical Rhythm Sticks
24 Jun 2015 20:46

By Shannon Smith Tap and shake your rhythm sticks to keep the beat or rub them together to make a cool cricket sound. We created ours in red, white and blue in honor of Independence Day!

Maintaining Harmony with Young Musicians
24 Jun 2015 19:23

By Heather Lee Leap Your child wants to play an instrument, you want him to practice, but making it work is not always easy. While practicing is predominantly a solo endeavor, the nature of music is social, and for chil [ ... ]

Teach Tots to Help Others
24 Jun 2015 18:39

It’s A,B,C,D…Easy! By Ruth Hanley It’s never too early to demonstrate caring for others. Teach your toddler the joy of giving with simple, fun ideas that let her be a part of making the choices. Creating a tradit [ ... ]

Saving the World, One Lemon at a Time
24 Jun 2015 18:02

  Meet Hannah…local artist and children’s book illustrator By Christine Quarry THE NEW CHERRY Usually when you think of a lemon, your mouth puckers and salivates or you expect your car to stop working as soo [ ... ]

Adventurous Dessert Destinations
24 Jun 2015 17:25

  Edited by Shannon Smith Whether it’s date night or family night, you can’t beat a cool treat on a hot summer eve! Lucky for us, we’ve got some fantastic choices when it comes to delish desserts. I mean, we [ ... ]

Take Dad Out to the Ball Game!
26 May 2015 18:24

  By Shannon Smith Buy him some peanuts and crackerjacks—show that important Dad in your life that you’re his #1 fan with one of these ‘outta the park’ picks for Father’s Day!

Party Planning—Without the Stress!
26 May 2015 17:47

By Gigi Mallatt • Photography by Ligia Ann Photography Have you ever attended a birthday party where the host or hostess is running around frantic, panicked, and completely stressed out? Chances are, the planning of t [ ... ]

Soothing the Stings, Bites, and Burns of Summer
26 May 2015 17:00

By Ashley Talmadge Ahhh, summer! The joy of being in the great outdoors seems endless. Yet, the season also brings an abundance of biting insects, harsh sunrays, and rash-producing plants. When exuberant squeals turn in [ ... ]

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Sacramento Parent Magazine

Keeping Kids Safe Online

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By Sharon Miller Cindrich

Q: I’d like to monitor my child’s activity online with some kind of parental controlsoftware, but there are so many products on the market– how do I know which is best?

 

When parents think about security, they think about keeping their computer safe, their personal information safe and, most importantly, their kids safe. Parent control software can keep kids from accessing inappropriate content online; it can keep logs of computer activity; it can block or limit chat conversations; it can even allow parents to see what their child is doing from a remote location.

HOW TO PICK A PROGRAM THAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU
Choosing a parental control software product is a lot like choosing a car. You’ll need to do a bit of research, and you'll want to consider your family's needs (your kids' ages, the programs and hardware you use, your online activities, etc.) in selecting which features you'll want in your software. Once you know your online safety goals and are familiar with the features available, it will just be a matter of narrowing down your options. 

Check out this list of features as you begin thinking about what you want your parental control software to do, then look for these tools when comparing products:

  • Filter out graphic descriptions or images. No filter is perfect, but many are able to block your family from visiting Web sites or viewing images of sexually graphic content. Most parental control programs, as well as many computer browsers, offer filter features.
  • Monitor your child’s activity online. Monitoring tools can alert parents when kids have visited a Web site without always limiting access, or make a record of Internet activity for parents to review. Some program even allow monitoring from a remote location.
  • Limit your child’s time online. Programs with this feature allow parents to set time limits for kids who like to use the computer or surf the Net. Some programs may also allow parents to determine the time of day a child is allowed to have computer access.
  • Restrict private information. If you’re concerned about your child giving out an address or phone number when they are online, this tool can help prevent a breech of privacy.

If you’re still struggling, check out the GetNetWise Tools at www.getnetwise.org, which allow you to search a database by features to find a program tailored to your family's specific needs.

Remember, even the best parental control software can't do it all. Setting boundaries, supervising use, and regularly checking your computer’s history (press “Ctrl” and “H” on a PC) will help you stay plugged in to what your child is doing online. Also make sure kids understand what is being blocked and why their activity is being monitored, so that you can lay a foundation for healthy conversations and an ongoing dialogue about computer safety.

Sharon Miller Cindrich (www.SharonMillerCindrich.com) is a mother of two. She writes this syndicated column (more info at www.PluggedInParent.com) and is the author of E-Parenting: Keeping Up with your Tech-Savvy Kids and A Smart Girl's Guide to the Internet.