Content filtering for your kids, the why and how of it

Content Filtering

In the big ocean of information, videos and pictures which is the internet, there are bound to be things that your child ought not to watch, view or read. But, how can you prevent it? By content filtering of course!

People born in the 80s and early 90s saw the internet boom. It was amazing, but we were more in love with our Reynolds pen, paper to write down the notes and scouring the library for books to find any information. The generations post liberalisation period, born in late 90s until early 2000s, also sometimes referred to as Millenials are more technologically connected. They do not need to join any computer classes to know how it works, they just know it! It’s as if they are pros at it. Look around and you will see kids in their toddler years adept at using the smartphone or any touch screen device. I see my own 20-month-old girl watching family videos and her favourite Jingle Bell and other rhymes on You Tube with ease, on her own! Other grown up kids easily advice their parents on what software/apps to use for what purpose. I call them little adults for they know everything that is there to know just like an adult!

Online world is full of beautiful images, stories, anecdotes, people, information, but at the same time, it also has perverts, paedophiles, cyber bullies and scammers. Your child will always be a child for you so his safety is your concern. What they watch online can be detrimental to their young minds. I remember watching a video of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s cold blooded murder many years back as it came in my email. It was a horrific sight and I couldn’t get myself to eat or drink properly for days back then. I got that video in my mail, but today there are instant messaging services which are easily circulating anything and everything under the sun. For youngsters today.

See the youngsters today across the world. For most of them violence is no big deal. Some school kids in Egypt and young Japanese girls have posted videos of fake beheading recently. It is emotionally disturbing to see how kids perceive violence at such a tender age. With internet in the reach of most kids, you cannot imagine what it can do to their psyche. And, it is not just limited to violence of this nature alone. It can be practically anything at all!

What can we parents do? If we cannot take away their freedom to use technology, we can and must at least ensure that they use it judiciously. Since, they don’t know the difference between right and wrong now, there are lots of apps today and even in-built programmes in PCs that help you do content filtering so that the kids watch and hear what they ought to at their age. The first and foremost step for the parents is to have content filtering done on all electronic devices that connect to the internet. If you are a Mac user, you can ‘manage, monitor, and control the time your kids spend on the Mac, the websites they visit, and the people they chat with’. Even for Window users, there are in-built controls to help ‘manage how children use the computer’. Similar controls are available to Chrome and android users too. Parental control software like eKAVACH also come armed with auto age content filters wherein one can block content according to the age of the child. Depending on the requirement, one can block a pre determined set of category of websites or select websites specifically. Needless to say, the sites that ought to be blocked relate to pornography, drugs, violence of any kind and the others that you may deem fit.

You don’t want your child to be watching something that he shouldn’t be at that age. Hence, it makes sense to have parental control applications to be installed on your devices which go a long way in keeping young impressionable minds from ‘mature content’ or bad content which can be pornographic or violence related. Parental control applications ensure that only those sites are accessible that are safe for your child to explore. You can set time for the child to browse after which he will not be able to browse further.

These apps make your life easy as a parent when you can be sure that you are leaving your child in a safe environment while you go and slog at your work for their better future.

 

About the author

Anu Bhambhani

Having worked with some of the leading names in the publishing industry, Anu is now an independent editorial consultant. After working for over 11 years, she is now working from home to be able to look after her little girl. When she is not writing (her first love), she is happy cooking, reading and learning nursery rhymes, a new one everyday to keep her toddler entertained and of course taking family vacations.

 

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