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Safe Computer Usage For Kids

Just how appropriate or inappropriate is that video game anyway?

The Entertainment Software Rating Board can help parents get a clearer vision of the products they might buy for their children. The group rates each game by age and gives detailed content descriptions.

Here are three rules that parents should enforce with their children concerning e-mail or other forms of electronic communication:

1. No opening e-mail from unknown sources;

2. No opening attachments;

3. No sharing personal information.

To keep your kids safe, parents should keep the computer in a open area of the house where they can keep an eye on whatís going on. Checking the history menu bar can tell you what sites have been recently visited, but some kids know how to erase this information. If you see that thereís no information available, that probably means one of your kids doesnít want you to know what he or she has been doing online.

Many Internet service providers allow for logons for several family members and the ability to individualize each personís access. If you want to block certain sites and you have a wireless modem, you can get a filtering system like the Netgear Wireless Router (www.netgear.com). If you want logs kept on computers, you can check out services such as Net Nanny 5 (netnanny.com) or Norton Internet Security 2004. If you have a really big problem and you need to keep even closer tabs on your kids activities, you can try a service such as Kid Defender (www.actiontec.com). This allows you to watch your computerís activities from a remote location.

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