Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to Protect our Kids?

I've always been very protective of what my kids do online. I allow my kids on the internet, they play games and stuff. They each have a blog (mind you they haven't written on them since we've moved, that's another story for another time). They each have mail accounts. They know the specific sights they are allowed to go to for games and other kid things. If it is not in their favorites list they aren't allowed on the site (Mark and I add and delete things from their favorites). So far they've not strayed far. My kids also do not have Facebook accounts or cell phones. They've never texted anyone. In my opinion there's plenty of time for that when they get to high school.

But I am noticing over the last 6 months that they need online more and more for school projects and reports. Here's my problem. In the past I've always sat next to them when they do research or 'surf' the internet for research. I don't have time for that anymore with 3 kids doing school work and running from here to there in between things. Sometimes they need on the internet when I am busy with other things. So how do I keep them safe.

I have increased my preferences on google to keep away "bad" things, but it's not nearly as blocked as I like. And if I set my preferences too strict it blocks 90% of the internet and keeps them from a lot of good information they need. I know that google is not the only search engine, and I know that once you click a suggested website you travel off into the unknown. The advertising alone is horrendous.

This is where I need help. How do you keep your teens safe online? I want them to learn to use the internet and learn to live within their boundaries and limits but I need a safety net as well. I've heard of Integrity Online. But I am not sure if that is the best option for kids. I've had suggestions to just let them go, they see and hear much more in school. Not acceptable I want to teach them to "guard their gates" and use wisdom, but until they grow stronger in their faith and moral character I am not leaving this up to the world to decide what gets plugged into my children's eyes, ears and hearts.

Shout it out, tell me all about it, I want your opinions. This is untapped territory and I want this to be an open forum.... so spill it would ya!

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