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Protect Your Kids: Keeping Children Away from Adult Sites

In our on-going efforts at ALT.com to make your experience as fun and safe as possible, we have created this document to help parents understand how to protect their children from inappropriate online material.

The first step to protect your family is to install parental control software on your computer. Some of the best-known and respected parental control software packages are CyberPatrol, Net Nanny and Safety Surf. Also, some ISPs (Internet Service Providers, the companies that let your modem connect to the Internet) provide content filtering as part of their basic service. Check with your ISP to see if this is an option they offer.

Parental control software works by blocking access to specific websites and online content. In most cases, when you buy the software it already contains a large list of sites that are inappropriate for children. You can then update the software through the manufacturer's website or, in some cases, the software will update itself.

Another way filtering software works is to block sites based on key words, such as "sex." However, filtering software doesn't have to just block access to adult-oriented material. You can configure the software to filter for topics such as tobacco, drugs and drug culture, alcohol, violence and racism.

Since there might be only one computer in your household, and you might be using the same computer as the children, you can set up the system to filter content during certain hours, such as when you're at work and not around to supervise your children's web surfing. You can also setup the system to create a password, that only you know, to override the restrictions.

Some programs can also block personal information, such as name, address and phone number