Internet safety is a major concern of parents as they cons-tantly strive to counterbalance their childrens freedom of inter-net use with adequate oversight.
We would specially like to underscore the importance of having frank and open discus-sions with children to make them aware of potential issues and dangers. For children below age ten, adult supervision and guidance have no real substitute especially with respect to activities that require higher order thinking skills such as internet search.
However, informal studies of behavioral dynamics in the 8-10 age group suggest a rapidly increasing assertion of indepen-dence, especially given the comfort level these digital nati-ves” enjoy with new techno-logies. Kid-safe internet browsers may be just the ticket to deal with such proclivities. Several kid-safe browsers are freely available on the internet, and represent an alternative to installation of parental control software such as NetNanny, SafeEyes, Cybersitter and Cyber Patrol.
1. Most child-friendly browsers have similar feature sets (with a few minor variations).
2. The internet is restricted to a pre-approved universe of child-appropriate sites for games, enter-tainment, info and education.
3. Parents have the means to allow/restrict access to sites, and view details of their kids online activities.
4. Communication tools such as kid-safe email and chat, and safe social-networking communities for kids.
5. No advertising
Some popular browse sites are:
KIDOZ. Kidoz boasts the ability to present age-appropriate” content. The target age group for KIDOZ is 3-7 (an age group that we feel is too young to be on the internet in the first place, and definitely not without an adult watching over them!).
Given the young target age group, most of the user interface is iconic which means that children could potentially use this without knowing how to read or write.
KidZui. A popular kid-safe browser that is targeted at the sub-12 year age group. Kids have the freedom to learn, play, search and discover over 2 million games, websites, videos and photos on their own. KidZui sends a weekly email to parents that tells them what their kids are doing online. The KidZui parent account lets parents share content and set limits. KidZui also comes as a Firefox add-on.
Glubble. Glubble is designed as a wholesome, fun and safe whole family” internet experience for families with children under 12 years of age. Unlike other kid-safe browsers, Glubble requires parents to pre-approve all sites their children visit, and they can add new sites at any time; the rationale being that just as responsible parents select books to read to their child-ren—and determine which TV shows their children can watch—with Glubble, pare-nts can pre-approve all web sites that their children can access
Buddy Browser. Buddy Browser boasts no spyware or adware, safe Buddy Messenger” for kids, no internet surfing, a kid-safe search within a universe of pre-approved sites for enter-tainment and education, a fun tool bar, icons for games, movies, sports, e-cards, mu-sic and educational learning channels for science, school, nature, animals and more.
These browsers help parents manage that delicate balance between choice and restriction.