Parental Control Filtering Software, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

This issue of the Gazette is a continuation of yesterday's article, regarding Parental Control Software which is used to block "bad" web sites (pornography, gambling, bad language, nudity, sex, and violence). You know -- all that kind of bad stuff we normally see on day-time TV talk shows.

Anyway, I decided to test out a highly recommended web-filtering program, called "We-Blocker".

The results of that test were mixed. We-Blocker was able to block only a *very small* selection of "bad" web sites. I was able to break through We-Blocker's filtering control and access pornographic web sites by simply typing in some naughty words in the addresses field of the browser (Internet Explorer) almost 95% of the time, regardless of what level / setting of web-filtering offered by We-Blocker I chose to use.

The fact that I was able to break through to pornographic web sites by simply typing them into the web browser severely discourages me from recommending We-Blocker to anyone.

The fact that the We-Blocker web site actively collected my email address before I was even allowed to download their product -- most likely to be put on some sort of a mailing list -- AND the fact that I was asked again to "register" my email address with them for a second time AFTER installing the We-Blocker software *really* makes me wonder. From a marketing standpoint, I can only guess that I will be receiving emails sometime in the very near future asking me to purchase the We-Blocker software.

Just a hunch?

Exploring other Parental Control Filtering software alternatives

In the last couple of days, I received a few other links sent in from Infopackets Readers. Unfortunately, I have been much too busy to test them out myself. For now, I will provide you with some links; if I get a chance in the near future, I will test and review some more filtering software.

With that said, here are the links:

ICRAfilter: Internet Content Rating Association Filter. Features: " ... Reads and actively uses web sites which support ICRA labels; Block or allow web sites; Templates - sets of rules for what to block or allow. Can be based on ICRA labels, or their absence. Block various online services including chat and e-mail; Set multiple user profiles - you can set different rules for different members of your family. "

HateFilter: Features: " ... Helps parents make sure that messages of hate and bigotry on the Internet do not reach their children. HateFilter protects children by blocking access to World Wide Web sites of individuals or groups that, in the judgment of the Anti-Defamation League, advocate hatred, bigotry or even violence towards Jews or other groups on the basis of their religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other immutable characteristics. "

Some final thoughts

While web-filtering software will aid in the fight to prevent "naughty" things from being displayed on your computer, there simply is no alternative to plain, old fashioned parental supervision.

Nuff' said.

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