How do I make sure that my two teenage boys do not venture into inappropriate websites?
— Craig, Thimphu
First, use a free service called OpenDNS FamilyShield to filter out child-unfriendly websites. OpenDNS also filters out websites which may contain malicious software. The nice thing about this service is that it does not require any software installation. You will need, however, to make a few simple configuration changes to your Windows or Mac computer (or better yet, your home wireless router, if you have one; this will automatically protect all devices connected to the router). To start, visit goo.gl/t32kW5.
You can also install web filtering software on your Windows or Mac computer. One recommended program is K9 Web Protection, available as a free download at www.k9webprotection.com. In addition to filtering out inappropriate websites, the program allows you to block Internet access during specific times, view reports to monitor web access, and more. You will need to get a license, which is free for home users.
Using these defence mechanisms together will increase protection, but nothing is airtight. At some point - either at home or at a friend’s house or perhaps in an Internet cafe - your children will be exposed to inappropriate material. It’s a good idea to have a candid conversation with them before that happens. Cyberbullying, internet safety and adult material are some topics worth talking about.
Enjoy the winter vacation!
Readers are encouraged to submit technology-related questions to email@example.com