A while back my son came into the room and sat down. He had that “I have a whopper of a question” look on his face and I braced myself for the inquiry. He said, “Dad, I saw some things online that I don’t understand what they are, could you take a look?”. So, dreading what I was going to see, I followed him to his room. We have always taught our children the basics of online safety and felt that having a computer in their room was something they were responsible enough for. I was horrified at what was on my sons screen. Pictures that I could not imagine.
After having very lengthy conversations with my son, and explaining things to the best of my ability, I decided that trust wasnt enough. I could trust my kids, just not what was going to come at them from the internet. I started searching the web for the best ways to protect my kids and their computers from the Dark Side of the web. I could go with the basic blocking that my router offered through the use of keywords. There was the option of using Windows 7’s built in family center. But I wanted something that gave me more control over the different aspects of their online experience.
After a while I found K9 Web Protection from Blue Coat.
Installation was extremely easy even though it did require a reboot (a pet peeve of mine). Let me show you some of the screen shots of the configuration:
Here are some of the key features, as described on their website:
You can easily block entire categories of content by choosing from any of K9’s 69 categories, including:
- Personal pages and blogs
- Content servers
- Web applications
Safe Search is supported by many leading search engines as a way to block search results for offensive topics. For example, Safe Search might not show any results in a search for adult photos. K9 Web Protection also enables you to force users to use Safe Search with the following search engines: Google, A9, AltaVista, Microsoft Live, Yahoo, Ask and Orange.co.uk.
Personal firewalls and Internet security products
K9 Web Protection is compatible with the following third-party personal firewall and Internet security products:
- Personal firewalls: Comodo
- Anti-virus products: Avast, Avira
- Internet security suites: McAfee, F-Secure, Norton/Symantec, Computer Associates and Check Point ZoneAlarm
In addition to enabling you to allow or block Web access during certain times of the day, K9 Web Protection offers NightGuard — a convenient way to block all Web access during certain times of the day or night. For example, using NightGuard, with a few clicks you can disable all Web access between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day.
You can also keep track of K9’s activity with convenient, detailed logs that enable you to:
- Organize logs by time of day, secure Web sites blocked and unsafe search blocks
- Remove old log entries
- Store logs on the computer in a format that is readable only by K9 Web Protection