Thursday, November 04, 1999

Filtering software varies - here's 4 of the best




BY CINDY KRANZ
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        With the number of filtering softwares on the market and kid-oriented search engines growing, selection can be confusing.

        “There's a whole bunch of these products. There's a handful of them that are really good,” says Gavin Durman, a systems administrator at Xavier University.

        Among those most mentioned:

        • SurfWatch 3.0 (SurfWatch Inc.; $49.95).

        • Net Nanny 3.1 (Net Nanny Software Inc.; $26.95).

        • CYBERsitter 99 (Solid Oak Software; $39.95).

        • CyberPatrol 4.0 (Learning Company; $29.95).

        These filters and four others were reviewed in the May 1999 PC Magazine edition. Considerations included ease of usage and effectiveness.

        While several filters performed well, the magazine singled out CyberPatrol. While it requires a fair amount of setup time and weekly download to keep the program updated, it provides “the most comprehensive filtering of any of the products we tested,” the magazine says.

        The 2000 edition of Oppenheim Toy Portfolio: The Best Toys, Books, Videos, Music & Software For Kids (Oppenheim; $12) suggests parents invest the time and money needed to set up CyberPatrol. The site “filters out most offensive sites before you permit your child to surf,” the Oppenheims say.

        And, they say, the first two places kids should turn to when doing homework on the web are Yahooligans (www.yahooligans.com) and Ask Jeeves for Kids (www.ajkids.com). “Both of these are search engines designed for kids that return results they deem appropriate for kids,” the Oppenheims say.

        Parents will find a directory of Internet filter software and filtered Internet service providers at www.safekids.com/filters.htm For a review of eight Internet filter software products, check out PC Magazine's May 1999 issue.

On guard, online
- Filtering software varies - here's 4 of the best
Internet safety resource guides
Kids' rules for online safety
Tips for parents



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