When we shop for a Parental Control solution what should we be looking for? There are many companies selling some form of Parental Controls, and they all do it differently; some are software only, some are hardware only, some are a combination of the two. The plethora of solutions should give you an idea of how difficult it is to pull this off, and by ‘this’ I mean block Internet pornography.
From the end user, or Parent’s perspective we don’t really care how it’s done as long as it meets the following criteria:
- Blocks pornography (web, image and video)
- Does not inconvenience
- Does not slow down our Internet
- Is easy to setup
- Does not require baby-sitting, or persistent maintenance
- Gives some sort of insight into what’s going on, i.e. activity logs
Today we are going to focus on #1, because the rest are peripheral ‘nice to haves’ that only matter if #1 works, and this is the hard part anyway.
So when a company says they have a ‘comprehensive’ web filter, what does that mean? It’s actually pretty easy to ascertain for yourself. Go to Bing.com, or Google.com and search for any term, and you will get 3 – 6 tabs of Internet content matching your query.
The tabs that contain Internet content are Web, Image and Video. These are the ones that would return pornography if it is searched for.
Any Parental Control, or Web Filtering, or Internet Content Filtering solution you choose should at the very least protect these three categories of content.
Today the most effective way to protect Image and Video content is by enforcing SafeSearch. There are other ways, but they are currently too technically difficult to pull off without major inconvenience, and cost to end user.
Let’s use OpenDNS as an example. They have 50 million users and market themselves as a Parental Control solution. With OpenDNS Family Shield enabled, using Bing / Google you can search for a bad term. That’s the first problem. With Kibosh you can’t even search for a bad term, but back to OpenDNS, post pornography search, we then click on a link under the Web category. Here is where OpenDNS shines, and any websites listed here will be blocked. Great. However, I then click on the Images tab, and viola I have access to the insanity of Internet pornography. Same with the Video link. Not good.
If hardcore Internet pornography is so easily accessed do you really have a ‘comprehensive’ Parental Control solution? Does it matter if you can see daily log reports, or monitor if the device is online, etc. if the actual blocking of pornography doesn’t work?
Therefor the first thing we should look for in a parental control solution is does it filter Web, Image and Video content. Everything else is secondary.
Kibosh customers have the best parental control / web filtering solution on the market today. It’s easy to turn on, requires no ongoing maintenance, is very affordable, and filters Web, Image and Video content.