…is a lot harder then I would ever have expected. I have locked down my children’s laptop to the furthest extent I am capable of. I bought a security program that was useless, so I resorted to using Microsoft Family Safety. This security program makes me far more frustrated than it has ever helped protect my kids. Now, I will accept the “explanation” that when they “try” to access a site, say Facebook, that it is going to show up on their activity report, even though they could not get into it.
How exactly is this helping me? Now I have a very extensive list of websites that my daughter may, or may not have, accessed. Yes, there is no replacement for the diligent monitoring a parent can do to help keep their kids safe on the internet. The laptop is used at the kitchen table, with the screen in view of me. This somehow did not prevent my daughter opening a page with the link titled “Beautiful Ladies with big ….”. I cannot even type it here, I am so disgusted.
What did Microsoft Family Safety have to say about this page on her activity log? It could be “suspicious”. What? WHAT? The last word in that edited sentence was of a male body part, but MFS only thinks it may be questionable? Well Microsoft Family Safety, I think you suck worse than your faulty program.
The laptop is locked in my bedroom when I am not at home. But there are also ways around the safety net. Such as logging in and opening the internet and clicking on the site you want from the toolbar before the MFS can even start functioning. I have blocked Tumblr numerous times daily for weeks, I am about 85% positive she is still accessing it.
I am not putting the responsibility of minding my children on an entertainment corporation, but good gracious, at some point I need to use the bathroom, or get the laundry out of the basement, or any other number of tasks that my single mom life requires of me on a daily basis.
I wish there was truly a site that would just block what you want, and not ridiculous things. My daughter homeschools, so it is difficult to block access to news sites when she needs to use information from them, yet she can click on links through there and get to these inappropriate sites.
So, I will continue to look over their shoulders as much as I can, block every website that is inappropriate as they access it (you would not believe the number of social networking sites kids are using; most I have never heard of). At some point I have to rely on them to make the right choices, and I know I raised them in a manner that they know right from wrong. Now I just need to worry about the curiosity and temptation factor that sometimes overwhelms teenagers.