We – parents – are the winners in the "showdown of new parental controls in Apple's Leopard versus Microsoft's year-old Vista," CNET's Stefanie Olsen reports. The reason is, filtering, monitoring, and time-control features are increasingly built in right at the operating-system level on both PCs and Macs now. That means it's all easier for parents to use and tougher for kids to find workarounds (younger kids, anyway). The huge key thing parents need to keep in mind, though, is that the idea of "the family computer" is beginning to fade – at least in the world's wealthier, more connected countries. More and more households have multiple computers, which might require rules restricting kid use to particular computers. But even so, the Web is available on more and more devices, most of them highly portable. It's also available at friends' houses, or course. The friend's house (or public library, or local wireless hot spot, etc.) is probably the No. 1 "workaround" for which no parental-control software you buy or set up works. Even so, Olsen reports, "parents are clearly paying more attention to technology for managing their children's computer use, especially as more kids venture online at younger ages." She cites NPD research showing that "sales of parental control software were up 47.3% percent in the first nine months of 2007 over the same period last year," and some of the top-selling off-the-shelf parental-control products are Enteractive, Microforum, and ContentWatch.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems
- U.S. Safer Internet Day focused on potential, positives and problems too