Kids and Computers - How to Protect Your Kids From the Dangers on the Internet
Every parent should watch (MS)NBC's How to Catch a Predator (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10912603/).
The first step you should do is to create two separate Windows user accounts in Control Panel. One account is your Administrator account where you can control and make changes to the computer, while the kids’ account is limited so they cannot make administrator changes to the computer. However, create your kids’ account as an Administrator at first, make the adjustments and changes while in their account (change the appearance, install games, etc.), and once you are satisfied with it, you may change it to a Limited account while logged into your Administrator account. The most important part of this step is to make your Administrator password all but impossible to guess so that your kids do not have access to your Administrator account. In fact, make it a point to change your Administrator password occasionally.
Now, you will need some sort of parental control software. If you are using Windows Vista or newer, Parental Controls are already installed, located where you edit your Users in Control Panel. However, for Windows XP, you will need to download and install Windows Live Family Safety at http://explore.live.com/windows-live-family-safety, but you will need to create a Windows Live Account at https://signup.live.com/ to use Windows Live Family Safety. However, the following robust Parental Controls limits everyone (including yourself). K9 Web Protection at http://www.k9webprotection.com/ is the best choice for most non-savvy computer users. It is a little easier to setup, however, OpenDNS at https://www.opendns.com/ does a better job, but requires for you to know how to make changes to the settings of your broadband router.
There are a couple of web browsers designed for children such as KidZui at http://www.kidzui.com/, and Zoodles at http://www.zoodles.com/, but you will need to download and install Adobe Air at http://get.adobe.com/air/ before you can use Zoodles. Both of these web browsers offer hours of both education and entertainment for children. Another great, customizable web browser is Opera at http://www.opera.com/ because of its built-in Speed Dial feature that allows you to create a “home page” of thumbnails of many different websites. I have also created a web page of links to almost 30 websites for pre-schoolers to pre-teens at http://webpages.charter.net/drkstlkr/Kids.htm that you may also set as the home page.
I hope this helped any of you parents out there keeping your kids safe!