When it comes to surfing the internet, it's no secret many kids can run circles around their parents. So how do you know what your children are looking at online? There are some simple steps that can help give any mom and dad some peace of mind. Lynnea Mallalieu worries about the safety of her two kids on the internet. She's proactive in monitoring their activity online. One way she does so is by checking the computer's history. "I can go onto his computer and see what websites he chooses to look at." To check the web browser history in Internet Explorer, click the history icon; this brings up a list of recently visited sites, and you can click on any of them for details. If your child uses Mozilla Firefox to search the web, click on "history" and scroll down to "show all history". But be warned, web browser histories are easy to change and delete, so they're not foolproof. Another way you can monitor your kids’ online activity is by adjusting search engine settings. Filtering results could keep your children from stumbling across inappropriate material. From the Google home page, click "preferences", scroll down to "safe search filtering", and select the "use strict filtering" option. Most other popular search engines offer similar filtering functions. There is no guarantee the strict settings will block all explicit material. Lynnea said the best way parents can protect their kids online, is by talking to them. "I have talked to her a lot already just kind of introducing to her you know there may be somebody that wants to be your friend on the internet but that doesn't mean they're a good person and they're really trying to be your friend." There are web sites appropriate for kids. Go to ala.org/greatsites for a list of them. At this site, children can learn everything from cultures to languages in a safe environment.
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