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Built in Web Site Filtering

If you have children using a computer at your house, you know there is plenty to see on the Internet and plenty that the kids should not see, but what can you do to protect them?

Have no fear. Microsoft Internet Explorer has a built content filter. If you enable this feature, Internet Explorer will not allow the user to visit web sites that have not been rated by the "Recreational Software Advisory Council". There are many sites on the Internet which are safe for children, but have not been rated by this council. With the content filter enabled, you will not be able to visit those sites initially, but you can add them to an Approved Sites list in the filter so that you can visit them.

To enable the content filter, run Internet Explorer. Now click on the "Tools" menu at the top and select "Internet Options" from the pull down menu. This will open the "Internet Options" window. Now click the "Content" tab, then the "Enable" button. The "Content Advisor" window will open now. This window allows you to configure the filter. You can adjust the acceptable levels of language, nudity, sex and violence here. By default they are all set to level zero or none. This is the strictest filtering. On the "Approved Sites" tab, you can enter a site name, like "www.sugarlandpc.com" and click the "Always" button to always allow the site or the "Never" button to always block the site.

When you are finished configuring the Content Advisor, click the "OK" button at the bottom and you will be prompted to enter a password to lock the settings. This keeps your kids from turning the filter off. This password can be used to modify the settings later and even to disable the filter. If you attempt to view an unapproved web site, you'll be prompted for the password and can choose to only allow the site to be visited this once or to always allow the site. You can even choose to only allow that individual page on the site. If you want to disable the filter, run Internet Explorer again, then click on "Tools" and "Internet Options". Now click on "Content" and "Disable". You will have to enter the password.

Initially, this content filter will require a lot of work entering all the unrated web sites that you do want your children to be able to visit, but it is an effective tool for protecting them from the garbage that is easily available on the Internet today.

Posted by Charles Swihart on 12/1/2004

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