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How to Set Parental Controls with Internet Explorer

May 22, 2008
Are you the parent of a child or a teen who uses the internet? If you are, there is a good chance that you use Internet Explorer for your browser, as it comes standard on most computers. The good news is that if you are using Internet Explorer, which has the blue colored e icon, it is easy for you to set parental controls. These parental controls can block your child from viewing dangerous content online.

As nice as it is to hear that you can limit the websites that your child or teenager gains access to online, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so. As it was previously stated, the process is relatively easy. Outlined below are a few steps to help get you started.

1 - Open a new Internet Explorer window. You can do this by clicking on that blue e icon that was mentioned above.

2 - Click on "Tools," from the drop down menu bar at the top of the page.

3 - Click on "Internet Options," and a new smaller window will appear.

4 - Click on the "Content," tab, as this is where you are able to set the controls.

5 - Under the heading of "Content Advisor," you will see an enable button, click on it and a new window will appear.

By following the above mentioned steps, you should get the point where you are able to enter in your preferences. You may first want to start with the ratings. Click on the "Ratings," tab.

When using the ratings feature that is provided through Internet Explorer, you will see at least four main headings, which include language, sex, nudity, and violence. You are able to determine what can be viewed on your computer based on levels. For example, Level 1 for violence is fighting, Level 2 is killing, Level 3 is blood and gore, and so forth. Remember that you can readjust these ratings at any point in time.

If you use the internet safety rating features that are provided by Internet Explorer, it is important to know that some sites can innocently be blocked. For example, a site that simply mentions the words "violence," or "kill," may be blocked, even if they are not violent websites. For that reason, you may need to make some adjustments. This can easily be done by clicking on the "Approved Sites," tab.

When you click on the "Approved Sites," tab you are able to enter in the websites that you would like to have viewable. This feature is nice to have if your child or teenager is using a family computer, like one that you and your spouse may also use. It addition to listing approved sites, you can also list the websites that you want to never make viewable. This is ideal if you are prohibiting your child from using a social networking website, like MySpace.

Aside from adding the websites that you and other adults in your household view to the approved sites list, you can also use a password. You can create a password for your computer and the parental controls by click on the "General," tab. Create a password that is easy for you and the rest of the adults in your household to remember, but one that is hard enough that your child or teen can't figure out themselves. In fact, do not give your child the password. An adult in your home can use it if they ask to have a safe site unblocked.

As you can see, it is relatively easy to protect your child online with the use of internet safety tools when using Internet Explorer. The many options that you have are also nice. Since the above mentioned tools and features are free for you to use, why not at least give them a try? If you are not using Internet Explorer, but rather another browser, like FireFox, you should be able to take similar steps to block potentially harmful or dangerous content from your internet using child.
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