Christian Parenting Articles    

Parenting in A Cyber-Generation (IV)
How to monitor kids' surfing on the Internet?

Here are some suggestions.

  1. Have the computer set up in an area of the house that is easy to walk by and set the computer so you can see the screen.

    • Our computer is in our bedroom.

    • Do not let your child have a computer with internet capabilities in his or her room (unless you have confidence in him/her).

  2. Finding pages your computer (not necessarily your children) had recently visited

    • On your Internet Explorer toolbar, click the History button.

    • The History bar appears, containing links for Web sites and pages visited in previous days and weeks.

    • Browse through them

    But then they could "Clear History". If the History is always empty then it raises a red flag!

  3. Looking at the "typed URLs" in the Address Dropdown List

    Click on the "down" arrow / inverted triangle at the right end of the Address bar of your Internet Explorer. The dropdown will list all the sites visited by typing in their web addresses.

    By the way, this list also can be cleared. Always clear = red flag!

  4. Looking at search strings in your favourite search engine

    Double click within the search box and the dropdown list will reveal words and phrases that were used to search for information.

    Again, this list can be cleared.

  5. Looking at the Temporary Internet Files folder

    Look at the Internet addresses as well as jpg files stored in that folder. Pornographic pictures are usually files with the jpg extension. All these files can be deleted.

    Note: The Temporary Internet Files folder is the location on your hard disk where web pages and files (such as graphics e.g., jpg files) are cached (stored) as you view them.

  6. Examine the names of cookies stored on your computer

    Look at the portion after @. That portion may be revealing of the sites visited. All these cookies can be deleted.

    Note: A cookie is a file created by an Internet site to store information on your computer, such as your preferences when visiting that site and personally identifiable information. It may also be used to track your Web page use for advertising or other marketing purposes.

  7. Look into the "Recycle Bin"

    If the Temporary Internet Files and cookies are deleted; they may be in the Recycle Bin so take a peep.
Don't jump to conclusion that your children are the culprits especially if there are other people who have access to your computer. As explained, all these footprints can be wiped clean if you know how (but I am not teaching). Use the above to check each and every footprint left behind to find out more and to discuss the values of the cyber world with your children.

"A few lessons that parents have been teaching their children for generations still hold true today, whether in a wired universe or the brick-and-mortar world. Old-fashioned advice like ...

  • Don't believe everything you read.
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
  • If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
While children may know more about technology than their parents do, they have had fewer life experiences and, hence, a more limited understanding of how the world works."

Dr Lim Sun Sun, Media Lecturer, National University of Singapore
As reported in The Straits Times, February 24 2007
Remember, teach the Word of God and build a biblical filter in the minds of your children.

How to monitor kids' surfing on the Internet? © Dec 2004 Alan S.L. Wong