If you’re a parent and your children have reached the age where they’re able to use a computer, it could leave you with a lot of concerns about their safety online. In the past, I talked about How-to enable parental controls to block certain apps and content on Windows 7. Remember, Security is all about layers, which is why today I’m going to talk about another “layer.”
While Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines can be very useful; they’re also the number one way that people kids can find either adult content or malware. A possible solution? A search alternative called KidRex (http://www.kidrex.org/.)
KidRex is a free and straightforward way to keep your kids (and possibly even yourself!) from finding sites with “naughty” content. The overall interface of KidRex is kid friendly. You see everything drawn in cartoons and there is a big colorful dinosaur that is exciting but also appropriate. Google powers the search engine, but there are quite a few differences between using KidRex and Google.com. If you’re an Arabic-speaking family, KidRex also has basic support for Arabic users.
How Does KidRex Block Out Bad Sites?
Google’s SafeSearch™ screens for sites that contain explicit sexual content and deletes them from your child’s search results. Google’s filter uses advanced technology to check keywords, phrases, and URLs. No filter is 100 percent accurate, but SafeSearch™ should eliminate most inappropriate material.
In addition to Google SafeSearch™, KidRex maintains its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords. KidRex researchers test KidRex daily to ensure that you and your child have the best web experience possible.
In this way, you get safe filtering from both Google and the KidRex team!
Similar to regular Google, when you search for something sometimes KidRex will display sponsored links. The neat thing is these sponsored links are always kid-friendly! You’ll also find that most search results are geared more towards things that would interest children or parents of children.
When using KidRex, if you search for naughty terms, KidRex will simply block the request. Searching for a bikini might seem innocent until a search result for Victoria Secret pops up, which in some cases even the excerpt shown underneath the search result can contain adult text.
For the typically concerned parent, KidRex offers a Parents menu where you can do a few additional things. First, there is a Webpage Removal Request Tool which allows you to report inappropriate web pages to the KidRex team. From what I’ve ready experienced, they are relatively quick to respond to the feedback also, so that’s another bonus vs. Google.
Another feature worth talking about is the KidRex Pro which competes with programs such as NetNanny and SonicWall. If you’ve never tried this kind of software before, it essentially creates a firewall between your computer and the Internet that blocks out all “adult content” from even being transmitted to the Internet browser. The KidRex team said it’s best when they described the difference between their service and competitors:
Products such as Cyber Patrol and Net Nanny only block websites based on a blacklist of bad websites. In addition, services such as KidZui and Yahoo Kids only allow children to access a collection of hand-picked websites, greatly reducing their usefulness.
KidRex Pro’s state-of-the-art technology blocks websites based on their content, allowing your child to safely experience the entire web.
Unfortunately, KidRex Pro isn’t free, and it will run you $5 a month, but they do accept Paypal!
Have you used KidRex or any other web safety content filtering system – perhaps something like Safety Web? If you have a recommendation, please drop a comment below or join the conversation in the groovyPost community forum.