Breakthrough Helps Parents Monitor, Filter Internet

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A major breakthrough in Internet technology allows software to rate every web page on the Internet similar to how movies and video games are rated, such as T for Teen and M for Mature.

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A breakthrough in Internet monitoring and filtering software rates every page on the Internet similar to how movies and video games are rated, such as T for Teen and M for Mature. Parents receive this information in reports so they know how the Internet is used by each child in your home.

Nearly 30 percent of children surf the Web without any supervision.

With a new website being launched every two seconds and the average teenager spending 31 hours a week online, parents face an uphill battle to keep their families safe on the Internet.

Now that job can be easier and less time-consuming thanks to a major advance in Internet monitoring and filtering.

Covenant Eyes has produced the first software that rates every web page on the Internet similar to how movies and video games are rated, such as T for Teen and M for Mature. These ratings are provided in easy-to-read reports that parents can use to have meaningful conversations.

Parents can also use this rating system to decide the sensitivity of the Covenant Eyes filter for every member of their family. That allows families to choose what sites can be visited based on the age of the child or adult using the Internet.

“Our mission is to make it easy for families to talk about how the Internet is used in their home,” said Covenant Eyes President Ron DeHaas. “Our reports allow parents to know how each of their kids use the Internet, and the age-based ratings for every web page visited helps parents tailor conversations to each child.”

In a struggling economy, many parents are balancing family and work. A U.S. Census Bureau report shows 50 percent of 12- to 14-year-olds are home alone an average of seven hours per week. Meanwhile, nearly 30 percent of children surf the Web without any supervision.

Leaving a computer unprotected is a recipe for disaster. A March 1, 2011 USA Today story, “Sex predators target children using social media,” reported that reports of child exploitation online nearly doubled in 2010. Kids can also be exposed to content inappropriate for their age, including pornography. In fact, 92% of boys and 63% of girls have been exposed to pornography by age 18.

Covenant Eyes has provided Internet Accountability reports to its members for 11 years, and continued investment and product development helped its scoring system evolve into the new rating system, which is simpler because people are already accustomed to ratings for TV, movies, and video games.

Now, Covenant Eyes members can choose the ratings they want to see on an individual's Internet use report (Read "What does Covenant Eyes monitor?"). For instance, a parent might want to view most website ratings for a child, but might only want to see more mature website ratings for a spouse or an adult friend.

Parents can also select filter sensitivity settings based on the new ratings. This allows parents to easily select a filter setting based on the age or maturity of each member of their family. Even at its least sensitive setting, the Covenant Eyes filter will block sites rated HM (highly mature).

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