Although you can go through the process of putting your family's computer in a common room, looking into the Facebook and Myspace accounts from time to time, and talking to your child about the risks of posting personal information, risks still arise.
The fact is that sometimes your child will be subjected to adult material, or material that is otherwise inappropriate for children, by mistake. There are some pornography websites whose addresses are very close to popular websites with the same name. Sometimes, the only difference is whether it is .net, .com. or even .gov.
One of the things that you can do to protect your child's internet security is to install parental control software. Although it might seem extreme, a parent will do whatever it necessary to protect their children.
So what can parental control software do?
Create alerts. You can be notified at once through either text messages, phone calls, or e-mails when someone in your home visits an inappropriate website.
Time controls. These are good because you can actually set a pre-determined amount of time that your child can spend on the Internet. Of course, when their time runs out, they can still access other features of the computer such as word programs which they might need for school purposes. A common complaint that parents have is that their child spends too much time on the Internet.
Usage Logging. With this feature, you can produce and review logs of your child's internet activity. You can see what websites were visited, logs of Instant messaging chats, as well as the various programs that were used during the Internet session.
Content controls. These allow you to choose what types of content, such as adult content, that you want your child to avoid access to.
Program controls. Program controls control the access to certain programs such as downloading music files or other files that could be dangerous.
All in one solution. Look for an advance piece of software that has all its bases covered. Email recording, Content filtering, and Keystroke logging are among the most important.