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Cybersitting Your Kids

Imagine your young teen-ager spending time on the Internet learning how to build bombs, and you're clueless.

Fast Company magazine writer John Quain gives CBS News This Morning some steps parents can take to make Web surfing safer for kids.



Here are some of John Quain's recommendations.

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America Online: Quain's first choice for families with young children is America Online with parental controls. If you have an account, you can set up subaccounts for your kids with parental controls. Not only does this limit what your children can see, but it monitors what they do.

For example, if your child is in a chat room and uses a bad word, AOL will kick your child off and then send you an email reporting what happened. From there, you can do your disciplining.

AOL also has buddy lists and instant messages so your child can communicate instantly with friends.

Other Internet service providers: There are other Internet service providers (or ISPs) that are family-friendly, such as This.com and Mayberryusa.com.

Search engines: There are kid-friendly search engines and Web sites that you can find with your child. Safekids.com is a good one for parents.

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You can purchase increasingly sophisticated software that blocks or filters sites and information on the Internet, such as Net Nanny, CyberPatrol and CyberSitter. They are available for $30 or less.

Such software secretly monitors kids and what they do on the Web. It can block out specific times of day or certain Web sites (those involving porn, hate or cults, for example), tell you what sites your children have visited, how long was spent there, and even tell you how long they played their favorite computer game.

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