When used correctly, the Internet is an amazing learning resource for your children. But just like any other “open” communications platform, there’s a lot of unsuitable content out there.

As a parent, you want your kids to get the most enjoyment and education from their time online. But you also want to limit access to illegal or undesirable content – at least until you are sure they have the skills needed to protect themselves online.

So which sites present a danger to your kids, and what can you do about them?

Social networking sites

Social media has taken the world by storm – and your kids want to get involved too. But there’s a reason that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram insist that their users must be aged at least 14 – there’s a lot of unsavoury content out there.

Despite this age restriction, many kids are lying about their age and signing up anyway. Which means they are opening themselves to unsuitable content or approaches by criminals.

The most effective way to prevent these problems is to simply block access to social network sites. The Panda Gold Protection antivirus allows you to do just this on your family’s computers.

Warez and torrents

Software piracy is a major problem as criminals share games, videos and software online illegally. Downloading these files – sometimes called ‘warez’ – is completely illegal and could see you prosecuted in court.

It is not unusual for these files to be compromised with malware either. Malware that can steal your personal data, or destroy your computer.

It is vitally important that you prevent access to warez sites, as well as those listing torrents – the tool used to download these files. Your

You should seriously consider blocking access to illegal content for the adults in your house as well the children!

Chat and unrestricted message boards

Online communities aimed at kids, like Club Penguin and Minecraft, tend to be very proactive at detecting and blocking adults who attempt to use the platform for grooming and exploitation. Other “open” forums are not so well managed.

Sites like Omegle and ChatRoulette are notorious for problems for instance. Users are connected randomly for text and video chat – so you have no idea who your kids are talking to – or what they might see. And the same is true of virtually any open chat forum.

Again, you should help your kids understand where to find “safe” online communities, and to avoid those that could be dangerous. You can back this up by blocking access to unmoderated sites, or which are simply unsuitable for children.

Managing access isn’t as hard as it sounds

Blocking access to dangerous sites sounds time consuming and difficult – but with the right internet security tool, the process is actually very easy.

Panda Gold Protection gives you a number of topics, and you simply select the list that applies. So if you want to stop kids accessing sites about tobacco and smoking, you apply that list to your account.

These block lists are centrally managed, and updated regularly. So as new sites and services become available, they are blocked automatically. And once you are sure your kids are mature enough, you simply deselect the lists to restore access.

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