CCrane WIFI2 Radio

Free Protection for Kids Online

Boot Camp feature for Monday, August 30, 1999

Software to protect your kids online, for free. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. A lot of parents are justifiably worried about turning their children loose on the Internet. There are lots of programs around that filter content in different ways. One of the best solutions for younger kids, is absolutely free, from a company called surfmonkey.com. It integrates the filtering engine from SurfWatch into the SurfMonkey browser or into the new browser bar that works with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. CEO David Smith...

"There's a button indicating whether the safety is on or off and when that button is on, or off, then the child is prevented from producing inappropriate web sites. Also, we do multiple layers of filtering so we actually communicate with our servers, check if the site is okay before we go there. Then when the page comes in, we filter it on the fly and take out any bad words on the fly. We also provide the child with message boards, chat, email...their own sort of community features where the parents decide who the kids can communicate with and then they block any communication with strangers."

The browser bar takes only about a minute to download and again, it's free. The catch?

"Primarily that we're setting up a shopping mall for kids that features toys, games, fashion, music, entertainment."

SurfMonkey hopes to attract kids and their parents for one stop safety and online shopping.