It’s been on my to-do list for a while now, something called “parental controls”. My thoughts around that has to do with having a pre-tween in the house, as Penny is well into fourth grade and the school is asking her to have, as part of her fourth grade supplies, a USB flash drive. She’ll be using the computer, and the internet connection, more and more.<br />n<br />nThe sites to check that I’ve been collecting so far include:<br />n<a href=”http://www.safekids.com” title=”safekids dot com”>safekids.com</a><br />n<a href=”http://www.connectsafely.org” title=”connect safely dot org”>connectsafely.org</a><br />n<a href=”http://www.digitalpassport.org” title=”digital passport dot org”>digitalpassport.org</a><br />n<br />nThe first two sites talk a lot about safety on the internet for children, what parents should know, how to talk to your kids about it. That’s all good stuff, and I think we probably have a handle on how to do that. But what I’m most interested in is how to monitor and possibly filter our internet connection when the kids are connected.<br />n<br />nThat can be done at the network level, by adjusting settings at the router level, but that might be overkill. My thoughts now are more along the lines at the user account level, including setting up and monitoring email traffic. At some point real soon, we will be setting Penny up with an email account, probably at our personal domain. Some of her friends are already have email accounts, so it’s probably only days until she’s asking for her own. Gmail can probably do a better job of providing such tools, so I wonder if setting up a gmail account might be easier, and it might even provide better control from a parent perspective.<br />n<br />nI’m up for any suggestions, so please either enter them in the comments or email me directly. If nothing else, it will get me off my bum to finally do this properly, including the thinking that’s needed before actual implementation.