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Do your children spend a lot of time online? Are you worried about what they might come across? There are a few ways to control what your children view online.

There has been a lot of talk about "regulating the Internet". Making sure that it's clean of information that may be harmful to our children is the common argument. On the other side of the aisle, people feel that doing so would hinder our rights to free speech. The key to solving this dilemma is with self-regulation.

Parents should have the ability to decide which information is, and what information is not, appropriate for their children to access. The industry has responded to this need by creating "filtering software". These software blocks out sites and content that any given parent can deem as being "inappropriate" for their children.

How does it work? Some companies have a team of surfers, which surf the net looking for sites, finding sites that should be blocked, and also the keywords for the site in the source code.

If the program matches a keyword in the source code with a word in the list of blocked sites then the site will be blocked. It will redirect the site your trying to access to a page saying that it is a blocked site. Although no filtering software will be able to block all the sites, it will block about 95% of them. Many schools, library and other public places that offer the use of the Internet use software like this.

You can also use proxy servers. Some proxy servers are just used to filter sites that are unacceptable. Proxy servers use the Meta tags in the code for the web site to tell weather the site is acceptable or not. And if it is not redirects you to a different page telling the user that it is a blocked site.