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Child Safety Features
Resources in the Awesome Library have been reviewed for child-safe content, but adult supervision is still appropriate.   Children can leave the Awesome Library; its doors are not locked.   Children can find additional resources on the World Wide Web through unfiltered search engines that are commonly available. The Awesome Library includes the "Google Safe Search" search engine because it has filtering built in for child safety, yet it is one of the fastest, largest, and most accurate search engines.

To restrict children to safe sites when using other major search engines, several approaches are available:

1.)   If you are using Internet Explorer (5.5 or later), you can turn on the built in filtering software and password protect your settings. To turn on the filtering program, select Tools (at the top of the Internet Explorer), then select Internet Options, Content, and then Content Advisor. Select Settings and provide a password. (The first password you invent will be the one that will be used.) Select an RSACi setting for each category. The most restricted setting is "1."

After setting your preferred levels of restriction, go to General within the Content Advisor (not in Internet Options). Be sure that "Users can see sites that have no rating" is unchecked. Make sure the item below it, "Supervisor can type a password...," is checked. Many of the sites in the Awesome Library, Yahooligans, and other safe sites for children are rated and can get through. You will need to spend some time approving sites for future use in the first few uses of the filter and occasionally afterward. Have your child go to his or her most frequently visited sites when you turn on the filter. Most children use no more than 20 sites regularly. Be sure to approve the entire site (near the bottom of the warning menu) when you are approving children's sites. Parental supervision is still strongly recommended.

If you have your child only conduct searches of the Web from within the Awesome Library, or from search sites listed in the Awesome Library, no pornographic sites should ever appear, even you allow sites with no rating to be seen.

2.)   Have your children use the "Homework Helper".   This page includes Web searches just for Kids; ask your children to use only this page for keyword searches.  You can also make the Homeworker Helper page your Home Page.   Then, from anywhere on the Web, your children can select "Home" on the toolbar to return easily.

In order to create the Home Page in Internet Explorer (5.5 and higher), select "Tools" on the toolbar at the top, then "Internet Options."   Place the following address in the space provided:


http://www.awesomelibrary.org/searchek.html

In order to have the Awesome Library always as the Home Page for your child while you use another Home Page, try the Awesome Talkster browser. It can also help children learn to read faster. Set the filtering in Internet Explorer and those settings will automatically be used in the Awesome Talkster the next time the Awesome Talkster is loaded. An unlimited evaluation version of Awesome Talkster is available Here.

3.)   Use software that provides parental control.   Go to Parental Controls and select the software you want; some of it is free, some is not.   The limitation with these filters is that they may restrict your children from access to sites needed for homework. They also may not restrict all of the most undesirable sites. Most are very difficult to uninstall from your computer in case you are not happy with the results. Option no. 1, above, using the Internet Explorer filtering, while staying with search engines approved by the Awesome Library, is currently recommended over other filtering approaches. Option 1 with the Awesome Talkster is an even safer approach.

Exploration of the World-Wide Web can be a great adventure if a few reasonable precautions are taken.   Have a safe and pleasant journey.

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