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The Duggar Family’s Internet Safety Tips for Kids

CollegeStudents_Steps_400Learn how to protect your kids from inappropriate content on the web. (Hint: Be sure to deny access to search engines!) From A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work.

We tell our children, “Welding metal together is an incredible process. It is interesting to watch, but if you don’t protect your eyes, you will go blind! Similarly, if men, young and old, do not have internet protection and accountability, they will scar their eyes, which are the windows to the soul.” For that reason, we have set up multiple safeguards on our Mac computers, creating parental controls that strictly limit Internet access.

I realize that the limits we set for our children may be different than those set by others, but so many have asked us about it that I want to share our thinking with you here.

During their free time, our kids can go to more than seventy-five prescreened websites for fun and educational information and activities. Some of their favorites are lifeatthepond.com and focusonthefamily.com. The sites they’re able to visit don’t include any search engines or websites that have full-web search engines as part of the site. We also double-check to verify that any embedded YouTube videos on those pre-approved sites don’t also have a YouTube search engine.

If the kids need to go to the open Internet to research something, they need an accountability partner to sit alongside them as they go on the web, and before they can begin, Mom or one of the older girls must type in the Internet-protection password. They’re the only ones who know it.

Last year we acquired a few iPhones. They are handy and fun to use; we can check the bank balance or the ten-day weather forecast in an instant. But because they are Internet enabled, they also need to be password protected. The ones used by Dad and the boys don’t have Safari or any other application that leads to a search engine.

To keep an iPhone safe from open Internet access, you have to thoroughly examine every application you are considering, as well as anything it links to and from. Even with the Safari web browser turned off, sometimes an ad on an application will lead to the open Internet.

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