David Anders

Sep 9, 2019 — 9 min read

Knowledge of internet filtering settings and state laws is the first step to keeping your kids safe on the internet.

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As part of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), many states have laws in place for filtering internet content in public schools and libraries. Click any of the states below to learn more about CIPA laws in that state.

Internet laws by state

Most internet service providers include parental controls with their plans to help keep kids safe online, but they don’t offer the same settings. Have conversations about internet safety with your kids, and make a list of the parental controls you need. This will give you an idea of what to look for when researching internet service providers.

Tips to keep your kids safe online

Set up internet filtering

Use your router or internet service provider’s security app to configure child-safe internet filtering. This works just like the filtering system on library and public school computers and lets you control which websites your child can access.

Most internet service providers have a manual detailing how to do this. Here are some of the manuals on how to set up internet filtering from major providers:

Frontier

Verizon

Xfinity

Block websites and keywords you don’t want your child to access

Blocking websites and keywords is the easiest way to ensure your child only has access to trusted internet content. You can block websites and keywords through your router or internet service provider’s security app.

Another way to configure internet filtering is by only allowing your child access to certain websites and keywords. Rather than blocking specific content, you grant access to approved website URLs and keywords. This means all other content is blocked.

Schedule when your child can access the internet

Setting an internet schedule, or a window of time when your child has internet access, is another great option for keeping him or her safe online. Similar to blocking websites and keywords, you can set up access times through your router or internet service provider’s security app.

With an internet schedule, your child will only be able to browse the internet during designated times. So, if you set a start time of 4 p.m. and an end time of 8 p.m. for Monday through Friday, then your child will only be able to get online during this window.

Limiting the time spent in front of the computer may also benefit your child’s development. When creating an internet schedule for your child, make sure they have enough time for homework and some social activities.

“Excessive time online or in front of a computer can cause problems with vision and neurological problems, especially in developing children,” explains personal safety expert Peter J. Canavan.

Add your “trusted devices” to bypass parental control settings

Some internet service providers let you set your personal devices as “trusted devices.” These devices will be able to access websites blocked by parental control settings. This way, you can keep parental controls in place on your child’s devices while bypassing them on your own.

Encourage child internet safety in your home

CIPA laws for schools or libraries may not extend to the home, but that doesn’t mean your child’s home internet experience has to go unprotected.

Educating your child on internet safety and creating a list of the parental control options you need will help you choose which internet service provider will work best for you and your family.

Keep your child informed about why internet safety is important. By encouraging your child to make smart choices while online, you’re helping them develop the confidence to use the internet safely and respectfully.

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