What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bing, an excellent search tool, makes it too easy to find and watch Internet sex videos. All a kid has to do is hover a mouse over a sex video thumbnail and it starts playing. Unless you set your preferences to "Strict" we actually don't recommend kids use Bing. And because the user (such as your teen) can easily modify the content filter settings, a better solution would be to install a stand-alone filtering program on your computer rather than rely on Bing's options.
What's it about?
Microsoft claims its search engine, Bing, is better than market leader Google because it uses a "decision engine" to help people make more informed choices. Bing's best-known feature so far is "smart motion," a preview mode for video search results. Simply hovering a mouse lets users see and hear videos inside thumbnails without leaving Bing.
Is it any good?
Bing is fast and boasts some whiz-bang features, such as a search history. Bing really does make some decisions easier. However, some parents will think Bing is a tad too good at searching the Internet. Unlike other search engines, Bing pops up a dialog box whenever it finds adult content and asks if the user would like to turn off the Safe Search feature. (Google and Yahoo bury this setting on a preferences page.) The result? Even computer novices can easily disable the built-in filter and get an eyeful by passing the cursor over Bing's live video thumbnails. As one of the most popular search engines out there, it's pretty much expected kids will find themselves on Bing at one time or another. Parents can protect kids by installing filtering programs on home computers and enabling parent controls on kids' computer Web browsers.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about sex before kids see it in action on the Web, which has for some time now been rife with free, hard-core porn; Bing just makes it easier to find. Self respect, disease, pregnancy and parents’ personal beliefs can all be a part of the discussion.
Periodically ask your kids to show you what they've found online that they like. Showing that you're interested in the good stuff they've been finding may mean they're more comfortable coming to you if something on a site bothers them. Make sure kids know to check in if they see something that's hateful, pornographic, or violent.