What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids using Buddy Browser can visit pre-approved sites -- like Nick, Nickelodeon's Web site. Kids also can ask to add a site to their list of favorites -- but the site will only be added after an email is sent to their parents asking if the site is OK.
What's it about?
Parents can download and launch BUDDYBROWSER to let their kids surf the Web more safely. Kids are technically on the Internet. But they can't just type in any URL and access a site: They can only click through to Web sites that the site administrators have already approved. The pre-screened sites are grouped into categories that are based mostly on educational subject matter -- such as math and history. A special section for toddlers links to sites like the Snoopy Web site and Barbie site.
Is it any good?
Buddy Browser can help parents control what content their kids' access online -- long before kids ever log on. The nifty parental controls allow them to disable other Internet browsers while Buddy Browser is being used; parents also are able to limit the number of hours their child uses the Buddy Browser each day. And the content that kids can currently access through the browser -- while clearly still growing -- is decent. Buddy Browser features a number of games and links to educational sites that offer everything from historical information and homework help. However, not every kid can take advantage of the safe surfing: At least for now, Buddy Browser only works on PCs, not Macs.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why it might be a good idea for parents to review Web sites before kids look at them. What kind of content might parents not want kids to see? How do you know that the site you're clicking to from another site is OK -- even if the site you started on was safe and was meant for kids?