Filtering, in my opinion, plays an absolutely necessary role in keeping you, your family and your computer safe while on the Internet. Forget about accidentally coming across offensive content. An Internet filter can also keep you safe from spyware, malware, viruses, and even information theft.
As it turns out, K9 Web Protection happens to be a pretty good solution as it is free for home use. Let me share with you how easy it is to install and set up and we’ll see some of the many features that will help keep you, your family and your computer safe on the web.
Installing K9 Web Protection
Installation is very easy. Start by heading to the website and clicking on “Download K9 today for free.”
Next you are given some instructions and a short form to fill out. You need to give your name and email address so they can send you a license key. Don’t worry because even though you will be given a license key, it is still free.
Once you have the email message, you will have the download link, the license key and some further instructions. You will need to enter the license key and a password during the installation process. Do not, under any circumstances, forget your password. Being security software, getting around without the password will be quite impossible. You will need it to make changes and even to uninstall the software, should you ever need to. Once the installation is finished, you will be asked to reboot your computer. Annoying, I know, but it is necessary.
Set Up Your Options
As you can see from the Administration panel, you have several options such as viewing Internet activity, setting up and getting help.
We’ll check out the Internet activity section later but for now let’s get things set up properly.
In the setup menu you have several areas to deal with. Let’s begin by choosing what kind of content to block.
You can block anything such as pornography, security threats, social networking sites and illegal activity. You can choose one of the categories on the list, set up your own custom settings under “custom” or even set K9 to just monitor the sites being visited. It’s all up to you.
Another area of settings you may find helpful is the time restrictions section.
K9 Web Protection can help you manage what times of the day the Internet can be accessed. Either set it to unrestricted (Internet is always accessible), NightGuard (blocks access every evening between the times you choose), or custom (choose access times throughout the day allowing different times for different days).
There is also a section to have some websites as exceptions to the rules you have set up.
For instance, you can choose sites to always block or always allow. Also, when a restricted site comes up that you want to allow, you’ll be given the option (provided you know the password).
You can also choose what happens when a page is blocked.
You can choose to have a barking noise sound, have some options to change the settings, and you can even enable a timeout of internet access if restricted site access is attempted too many times in a row.
There are even more options including a whole advanced options section. Install K9 Web Protection to try it out and see what kind of use you can put it to.
The “View Internet Activity” Section
This is where you can keep tabs on what sites are being accessed.
On the summary page you can get an overall idea of the activity. You can also view the details of the activity.
Is K9 Web Protection an end all solution to keeping your family safe online? Probably not. You still need things like education and parental involvement but K9 Web Protection can be a real help in the filtering department (also check out Karl’s review of OpenDNS as another filtering option).
What do you use for content filtering for your family’s Internet use? And do you even agree with me that filtering should be part of an Internet safety plan? Please share in the comments.