There are a number of search engines which offer child-friendly content only. They achieve this by filtering out inappropriate content. In general, this is achieved by using human beings to filter out the unsuitable sites. The filtered sites include those which address explicit sexual matters, pornography, violence, drug use, and gambling etc.
Most major search engines including Google, Yahoo (in the main) and MSN obtain their listings by trawling the web and then using advance techniques to determine search results. The fact there is no human review and categorisation, as with the child-friendly sites, means it's easy for undesirable material to appear in search results.
As a solution, most major search engines offer the ability to filter the results to keep out pornography and other material that you would not want your children to encounter. Below are some tips on enabling child safe filtering in major search engines:
Google: Go to the Google Home Page, select Preferences (on the right of the search box) and in the SafeSearch Filtering section select the option for 'Use strict filtering (Filter both explicit text and explicit images)'.
MSN Search: Use the Safe Search Filter on the Settings page.
Yahoo: Set the SafeSearch Filter option via the Search Preferences page.
AltaVista: Use the Family Filter Setup page.
AOL Search: Doesn't appear to offer a filter, but enabling Parental Controls might have an impact on web search matches.
Ask Jeeves: Use options for Content Filtering on the Your Settings page or try Ask For Kids.
Lycos: Use the Adult Filter section of the Advanced Search Filters page.
Internet Safety Websites
Here are some websites that we use in school to teach internet safety issues
A safe search engine, as an alternative to Google (sadly with no images option). It also has few resources for basic internet safety rules.
Safety rules in Symbols
Download posters of internet safety rules, written in Widgit symbols.
A series of cartoons suitable for younger pupils or students at a lower maturity level. They cover the full range of internet safety issues. There are also some downloadable colouring pages.
Lots of information and activities to practice using things like email and chat rooms safely. Suitable for all ages, but requires reasonably fluent readers.
Lots of good information, but a bit wordy, so most of the site requires good readers. In the ‘Skills School’ area there are videos explaining how to use the privacy settings on Facebook, MSN, Beebo, Club Penguin and all of the popular sites. As these are videos, they may be easier to access for many of our pupils.
Fun games with an internet safety theme. Some games require reading; others could be played independently with help to read the instructions.
BBC Stay safe
More suited to secondary level. Includes interactive videos presented by Tracy Beaker characters, in which you can make choices about what to do in different situations. They may throw up some other PSHE issues, such as friendships and relationships etc..
This site also has some internet rules and a quiz, presented by Dongle rabbit.
Very good detailed information, to do with pop ups, file sharing, spam, identity theft and viruses. It is aimed at older teenagers and young adults. The site gives a run down of why things happen on the computer and how to sort them out. There is a lot to read and it is written in a mature manner, so it will not be appropriate for all students. This site may also be useful to adults who want practical advice about these topics.
Further Internet Safety Links:
General Online advice on how to stay safe online: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk
How to guides on devices and Youtube:
Parental controls for tablets
Parents' Ultimate Guide to TikTok (Commonsense Media)
TikTok app safety – What parents need to know (Internet Matters)