Numerous Internet Safety Programs Lead to Confusion

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For concerned parents looking for online monitoring software for their computer, the challenge soon becomes where to start.

When searching the Internet for software programs, dozens upon dozens of options turn up. It can be hard to determine which program is the best fit for your needs.

"There are basic things you need to look for such as keyboard filtering, also a list of blocked sites that it updates routinely," said Craig Paull of Systek Computing Technologies. "It needs to have regular updates. It needs to have white listening where you can allow certain sites."

Advanced technology has led to new software programs that can help parents keep track of their child's online browsing. Parents have several options as to how they keep an eye on their child's activities.

"A content filter is designed to block certain things. It will do that for you essentially," Paull said. "A monitoring software will just record what's being done and notify you if certain content is being accessed, but it won't actually restrict it."

A third option of using a router is also available, as many have built in filtering devices where users can specify content.

Officials say all of these can deter kids from accidentally stumbling into dangerous territory.

"A lot of times you inadvertently type the wrong address and you get to a website you never really intended to go to," Paull said. "It's very easy to accidentally happen upon some inappropriate content."

The issue of online safety is one Attorney General Greg Abbott holds very dear.

"I think parents have an obligation to put software on their computer, to track what their child is sending out to the world," said Abbott.