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How to Choose a Family Friendly Internet Provider in Canada

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An internet provider offers services that enable you to connect to the internet. Canadian families need to be able to protect their kids from unwholesome content such as pornography, bestiality, bullying and violence. Not all Canadian ISPs offer the same level of censoring and protection for kids. Due to the divergent methods of child safety, it is important to look for the following features when choosing a family friendly ISP.


Filter Software

ISPs provide parental control or filter software to enable parents to block access to websites that are potentially harmful to children. This software (which is also known as "filterware") may be used to shield kids from child pornography newsgroups, harmful chat and email. Generally, most filterware contains three components: an updated list of websites to be blocked, words which trigger the blockage of a website and the use of internet rating services. When all three methods are combined, they filter out most of the unwanted material. However, there is an exception to this - a search engine like Google can display results that contain obscene language. To overcome this, you should use a child-friendly search engine.


Free Filterware

Some ISPs are now going the extra mile to provide proprietary filter ware to protect kids and other family members from objectionable material. They also give you the option of using another company's software with their unlimited internet plans. If you want to save cost, you can use an internet provider that offers free filter software. But it is possible to use filtering software that will increase the cost of internet access by close to $100 annually.

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Child Friendly Links

When your ISP has helped you to block content from harmful newsgroups, chat rooms and other areas of the internet, you need to provide safe substitutes for your children to interact online. Young children need a place where they can chat online as well as interesting sites that cater to the needs of young people. So a good ISP will assist parents by creating a list of child friendly links and posting them on their servers.


Protective Newsgroup Policy

Unfortunately, many ISPs do not make enough effort to eliminate newsgroups that promote child pornography. Some of them claim that they are promoting freedom of expression online. Newsgroups are stored on the servers of the ISP and any company that allows sites that are explicitly devoted to child pornography is violating the law that regulates the storage of such material. It is very easy for ISPs to prevent access to these sites and parents should ask an ISP for their policy on newsgroups and blocking of pedophilia.


Extra Email Addresses

Most internet providers only give their subscribers one email account. This implies that every member of the family has to share one account. But additional email addresses will enable each family member to have an account. As a result, older kids who need to establish a personal identity will have an email address for that purpose. Also, the family can use one email address as a public address to register on websites that use email marketing to send endless sales pitches and advertising messages.


Those are some of the features that parents should look for when they are planning to subscribe to a family friendly ISP in Canada. The policy of the ISP on child protection, newsgroups, and internet filtering software must be clear and diligently pursued by the company.

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