Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keep Your Children Safe with K9 Web Protection

K9 Web Protection is a FREE Internet filtering and control solution for the home. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your children. You can configure the software to block or allow categories of websites or enter specific URLs to be blocked.

For parents who are blind or visually impaired, K9 lets you know when your child has tried to visit a protected site by playing a barking sound when the blocked website screen appears. You'll instantly know when something's going on by the K9 sound effect.

The interface is web-based, so everything's accessible for those using a screen reader. I really like this software and use it in my home with my two teen-age sons.

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.

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. Click this link to protect your family with K9 web protection.

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