Internet Service Providers Offer Parental Controls – But Don’t Forget Your Browser

Article Posted by Expert Author: Jesse Schwarz  on 10/31/2014

PC users surfing the internet with a browser like Firefox may not realize that plugins are available with parental controls built right in.  But take note - you have to configure the settings for optimal performance. Although many internet service providers offer security suites that perform some blocking and filtering tasks, tweaking the browser’s parental controls feature is the easiest way to step up security and ensure your little ones don’t gain access to the wrong websites while online.

When you add the right plugin, monitoring your children’s internet use becomes an easy task. With this web browser, you can control the websites your kids visit, keep track of their browsing habits, screen and limit downloads and program use, and manage the contacts and e-mail addresses they are permitted to use.

An added bonus for many of these security features is the ability to block websites that use malicious tactics like phishing or transferal of viruses.

Categories that parents can configure include topics like Adult, Alcohol, Extremist Groups, Nudity, Drugs, War and Violence, Weapons, and Peer-to-Peer File Sharing, to name a few.

How to Find Plugins Available Through Firefox:

  1. Open your Firefox browser and click on Tools.  Then select Add-ons.
  2. Click on Get Add-ons, and then search for "Parental Control" in the Add-ons Manager.
  3. Click on Show All Search Results.  Review the various add-ons available.  Blocksi is one web filter and parental control application that supports 79 internet categories, and has access to a database with over 76 million websites and over 20 billion web pages rated for safety.  FoxFilter is another option that is easy to administer for a small fee. 
  4. When you have selected the plugin you wish to install, click on download.  You will need to accept any terms and conditions put forth before you install.
  5. If Firefox is blocking the download, you'll need to click on "Allow".
  6. You will need to restart Firefox under most circumstances in order to activate the plugin.
  7. Next click on Extensions at the Add-On Manager.  You should see the Plug-in listed.  Click on Options if available, and configure the tool.  For instance, with Blocksi there is a quick filter for parents or children if your child will access the computer.  There is also Advanced Filtering Options where you can select specific categories to block.  Finally, you can set up individual user accounts and enable passwords.  Select the options and make modifications that suit your family's needs.
  8. Click on OK once you are finished.

Besides at the browser level, make sure you set up the parental control locks in Windows 8. It's easy to beef up security and add another layer of protection in addition to that which is supplied by high speed internet providers.

To ensure your browser’s parental controls are working properly, it’s important to run the latest version of Firefox at all times. You can download updated versions by going to the website and clicking the download link on the Firefox page. You can also set your computer up to check for updates regularly.

Parental controls do more than just protect your children – they also offer security against downloading files that contain viruses. While high speed internet providers give you protection against dangerous files, the settings on your browser prevent suspicious downloads from infecting your computer.

The software ISPs in your neighborhood offer to filter websites and content is invaluable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add more security whenever you can. There is more information about internet providers at

Fortunately, Mozilla is known for excellent customer service, so if you ever need assistance with setting up parental controls, don’t hesitate to contact them with your concern or problem.

With some browsers parental controls are not an option, so it may be time to update your computer if you’re concerned about filtering the websites and files your children view while on the internet. Keeping everything up to date is generally a good idea because your system will be less prone to security breaches.

Article Posted In:  kids safety  parental controls  

Categories: internet serviceparental controlskids safetyanti virus software