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How To Make Yahoo! Safe For Kids

As you're well aware, not every page on the Web is suitable for underage viewing. Fortunately, Yahoo! offers several options that help you protect your children from inappropriate content online.

Yahoo's Mature Content Filter The first line of defense is to filter inappropriate content from Yahoo!'s search results. Yahoo! offers a Mature Content Filter you can apply when searching; with this filter activated, Web pages containing Sex or language or other bad stuff are automatically deleted from all search results. To activate Yahoo!'s Mature Content filter, click the Preferences link next to the Search button on Yahoo!'s home page. Scroll down the Search Preferences page to the Mature Content Filter section; you can choose from Strict (filters text and images) or Moderate (filters images only) filtering, or turn the filter off.

Yahoo! Family Accounts Another available option is to create a Yahoo! Family Account. This enables you to create separate Yahoo! IDs for each of your children. You can then control what information your children give to Yahoo!-and determine which Yahoo! features your children can and can't access.

The key to managing your Family Account is to create separate Yahoo! IDs for each of your children. There are two classes of children's IDs available with Yahoo! Family Accounts: Under 13 and 13 to 18. Each age class has its own unique restrictions as part of a Family Account. Under 13 IDs are prohibited from entering any personal information online, participating in auctions or Personals, or accessing any adult areas. The 13 to 18 IDs are only prohibited from participating in auctions and accessing adult areas-but they can leave personal information online. In addition, the primary ID on a Family Account (meaning you!) can log into Yahoo! under any of the other IDs. This enables you to monitor and make changes to your child's account using all of Yahoo!'s various tools-such as blocklists, Buddy lists, and so on.

Creating a Family Account is similar to creating a regular Yahoo! account. The big difference is that-to establish the age of the primary account member- you have to enter a credit card number. (The assumption is that no one under 18 has a credit card.) Yahoo! will not make charges to your card; it only uses the card for age ID purposes. To create your Family Account, go to family.yahoo.com. You should see the Welcome to Yahoo! Family Accounts page; click the Sign Me Up link and complete the steps as instructed. (If you already have a Yahoo! account, just enter your Yahoo! ID and Password.)

Once you've created an account, you can add a new child ID for each of your children. From the Yahoo! Family Accounts page, click the Add Child Account button and follow the onscreen instructions.

Yahooligans! Even better than filtering your children's Internet usage, why not give them their own kids-safe start page to use when they're surfing? Yahoo! provides just such a page-called Yahooligans!

Yahooligans! (www.yahooligans.com) is a kids-oriented directory that is part of the Yahoo! network of sites. Each site listed in the Yahooligans! directory has been carefully checked by an experienced educator to ensure that the site's content is appropriate for children aged 7 to 12.

Yahooligans! works just like the main Yahoo! Web directory, which means you can find sites by either browsing through categories or directly searching. The difference is that this directory includes categories and sites of particular interest to children and teenagers-as well as additional features and services.

In addition to all the cool kids-friendly content, Yahooligans! offers a few other neat features to help protect your children online. For example, when you conduct a search on Yahooligans!, it searches only the Yahooligans! directory-it doesn't back out to the Web for a larger (unsupervised) index search. And the Yahooligans! directory doesn't include sites with any content inappropriate for younger Web surfers, so it's completely kids-safe. In other words, Yahooligans! is the perfect start page for your kids.

By Saidas Gumbelevicius -

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