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More sites for kids

Compiled by Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 12, 2000


Keeping kids safe online
Not all kids can count on an anything-goes summer online.

Online to laugh, to chat, but not to buy
Christina Marsalisi, a seventh-grader with a broad smile, spends 30 hours a week online.

Parents have other choices beyond Alfy.com, Your Own World and Paxway's Internet access service for their children. Some sites and services have greater safeguards, and parents should check out any service thoroughly to make sure it meets their family's needs. Here are a few:

  • Apple KidSafe (itools.mac.com/itoolsmain.html): It's a Macintosh-only service that integrates with the Mac OS 9 operating system and includes many features to allow parents to regulate their kids' Internet use.
  • Ask Jeeves for Kids (www.ajkids.com) and Yahooligans (www.yahooligans.com): These search engines for kids direct users only to age-appropriate sites. As with any search engine, though, even hits on child-friendly sites might have links to places where parents don't want kids to go.
  • Bonus.com (www.bonus.com): Bonus.com gives kids more than 900 Java-based games along with 1,300 other activities that take the tykes from the depths of the ocean to the farthest reaches of space. It provides a measure of security, though computer-savvy kids can find a way around it.
  • JuniorNet (www.juniornet.com): A service that costs $9.95 a month for up to four children, JuniorNet offers content from magazines such as Highlights for Children and Ranger Rick.
  • Surf Monkey (www.surfmonkey.com): It's a kids' community that provides free e-mail accounts and chat rooms, all supervised by adults. With Surf Monkey e-mail, kids can send and receive messages only to friends on a buddy list. Chat rooms also are monitored with everything checked before it's posted.

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