Controlling which sites your kids can visit

My kids are 8, 6 and 6, and although they spend a lot of time online, they spend it on just a handful of sites -- Playhouse Disney, Webkinz, Jumpstart, Nick JR, Tinkerbell fairies, and a few other kids' sites.  All they have to do to get there is click on an item in the "Favorites" list on their Firefox browser, and once they're on, they can click around the site as much as they want.  It really hasn't occurred to them that there are *other* places on the internet that they could visit, and the concept of surfing is alien to them.  The closest they've gotten to it is click on the other videos that show up on the YouTube sidebar when they ask me if they can watch videos of other kids showing off their Bakugan.

 

But now they're starting to notice that mom and dad actually type things into that white box on the top of the browser.  They know how list boxes work, and recently I've seen them scrolling through the list  "recently visited" sites.   We have Microsoft Windows XP, so we set up a "guest" account that the kids use to log on.  They don't use my logon account or my husbands, and they don't have access to our bookmarks, favorites, recently visited list, etc... , but we do get visitors (i.e. visiting grandparents, aunts, friends coming over for dinner who want to quickly check their email) who *do* use that computer to surf  -- and I don't know what sites they go on. I can easily imagine my kids inadvertently clicking on a review for an R-rated movie because a visitor checked the reviews on it a week ago.  Or maybe one of these days my daughter will decide to type in some random word into Google and scroll through the results.

 

I'm wondering if it's time to start putting up parental controls on our browsers. Am I being paranoid?  Do your home computers have kid-friendly filters?  What made you decide to put them up?

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