An educational software developer reviews a software package that blocks access to pre-determined Internet sites.
From: email@example.com Sex. Erotica. Bondage. Fetishes. Centerfolds. Pornography. Do I have your attention? Those are some of the way stations on the Internet. They are also places most of us don't want our children to visit.
But now there's SurfWatch ($49.95, SurfWatch Software, 800-458-6600), an easy-to-install program that blocks access to the nearly 500 sites on the Internet that deal with sexually explicit material. When you try to access one of those sites, a window appears that says "Blocked by SurfWatch."
True, thousands of new sites appear every day. But you can subscribe to an update service for $5.95 a month. "Depreciated" over my nine children, that's just $8 per child per year.
SurfWatch is activated immediately upon loading the program. To try it out, I checked into the popular World Wide Web site www.yahoo.com. I searched on "sex" and found 278 listings. Each time I tried to access one of the erotic discussion groups, SurfWatch popped up and blocked my efforts.
My only complaint? The program denied me access to my local paper, the Middlesex News. n
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Bill Bowman is president of LOGAL Software, in Cambridge, Mass.