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How to Check Your Teen's Online Activity

Different Internet browsers have slightly different ways of pulling up the history. Below are step-by-step guides for three of the most popular Internet browsers. If your child uses a different browser, go to the online support page for that program and search for “Browser History.”

  • In Internet Explorer, select the Favorites menu and select History. You will see a listing that can be sorted by date, site name, sites visited most often or most frequently.
  • In Safari, select the History menu and then select Show All History. If you want to see further back into the browser’s history, go to the Safari menu and select Preferences. In the General preferences, look for Remove History Items and select a time frame.
  • In Firefox, select the History menu and then select Show All History

A number of software programs are available to help parents keep a watchful eye on their kids’ online activities. Some, such as SafetyWeb and SocialShield, will send an alert to parents if language or photos in their child’s social networking activities signal possible trouble.

Keep in mind, your child can probably get around your monitoring efforts. Further, if you monitor without maintaining an open dialogue with your teenager, you may miss the opportunity to help him develop safe Internet skills that will serve him well, no matter what new technology comes along next.

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