Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Safe Search Engines

Finding Safe Search Engines for schools has long been a struggle since the introduction of the internet. I remember the days when "we" would allow students to surf Yahoo/Google/Hotbot/Lycos etc. hoping "our" filters would catch all the bad stuff. Unfortunately a filter alone does not protect students from getting into inappropriate things. Hence the introduction of sites such as Nettrekker which is a paid search engine for schools. While I like Nettrekker and think is a useful resource for students, there are some free resources that are getting more and more effective at filtering their search results. Below are two of the newer/better search engines around.

Kid Rex - Kid Rex is a search engine built by kids for kids powered by Google's Safe Search Technology. Google's SafeSearch screens for sites that contain explicit sexual content and deletes them from your child’s search results. Google's filter uses advanced technology to check keywords, phrases, and URLs. No filter is 100 percent accurate, but SafeSearch should eliminate most inappropriate material.

Another feature I like about KR is the ability to add sites to their "black list" that you feel are inappropriate. There is an approval process that it has to go through but they are always willing to listen and do what they can to keep things safe. Check out their tips for Online Safety here.

Famhoo - Is a new site that is dedicated to making searching
online safe. Here is a blurb from their site...

Our Search Engine Methodology Although our search engine methodology is confidential, we can tell you that we filter our results in a way that protects your family. We also sort the results in a way that we hope allows you to effectively find the most applicable websites you are searching for.

While I'm not sure I agree w/ keeping their methodology confidential it does appear to do the job and filter out anything that is inappropriate. The one thing I'm not to fond of is the "busy" nature of their home page, it seems to be a bit to cluttered for me.
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