All about CompuServe’s parental controls

CompuServe’s parental controls

CompuServe’s parental controls

You get to CompuServe’s Parental Controls Center from the Home Desktop by clicking the Go… button, selecting the Parental Controls tab, and clicking the Parental Controls icon. (Alternately, you can GO CONTROLS.) As you can see in Fig. 4.1, the Parental Controls Center lets you set controls for both the CompuServe service and CompuServe’s Internet services. In addition, the Talk About It button takes you to a special Parental Controls Forum.

CompuServe’s parental controls

Setting CompuServe limits

Click the CompuServe Controls button to access the CompuServe Controls area (shown in Fig. 4.2). In this area, you can enable and disable access to selected areas on CompuServe and to Internet services that you go to directly from CompuServe, such as newsgroups and FTP sites.

CompuServe’s parental controls

When you click the Use CompuServe Controls button, you’re prompted to enter a password. This password protection prevents others from changing the access settings. On your first visit, you’re also asked to enter a question. Enter any personal question that only you can answer. (This is in case you forget your password at some later date; you’ll be asked the personal question instead)

The next screen lets you restrict access to either CompuServe (CIS) or Internet services, either for the current session or permanently. After you make your choices, click OK, and the restrictions will be put into effect.

These restrictions are based on a “Cyber NOT” list maintained by a third party contracted by CompuServe. The restricted content on the Cyber NOT list includes.

  • Alcohol and tobacco
  • Drugs and drug culture
  • Gambling
  • Gross depictions (pictures or text that are vulgar or improper)
  • Intolerance (advocating prejudice or discrimination)
  • Militant /extremist
  • Nudity
  • Profanity
  • Questionable/illegal activities
  • Satanic/cult
  • Sex education
  • Sexual acts
  • Violence

According to CompuServe, these criteria are determined by a panel of parents and teachers hired by Micro Systems, Inc., the developer of the software. Members of the panel supposedly come from the Parent-Teachers Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the clergy, the media, and the psychology profession. The panel’s decisions are based on the impact an area’s content could have on a typical 12-year-old child.

Note that evaluation of these topics is made for you; you cannot pick and choose among restricted sites. You can only deactivate the controls completely.