You know when you type in an innocent phrase and the search comes up with something that is not even rated appropriate for an adult? This can be very scary for any parent when you have young kids in the house. We all know it is not easy keeping your kids safe when on the internet. I have 3 boys of my own starting with the oldest of 12, a middle child of 10 and the little demon child of 2. My boys love computers, devices or anything tech (makes sense, they are my little minions). So I started thinking how can I help them be a little safer when searching for things online. Then it hit me, there must be a kid safe search engine out there that will work for them. Thus began the search for options to help keep kids safe online. As a tech and a dad I want to share this knowledge with other parents. We have to stick together and help each other out, right? With my research, I came across quite a few suggestions but many of them either did not exist anymore, were not user friendly or were not as kid friendly as they suggested. Now it is 2016 so we need what will work for our kids today, not 4 years ago.
I guess we should get started and share what I have found. Drum roll please… Here are my top 5 kid-safe internet options for 2016!
Criteria I used in my decision:
- Search test words Boob, Sex and Beer (if these come up it is probably a no go for me – Beer is my safe word to test the strength of the filter, so this can show up and still pass)
- Ease of use
First one on the list is Kidtopia. As with most of the options I ran into during my research, this one uses Google Safe search. Kidtopia does an okay job in the filtering department but where it failed was with my search word “SEX”. Nothing too bad – the results that come up look to be more of educational type websites on sex. Of course, I did bump into an ad from Amazon.com which took me to sex toys. If you look at the “About Us” you will realize why it pulled that up. This website was designed by school librarians for elementary school students and their teachers, and I figure the librarians want to make sure they are educated on these subjects. Even though it has some filter issues it is still a good search tool for kids. You should give this one a look.
Next is KidRex, this one is not too flashy and makes searching simple. Love that they use a kids drawing on the front page. The filter is much better so nothing comes up when you type in my test words or any other word a kid might come up with. I feel this is a good search tool for younger kids.
Third on my list is Kidz Search. At first glance I was a little worried that this one would have a bunch of ads. You know what I’m talking about. But after a little time I actually found it to be a very nice kid-safe search tool, plus it did not have ads all over the place. The links on the front are a great way for your kids to find things that they could be interesting in. The filter is pretty good and like all the other sites you can recommend words to have filtered out. Very solid kid-safe option.