RealTime IT News

Lycos Offers Surfing Families a SafetyNet

Lycos Inc. today added the new "SafetyNet" feature to its popular search and navigation guide, a free filtering service targeted at parents concerned about their children accessing adult content on the Internet.

The move comes at a time when parental fears continue to grow about the kind of content children are being exposed to on the Internet every day, in addition to concerns voiced by the U.S. Department of Commerce last week regarding online privacy.

Lycos said SafetyNet differs from other Net "sitters" that allow children to surf only those sites that are designated to be safe. The service is designed to complement Lycos' search engine technology and allow kids to safely surf the entire World Wide Web.

Parents have the option of turning SafetyNet on or off by typing in a password, and it can be activated on the Lycos home page as well as on all search results pages. The service suppresses potentially offensive material during a search and delivers safer relevant sites, according to Lycos.

In addition to sexually explicit material, Lycos said racist and hate content is weeded out during searches.

The company said SafetyNet is also designed to ensure that children are protected from unsupervised interaction with adults on the Net by deactivating Lycos chat, e-mail, and message boards.

"Families who use the Internet are asking for a better way to control the information that comes into their homes," said Bob Davis, president and CEO of Lycos, in a statement. "Research shows that three-quarters of Internet users want a search engine that allows on-demand blocking of adult content. SafetyNet offers this protection, making the Web a more predictable and controllable place for children and providing a more enjoyable experience for everyone."