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News

Social networking site age verification

Steganos : 10 September, 2007  (New Product)
Additional parental protection product offered by Solid Oak Software with the introduction of age verification software for social networking sites.
Internet content management software publisher Solid Oak Software today introduced its new CYBERsitter V-Token technology. Primarily designed as a parental control system, this new patent pending technology allows parents to specify the ages or age ranges of their children and what types of content or activities that should not be allowed when their children visit a web site. A special token is transmitted when a web page request is made by the child and content providers can adjust their offerings to comply with the parents' wishes.

Parents simply need to download a small program that allows them to configure their preferences for each restricted user. Whenever a user visits any web site, these preferences are sent automatically to the remote server with every page request. Content providers can easily decode these preferences using any web scripting language such as .NET or PHP and offer content and services the parent has not restricted.

There has been an enormous amount of press coverage in recent months regarding the need for age verification for social networking. Internet filters such as CYBERsitter only give parents the option to block or allow particular web sites. According to Brian Milburn, president of Solid Oak, social networking sites are not a black and white issue. Popular sites like MySpace, FaceBook, Bebo, Zanga and YouTube are not inherently inappropriate for children, however some content and activities are not appropriate for all ages. Concerned parents and government officials are requesting ways to have better control over what children are allowed to do on these types of web sites.

"It is simply not reasonable to encumber parents with an age verification process for every popular site their kids want to visit. Nor is it reasonable to inconvenience millions of adult aged users who may want to remain anonymous. CYBERsitter V-Token technology allows parents and content providers to cooperate in offering a safer environment without overburdening anybody. You can think of it like a 'note from Mom' saying what their kids can do and what they can't," says Milburn. "A one time installation will work with every web site in the world. All content providers need to do is simply honor the parents' wishes."

Solid Oak has been continuously in the Internet filtering business since 1995 under the same ownership. Its flagship product, CYBERsitter, has been a leader in family friendly content management for over 12 years and is the only product of its kind to win the prestigious PC-Magazine Editors' Choice award 5 times.
The CYBERsitter V-Token technology is offered as a freely downloadable software application. It will also be incorporated into the upcoming Version 10 release of the full CYBERsitter filtering software. Parents can optionally certify the installation using a credit card for full COPPA compliance if they desire.
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