Most parents know to put the computer in a high-traffic area to cut down on private viewing time and its temptations, but absent a parent's watchful eye or Spector, try a program that limits access. America Online's Young Teen setting ( provides the best protection, according to Consumer Reports, but other filtering software, such as Cyber Patrol ($49.95;, which employs controls over when your child can go online and blocks inappropriate sites, works well, too. CYBERsitter 2000 ($39.95; and Norton Internet Security 2001 ($79.95; both control access to at least 20 categories of subject matter, while Net Nanny ($39.95; keeps a log of your child's online activity, including attempts to access blocked sites.

Three good sites to visit for information on how to protect children online are,, and

And what do kids think of all this high-tech parenting? Jessica Rosenfield, a 17-year-old high school senior from Brooklyn Heights, New York, says it's OK as long as it doesn't cross the line and turn into spying. "[Privacy is] what we all want, and I think that the closer we are monitored the more we sneak around," she says.
LIFESTYLE DIVERSION now offers a favorite diversion of many American Way readers - the incredibly popular Long-Haul Crossword Puzzle.