Welcome to ZSD Runs like clockwork!    


The Internet is a very powerful tool for the exchange of information and ideas. Some of the information available on the Internet is aimed at adult users and is not suitable for children. Moreover there are individuals out there who may abuse this tool in order to entrap and abuse vulnerable parties, including children. We have a duty to protect minors in our society.

The Nature of the Internet

The power of the Internet has completely changed many aspects of our society in the last few decades. The reason that the Internet has become universally accepted as the means of exchanging information is simply because it is totally flexible and it is not controlled, governed or restricted by any party or group of parties.

The Internet grew out of a self regulating environment. It grew faster than most governments and authorities ability to try and control it. It has become ubiquitous to the point where it is now bigger than any control authority. Thus information published on the Internet is available to the widest possible audience, world wide. It has become the most accepted means of information exchange, such that even in small groups and communities, it is still the most convenient mechanism for information exchange.

While the Internet has made a wide range and enormous volume of information available, by its very nature there is no control over the quality or content of that information. As the quantity of information is so vast, it is inevitable that some of it may be considered to be inaccurate or undesirable by some parties. Typically this information is available to any party who chooses to look for it.

Thus it falls on the individuals who use the Internet to evaluate the information provided and to exercise caution when making use of this information. While adults can reasonably be expected to exercise their judgment and discretion in this regard the same cannot be assumed for children.

Education of Minors
Any adult who makes an Internet service available to a child should also accept the responsibility of educating that child. This implies teaching the child how to use the service, but also how to read and interpret the information provided. Children should also be taught the rights of information providers (such as Copyright) as well as how to use and how not to use other party's information. Children need to be taught to read and interpret information so as to be able to form a judgment on its accuracy and suitability. They also need to be taught to recognize undesirable material and to stay away from sources that provide this material.
Monitoring of Minors
Part of the education process is a monitoring process. While a child is advised on how to use the Internet they should also be monitored by the educator. The exact nature of how monitoring is implemented will depend on the situation. Often a simple technique, such as placing the Internet Access computer in a public area (such as a common room in a home) will suffice. However it must be accepted, that due to the nature of the service 100% monitoring of a child's use of the Internet is just not feasible.
Tools for Monitoring Internet Usage
There are software programs designed to monitor a child's use of the Internet. This is sometimes termed "Nanny Software". These tools incorporate a multitude of technologies to help determine "un-desirable" content from other content. They check web URL names for bad words and phrases, consult published lists of known un-desirable sites, examine the content of sites for undesirable words or phrases and check tags placed on images by publishers of adult material which marks them as being not suitable for children.
    However it is important to understand some aspects common to all Nanny Software:

  • It is not possible to block all undesirable content.
  • It is not possible to block undesirable content without inadvertently blocking some innocent content too.
  • For these tools to be effective, a guardian or administrator must actively maintain them, typically by adding lists of websites to "white lists" and "black lists".
Zls Linux Servers for Internet Access Control
ZSD Specialises in providing Linux Firewall/E-mail servers, mainly for small to medium sized businesses. These have a variety of tools that can be used to control and monitor Internet access. While these servers are typically used in business environments, where children would not be expected to use the service, they provide a variety of tools which have proven useful in monitoring and control of Internet Access in these environments.

However we can also install "Nanny Software" on servers which are to be used in public access environments such as hotels, libraries and schools. Please contact ZSD for more information.
Links to Other Information
The Internet Service Provider's Association keeps a list of links to websites that provide information on protecting minors from undesirable content on the internet.