Basic Online Child Safety through VPN


Children need to be taught basics of their online safety and made to understand the reasons.

SafeLabs is a company dedicated to original research of how best to protect our children while they are online. SafeLabs uses VPN technology to redirect all Internet traffic to its servers where it can inspect it and apply appropriate filters.

Few essential things and their remedies that need to be told to a child are:

There are ‘Online Predators’

First and foremost concern while your children are online is to tell them about online predators. There are different types and ways but the most dangerous are the ones who eventually want physical access to your child. They have to look out their search in a location in their vicinity.

The role of IP address in revealing your location.

Whenever you are online, you get a public IP address. If you are at home, it is the IP address provided by your ISP. If you are in a cafe or at airport, it is an IP address provided by the wifi provider.

Visiting a website like http://ipstack.com would reveal many details available through your public IP address. This includes your location. In most cases of online access (web surfing, chatting, talking etc), the other party also knows your public IP address and from there can know a lot of where you are physically located.

If you want to hide your location, hiding your public IP address is a mandatory first step.

How SafeLabs VPN technology helps

As mentioned in our other white paper, VPN technology redirects all your Internet traffic to our VPN server.

Once VPN is connected, your public IP address shows as one of our VPN servers in some of our data centers around the world.

As a typical example, anyone connected to our VPN server in Canada, will show the public IP address as from our data center in Montreal.

There is nothing special SafeLabs is doing here. Any VPN service would hide the public IP address for you.

This is how far the technology can take you. There is no undermining the importance of telling your children to never reveal their private details especially their location to strangers.

There is ‘Adult Content’

Children need to be told that some content is only appropriate once you reach a certain age.

If they see any image which looks inappropriate, they should stay away from it.

Most of the times such websites are opened when a child clicks on a link provided to it through other means like Email or instant messaging.

How SafeLabs VPN technology helps

SafeLabs monitors all web traffic and blocks access to domain names which are showing adult content. There are around 200 new domain names that appear every day showing adult content. With SafeLabs VPN, they are automatically identified by our community / third party partnerships and blocked within hours of appearing.

Access will be blocked even when the link came to the child in an Email, instant messaging, or even embedded deep inside a game or other mobile app.

Search could reveal potentially dangerous results

When children start their search, they start with major search engines like Google or Bing. One search leads to other and child travels further. In fact starting from a search result is the first and most common reason an underage child gets exposed to adult content who otherwise has no clue of the website domain name.

All major search engines are equipped with technology to identify obscene or adult content but will only filter them if the are told to to do. It is typically called ‘Safe Search’ and should be turned on when children are using them.

How SafeLabs VPN technology helps

SafeLabs makes sure that all search requests going to Google, Bing and other major search engines get their Safe Search option turned on.

It is difficult to turn Safe Search options on while searching from mobile phones. SafeLabs does it automatically.

Identity can be stolen

Children need to be taught to keep their password secret. But children mostly lose their identity through a ‘phishing attack’.

As Wikipedia explains it “Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website, the look and feel of which are identical to the legitimate site.”

Phishing attacks can be sophisticated.

How SafeLabs VPN technology helps

SafeLabs keeps a near real-time list of websites providing phishing attacks. Within 24 - 48 hours after a website is identified, it is propagated in all our VPN servers. Even when the links to such websites are hidden in email, instant messages or any other form of communications, they are promptly blocked.

Not all software is trustable; there is Malware.

Malware comes in many shapes. Most of it is blocked by antivirus software. But there are still ways where it can get through. Most spyware doesn’t even need to be installed to catch the eyes of antivirus software.

Children should be taught to never click on ‘install’ button for a software. It can come as a browser extension or an operating system application.

How SafeLabs VPN technology helps

SafeLabs integrates with some of world’s best lists that capture sources of such malicious software. Within hours of identifications, access to such websites is closed.

Ads could be obscene

Ads appear on many websites. Some of them are served through third party ad servers. Children also get to see Ads in apps installed on their mobile devices.