AOL Offers Parental Control Software To All Web Users - InformationWeek

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AOL Offers Parental Control Software To All Web Users

In its bid to become an entertainment portal, AOL is breaking with its past practice of making the software available only to subscribers of its proprietary service.

AOL on Monday started offering its parental controls software to all Web users, the latest step in the Internet service provider's transition to an entertainment portal.

AOL, a unit of Time Warner, has always made the software available to subscribers of its proprietary service, which was mostly used by dial-up subscribers. The tools provide parents with age-based access controls to Web sites, as well as controls on instant messaging and chat. In addition, parents can get email reports on their children's online activities.

The software is available at no charge through the AOL portal. A credit card is needed for age verification during registration.

AOL has been opening up its proprietary services as part of its strategy of transitioning from a closed ISP to a public Web portal competing for ad dollars with Yahoo and others. The move followed several years of a declining subscriber base as people traded dialup for broadband.

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