ALONG with the progress of the Net has come increased concern about children accessing information which many parents feel is inapporpriate. The concern has led to the development of new devices such as those on display at Internet World last week. These devices are meant to help parents monitor and control children's access to the Net. Although there is a great deal of cynicism in the Internet community about the true danger of children accessing pornography, hate literature or bomb recipes as witnessed by a comment dropped in the Internet World press rooms ('One good thing will come of these products - these kids will learn great hacking skills') these products seem to gain acceptance. Net Nanny, for instance, is a well-established product from a Canadian company. Available since January in a DOS version, the newest version, available since July, offers Windows 95 compatibility and helps parents prevent contact information being given out by children, stops access to unauthorised software and data, offers a customisable dictionary and keeps an audit trail of monitored results. Parents can configure the software to monitor, shutdown an application or shutdown the whole computer and the operation of Net Nanny is transparent to the children using the computer. Unlike some alternatives which work by examining the incoming data stream from the Internet, Net Nanny can operate off-line and can be used to prevent access to specific information on a PC, while also stopping children from accidentally formatting a hard drive or deleting data. At the other end of the spectrum, CompuServe introduced Internet in a Box for Kids. 'We've taken some of the easier-to-use applications out of Internet in a Box,' said Kevin Britt, a product manager at CompuServe, 'and we've taken the fear out of it.' In addition, CompuServe has developed a Web site aimed at children aged 8 to 14 called FreeZone where children can meet other children and play games and explore the Internet. FreeZone also offers a Home Page Builder for children to 'stake their claim' on the Net. CompuServe took advantage of Internet World to announce a contest for children. The 'Map Your Place in Cyberspace' contest encourages children to draw or paint images of Cyberspace. Entries of the 10 finalists will be posted on the World-Wide Web at http://www.kids.spry.com during May 1996. The grand prize is a US$25,000 educational scholarship and a trip to NASA's Space Camp.