The State of Michigan is offering a possible way to protect children from unwanted online ads and solicitations whether they are online at home, in the classroom or meeting up with friends.

ThinkStock; Peter Close

The Michigan Child Protection Registry is a free and secure service that can block adult-oriented ads for products like alcohol, tobacco, pornography and online gambling from reaching their children’s email inboxes, tablets, cell phones or instant messenger IDs.

“It can be a struggle to keep up with what our kids are doing online,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, who has a teenage daughter and whose office is backing this effort.. “Internet service is available in schools, libraries, homes and on cell phones, tablets and laptops. Protecting your child from unwanted Internet content can be a challenge.  It offers parents and schools a secure and simple way to put some controls in place regarding the Internet content children see.”

Concerned parents or schools may register the electronic addresses for any devices their children use at ProtectMiChild.com. Once the child’s cell phone number, email address and Instant Messenger ID are entered into the system, the registry will block adult Internet ads for all the registered contact points for three years or until the youngest child with access to the contact point reaches the age of 18. Companies that send messages that advertise or link to prohibited products or services are required to remove the registered contact email, phone number or IM within 30 days from their mailing lists. ProtectMiChild registrations may be renewed at any time for an additional three-year period.

“We live in a digital age,” Johnson said. “To keep our children safe from influences and products that are not age appropriate requires action. The ProtectMiChild Registry provides us with the tools we need to help control the Internet content to which our children are exposed.”

Here's a video promoting the service.

(MichSoSOffice via YouTube)